Indigenous custodians divided over the fate of wild horses in Kosciuszko National Park

Opinions are divided amongst Ngarigo custodians, whose traditional lands occupy Kosciuszko National Park, about a proposal to manage wild horses in the NSW high country.

University of Sydney Professor and Ngarigo woman Jakelin Troy wants zero horses in the park, but as a horse lover herself she can appreciate why the issue has caused so much debate.

The most recent survey found there were more than 14,000 brumbies in the park,

But some don’t agree, believing the numbers to be much lower after the Black Summer bushfires.

“They’re only plucking numbers out of mid-air,” says Andrew Wilesmith, who is a member of the Ngarigo Nation Indigenous Corporation and the Snowy Mountains Bush Users Group.

“They should be controlled and we understand that, and we agree with that. But in order to do that, we have to come to a reasonably accurate figure.”

Mr Wilesmith says 4,000 is a sustainable population target, but he wants every horse removed from the park to be rehomed, not killed. 

He suggests a sanctuary or reserve managed by traditional owners could be established to control the horses.

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