National park closed for helicopter brumby culls

Parts of Kosciuszko National Park will remain closed for the next six months as aerial shooting is used to target brumbies and other feral animals.

Tracks, trails, campgrounds, huts, picnic areas and accommodation in the affected areas of the park have been closed on Thursday and will remain so until October, the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service said.

"The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service will be conducting aerial shooting operations in Kosciuszko National Park," the agency said on its website.

"Horses, deer, pigs and other feral animals will be targeted."

Major ski resorts and other popular tourist areas will be unaffected by the changes.

NSW has a legislated target to reduce the number of brumbies in the park to 3000 by mid-2027 - from an estimated population of more than 22,000 - announcing in October that the state would return to aerial shooting of the wild horses.

The feral horse count in the national park exploded after then-NSW Nationals leader and deputy premier John Barilaro opposed culls in favour of trapping and rehoming in 2018.

The federal government has flagged intervening if the NSW control program is not effective, including a possible push for the zero-tolerance approach employed in the ACT.

Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek has long said horses do not belong in the national park and they are pushing unique native species towards extinction.

But some animal welfare advocates have called for non-lethal controls - such as fertility measures and passive trapping - to be used in place of mass shooting, which they argue is cruel.

Trapping and rehoming animals is currently carried out, in addition to shooting the animals from the air and the ground.

The closure impacts areas of the park north of the Snowy Mountains Highway and east of Goobarragandra Powerline Rd.

The six-month closure partially coincides with the usual winter shut-down period of June 10 to October 4.

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store