At long last a meeting of the Horse Reference Committee of which STB is a member was held at Armidale in June. Due to new legislation laws management of all of the Northern Tablelands has been handed over to the Local Land Services which includes both Guy Fawkes and the Oxley Rivers national parks.
As the Brumbies are declared feral pests their elimination is included along with foxes, pigs, wild dogs etc. There are estimated some 1400 horses in Guy Fawkes N.P., this has not changed much in two years. The majority are in inaccessible areas, horses can be trapped but removing them is not an option. Consequently plans are afoot to trap the horses and shoot them on site.
Severe funding cut backs by NSW Government has resulted in fewer experienced rangers to trap the horses; OH&S is a concern here, priorities are fire back burning in preparation for an expected dry summer; Guy Fawkes N.P. is renowned for severe bush fires, hence the name !!! This is of major concern. The horses will hopefully have a small reprieve for some time to come.
We will continue to take what horses we can and monitor the actions of NPWS in all matters of humane management. GFNP is a hot spot of sensitivity in relation to the environment and unlike KNP there is little hope of maintaining small numbers of horses under protection. Shameful, when these horses are direct descendants of the Walers, our gallant war horses and our nation’s Heritage.