The Deputy Premier's Double Standards - Cull Everything Except Horses
When arguments get driven from poetry and literature, on nostalgia for the highland cattlemen found in Banjo Patterson's poems, you know that emotional policies are created at the detriment to the science and the native flora and fauna.
John Barilaro and the rest of the pro-brumby lobby have no issue with extensive aerial culling through Kosciusko National Park to manage deer, wild dog, goat and fox populations. It is astonishing that horses, being the most destructive force in these parks, are excluded from this approach.
The debate continues on the scheduled Brumby culls as The Deputy Premier claim's that our summer's bushfires may have reduced brumby numbers to such an extent that scheduled trapping and removals should be cancelled.
It is estimated that there are over 35,000 horses currently in the Park. Unfortunately no count or recount is going to change the Deputy Premier's agenda.
The Canberra Times reported "He's almost certainly wrong on this. The bushfires affected around a quarter of the Kosciuszko
National Park. Experts tell us the relative effect on feral horse numbers is almost certainly negligible".
"But here's the rub: it doesn't matter. Regardless of whether the new recount reveals horse numbers are up, down, or stable John Barilaro and his supporters on this issue will continue to lobby furiously against any form of real population control".
"When I speak to NSW Parks and Wildlife rangers they reveal that the imagined mighty brumby looks a lot more like an inbred pony, mangy and small".
"But there are distinctly Australian features in the parks worth preserving. Kosciuszko National Park is one of our harshest climates, and the flora and fauna that survive there are uniquely Australian".
Indigenous elders, such as Ngarigo woman Aunty Rhonda Casey, rightly ask how we will explain to our kids that feral pests introduced less than 200 years ago were prized more highly than our own pre-existing wonders.
"Conservationists and the pro-Brumby lobby both want to see this population managed humanely. It is clear the current approach of trapping and rehoming isn't working".
"It's distressing to muster a wild animal and try and tame it. Animals are domesticated over thousands of years, but can become feral in less than a generation".
"Animal welfare experts, including the RSPCA, all agree that aerial culling is the most effective and humane way to manage horse numbers".
One thing is sure; if any introduced animal population is not managed, there will be an ecological disaster waiting to happen. This one will be the Deputy Premiers own creation.