In October 2023 the NSW Government amended the Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Heritage Management Plan to allow the use of aerial shooting as an additional method to control the feral horse population. In 2018 the species was heritage recognised and in 2020 the shooting of brumbies was outlawed by former-NSW Deputy Premier, John Barilaro.
This decision was made after extensive consultation with the community and experts, including a senate inquiry into the management and impacts of feral horses, and in response to the growing concerns about the impact of brumbies on the park's native wildlife and ecosystems.
The NSW Government stated that the existing measures had not been enough to protect the park’s ecosystems with Penny Sharpe, NSW’s Environment Minister, stating:
“The reality is that their population, over the last decade or so, has exploded. There are too many horses in the park…Probably around 12 species are directly impacted by the horses.”
Jack Gough of the Invasive Species Council welcomed the change:
“This is a really momentous day. We have had campaigns for over 10 years to get government to take action on what has been a creeping but out of control environmental disaster in Kosciuszko National Park.”
The aerial shooting will be added to the NPWS’s existing strategies to control feral horse numbers including trapping and removing animals, alongside shooting from ground level. The Management Plan intends to reduce the total population of brumbies in Kosciuszko National Park from more than 18,000 down to 3000 by 2027.