Brumbies 'a threat to motorists in ski season'

Save Kosciuszko group warns of fatal collisions with brumbies

A brumby on Snowy Mountains Highway recently.

A brumby on Snowy Mountains Highway recently.


Collisions with brumbies 'on increase', but police say no reports. Warning: graphic images


With reports of a boy being injured at a camping site and wild horses brushing past tents at Easter in northern Kosciuszko, anti-brumby groups say a road crash fatality is likely with brumby numbers uncontrolled.

There were reports of campers facing unwanted close encounters with brumbies at the Blue Waterholes camping site in the north part of Kosciuszko at Easter.

Horse manure covers much of the Waterholes camping ground and all the way to caves in the unique Karst landscape, that is the part of the headwaters of the Goodradigbee River.

The Reclaim Kosci group is now saying motorist are in danger this snow season as they travel to the ski fields with brumby numbers going unchecked.

Freedom of Information documents show no brumbies have been removed from the national park in the last 18 months, and despite promises before the NSW election by Monaro MP and NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro that he would act quickly to control brumby numbers, nothing has happened and the window is closing on control with the advent of winter just weeks away.

Reclaim Kosci has released photos of dead brumbies on the roadside on the Snowy Mountains Highway after collisions with vehicles.

The group says Premier Gladys Berejiklian is putting family lives at risk ahead of this year's snow season by failing to act on growing feral horse numbers.

Brumby numbers have not been controlled in northern part of the park for at least 18 months.

Brumby numbers have not been controlled in northern part of the park for at least 18 months.

"The number of feral horses roaming the Snowy Mountains Highway on the way to popular family ski resorts is frightening," said Richard Swain, Reclaim Kosci campaign coordinator and Snowy Mountains local.

"Our freedom of information request has revealed alarming crash statistics involving feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park, grisly photos of dead horses littering the Snowy Mountains Highway and growing anxieties from the people who travel this road for business and to reach the snowfields.

"Lives are on the line and if action is not taken to reduce feral horse numbers in Kosciuszko National Park it will only be a matter of time before we see human fatalities."

Related: No management of brumbies in Kosciuszko for 18 months'

"Families planning a trip to the Selwyn Snow Resort now face the very real possibility of colliding with a feral horse on the Snowy Mountains Highway," Mr Swain said.

"The Kiandra area is especially dangerous and we are warning all families driving in the area to slow down and be on high alert for feral horses," Mr Swain said.

"We have already seen a high number of feral horse collisions on the road to Selwyn Snow Resort, crashes that leave drivers and witnesses traumatised.

"Terrifying collision reports include horses rushing out of the darkness, colliding with cars and smashing headfirst through car windshields.

A brumby killed after being hit on the Snowy Mountains Highway.

A brumby killed after being hit on the Snowy Mountains Highway.

"The animals are often not dead following a collision, and both the horse and driver are left in distress until assistance arrives, which on these roads can take upwards of an hour."

The group says if a management plan agreed on was implemented it would have reduced the likelihood of injury from collisions from high to moderate.

A dead brumby on the Snowy Mountains Highway.

A dead brumby on the Snowy Mountains Highway.

"The number of feral horses on the Snowy Mountains Highway is a ticking time bomb," Mr Swain said.

"With no risk mitigation in over a year and a half, who is going to be responsible when we see the first deaths from car collisions with horses?

"We are calling on the NSW government to commit to drastically reducing feral horse numbers in Kosciuszko National Park, or they will continue to risk the lives of local families and holidaymakers," Mr Swain said.

"Feral horses on our roads are dangerous and life threatening for everyone involved."

Pro brumby groups have warned motorists to slow down and to be careful.

Cooma Police though said they had no reported collisions with brumbies in the area, the major troublespot between Kiandra and Yarrangobilly Caves turn-off.

It is possible a truck may have swiped one and a wild horse may have been killed, but no incidents had been reported to police in the last few years.


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