Feral horses in the Alpine National Park are at critical levels. Their hard hooves cause serious damage to the sensitive alpine environment. The abundance of horses and their consequential impacts are causing severe long-term harm to the park’s special endangered native alpine wildlife and plant species.
A plan to manage the horses has been in development for more than two years and has now been approved.
Strategic Action Plan
The Protection of the Alpine National Park - Feral Horse Strategic Action Plan 2018-2021 has been in development for over two years with extensive consultation with horse, community, environmental and cultural stakeholder groups taking part in many discussions. The plan is based on the evidence of impacts gathered by scientists over many years (see the plan’s Appendix 1 -Summary of the Science).
Community members were encouraged to review the plan and provide their feedback on the Engage Victoria website. Close to 1000 submissions were received and the overwhelming majority expressed their support in managing the feral horse population to ensure the future protection of the Alpine National Park and its vulnerable ecosystems.
Parks Victoria wishes to thank all individuals and organisations who provided submissions, completed surveys, attended meetings and commented on the draft plan. A report of the engagement results, Engagement Summary Report - Alpine National Park Feral Horse Strategic Action Plan 2018-2021, is available to download from the links below and in the document library.
The three-year program will involve the primary control technique of passive trapping, with rehoming of the feral horses to be the main priority.
Parks Victoria will be working closely with our partners to achieve a targeted increase to approximately 400 feral horses to be captured and rehomed each year during the program’s duration. This program will be monitored closely for effectiveness in controlling feral horse numbers and reducing their impacts on the fragile Alpine National Park.
Parks Victoria proposed expanding it's existing feral horse removal program in the Eastern Alps region by raising capture rates from approximately 100-160 horses per year to approximately 300-400 horses per year, over three years.
As part of drafting the plan, extensive consultation has taken place with animal welfare, community, environmental and cultural groups through a series of roundtables. A Technical Reference Group including specialists in veterinary science, horse behaviour and welfare and cultural issues has also provided specialist input.
From 22 December 2017 to 16 February 2018, the community was invited to review the draft action plan and provide feedback on:
- Proposed control methods (Section 8.1.1)
- Management of captured horses (Section 8.1.3)
- Communication methods and frequency during the 3-year implementation period (Section 8.2.3)
- Research priorities (Section 9)
Feedback was sought in the form of a survey or written submission.
The time period for contributing to this survey has now closed. Thank you.
To be kept informed of progress with this draft plan, log in before completing the survey.