The NSW Land and Environment Court has ruled the urgent removal of feral horses from important fragile conservation areas in northern Kosciuszko National Park can proceed.

The trapping and removal of feral horses as part of post-bushfire wildlife recovery measures was given the green light by NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean and the two horse advisory committees back in February.

But court action by the Snowy Mountains Brumby Sustainability Management Group Incorporated had threatened to prevent the removal of feral horses from the Nungar, Cooleman, Kiandra and Boggy plains.

Snowy Mountains Brumby Sustainability Management Group lodged an injunction in the NSW Land and Environment Court, however the court today rejected the group’s application, and the removal of horses, which includes rehoming, can now proceed.

“The activity is a subject of the horse plan of management and carried out within its terms,” Justice Sandra Duggan said in dismissing the action.

“This is a win for every Australian,” Anthony Sharwood from Reclaim Kosci said.

“Like the Great Barrier Reef, Kosciuszko National Park belongs to all of us. It is a unique environment unlike anywhere else in Australia or the world – a place for native species, not hard-hooved feral animals that muddy waterways, destroy stream banks and trample habitats home to numerous threatened species.

“Kosciuszko is still recovering from last summer’s fires, which burned a third of the park, and it simply cannot cope with up to 20,000 feral horses running rampant across this fragile alpine landscape.

“It would be nothing short of a national tragedy if one of Australia’s greatest natural assets was severely degraded by a pest animal left unchecked.

“All evidence suggests that without management, the horse population will continue to grow.”