Exeter residents Jan and Len Hainke hosted a group of marchers on a mission to protect Kosciuszko National Park.
The marchers, organised by Save Kosci initiative, aimed to raise awareness about the impact of introduced animals, in particular feral horses, to water catchments and native alpine plants and animal species.
In June of this year, the NSW government provided protection to feral horses in the National Park, the marchers have called for the repeal of the legislation and the “humane control of feral horses in the park.”
Ms Hainke said while many people enjoy the sight of horses galloping through the national park, it is a place they don’t belong.
“They love to see horses galloping in the Melbourne Cup, but are distressed and angry that sometimes a horse will break a leg and have to be euthanased; forgetting that every horse on the mountains dies. Broken legs and slow starvation are commonplace,” Ms Hainke said.
“I am a horse lover and breeder of quality ponies for many years. These horses belong in paddocks, where they can be cared for; not ecological environments which are precious to Australia and the world,” she said.
The Exeter couple took marchers on a tour of their property to show how land that had been damaged had been restored into “recreated” bushland.
“My little patch was a cow paddock until 12 years ago. My long-term aim was to show that bushland destroyed by ‘mankind’ can be recreated. This applies to Kosciuszko National Park also,” Ms Hainke said.
Labor candidate for Goulburn, Ursula Stephens, joined the walkers for the tea.
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