A BRUMBY has been shot dead in the Snowy Mountains district, prompting a region-wide crackdown on illegal hunting.
The slain animal was discovered by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) near Khancoban.
It prompted authorities to conduct a blitz on unlawful hunting, whereby a number of unregistered guns, ammunition and hunting knives were seized.
NPWS director Mick Pettitt said the operation came as a wake up call for rangers.
“Unfortunately in recent months we have seen an increase in evidence of illegal hunting,” he said.
“A number of vehicles were pulled over and searched and several offences were detected.
“Infringement notices and cautions were issued relating to firearm offences, as well as several offences relating to illegal access and being in charge of dogs in a national park.”
Infringement notices were issued relating to firearm offences, as well as offences relating to illegal access and being in charge of dogs in a national park.
Penalties for illegal hunting range from on-the-spot fines of $300 per offence to a maximum of $11,000 or six months imprisonment.
It is speculated the wild horse, found on the Khancoban to Cabramurra Road, may have been just one of many killed.
Snowy Mountains landowner Kaitlin Barter condemned the “barbaric” act of cruelty, pleading for further intervention by authorities.
“This is sacred land that they’re interfering with and bringing their guns to,” she said.
“If one horse has been found shot near the road, then god knows how many more are buried deep in the forest.
“These people don’t have the right to destroy the environment.”
The government’s proposed aerial of wild brumbies appears likely to be scrapped, with Nationals Leader John Barilaro defending the iconic animal.
It was first posed amid fears they are destroying the ecosystem.