Invitation to Register Interest: Taking ownership and possession of wild horses removed from Kosciuszko National Park

by Catherine Russell, about 3 years ago

NSW NATIONAL PARKS & WILDLIFE SERVICE (NPWS)

Part of NSW OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENT HERITAGE (OEH)

Wild Horse Management Program

Taking ownership and possession of wild horses that are removed from within Kosciuszko National Park

Invitation to register Interest

Brief

Southern Ranges Region  November 2014

1.  PURPOSE OF BRIEF

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) Southern Ranges Region as part of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage(OEH) is seeking written registrations of interest from individuals or parties to take ownership and possession of the wild horses when removed from Kosciuszko National Park (KNP), and other associated conservation reserves prior to seeking offers (tenders / quotes) and the letting of contracts and or agreements for trapping and removal.

2.  DESCRIPTION AND SUMMARY OF PROGRAM

The NPWS is implementing a program to capture and remove wild horses (horses) from certain areas within the Kosciuszko National Park as part of its Horse Management Plan. The program will focus on the use of humane passive capture techniques that have been developed and evaluated during a trial program conducted in the Kosciuszko National Park since 2003 and run as an ongoing control program to present.

The program entails the trapping of small mobs of between 1 to 15 wild horses at a time, which are then loaded and trucked out of the park by 4WD truck or 4WD vehicle and stock trailer and relocated to a suitable property or holding facility where the suitable parties or individuals will take ownership and possession of the horses.

The current wild horse capture and removal program is planned to continue until 2016 and whilst the current plan and program are being reviewed. Over the last 5 years an average of in excess of 80 horses have been trapped and removed annually from southern Kosciuszko National Park and up to 500 horses from northern Kosciuszko National Park. It is anticipated that wild horses will be trapped and removed annually as part of this ongoing program. 

Copies of the Kosciusko National Park Horse Management Plan 2008 are available to be viewed online and downloaded from the NPWS OEH website for your information.

DECC | Kosciuszko National Park Horse Management Plan

http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/pestweeds/KnpHorseMgmtplan.htm

This registration of interest relates to components C of the project – Taking possession and relocation of wild horses

Suitably experienced, equipped, resourced and interested individuals or parties are encouraged to register their interest in component C of the program. – Taking ownership and possession of wild horses which have been removed via the trapping program.

3. COMPONENTS OF PROGRAM

The project will be split into three separate components, some of which may be undertaken by NPWS staff, or alternatively undertaken in conjunction with or via external groups or individuals via agreement or contract arrangement.

A. Capture, handling and loading of wild horses at trap sites within southern and northern KNP, utilising approved established humane passive trapping techniques.

B. Loading, transport and haulage of wild horses from trap sites or holding yards within Kosciuszko National Park to nominated agreed locations situated outside of the Park utilising 2WD / 4WD truck or 4WD vehicle and stock trailer combinations;

C. Taking ownership and possession of relocated wild horses after delivery to nominated and agreed holding yards at suitably positioned, resourced and equipped properties or locations to accommodate wild horses.

This registration of interest relates to only components C of the project – Taking ownership and possession of wild horses.

The NSW NPWS does not have the capacity or facilities to hold and retain trapped wild horses for any length of time, as well as in the interest to reduce unnecessary stress on trapped animals, therefore interested individuals and parties are required to be able to accept and accommodate the allocated wild horses at short notice regardless of the consignment number, their age, sex, colouration or conformation.

4. CRITERIA OF ASSESSMENT FOR SUITABLE PARTIES TO ACCEPT WILD HORSES.

The NPWS will assess all written registrations of interest received against the following criteria with regard the suitability of parties or individuals to accept wild horses.

4.2. The Individual or party has suitably demonstrated experience, expertise and capability in handling wild horses or stock, and an understanding of the challenges and inherent risks of handling and working with unbroken, wild horses.

4.3. The individual or party preferably have sufficient resources and expertise to effectively manage the relocation and accommodating of up to 15 wild horses per trapping event from Kosciuszko National Park during the agreement period, if necessary. Individuals or parties that are only able to accommodate either individual or smaller numbers of horses than 15 are still encouraged to submit a registration of interest but will be a lower priority to have horses delivered.  

4.4. The individual or party have the resources to, within 24 hours notice of a trapping event, take possession of all trapped horses made available by either NPWS staff or NPWS contractor by picking up from the nominated holding yard that is accessible by 2WD truck.

4.5. The individual or party be able to identify a holding property  with suitable holding yards where wild horses can be unloaded that is within 3 hours travel distance of the Kosciuszko National Park  trapping program localities, or the townships of Jindabyne, Khancoban, Tumut or Adaminaby.

4.6. The individual or party is able to identify a holding property that has adequate yards, fencing and other facilities including adequate feed and water to handle the wild horses received.  The location and condition of the holding property will have to be such that there is no risk of horses escaping onto NPWS or other Crown lands or adjoining properties.  The holding property may be inspected by NPWS staff prior to the signing of agreements and the supplying of any horses captured in Kosciuszko National Park.

5.  GENERAL CONDITIONS

Before any individual or party is approved to receive horses removed from Kosciuszko National Park they will need to agree in writing, to abide by the following conditions:

5.2. The individual or party must take possession and ownership of all wild horses which are part of the delivery consignment (maximum of  up to 15, minimum of 1), regardless of their age, sex, colouration or conformation that are delivered by NPWS or its contractors to the nominated holding yard.

5.3. The individual or party must be contactable every day and be able to within 24 hours of being given notification of a trapping event be in a position to receive trapped wild horses at the nominated holding yard during the period of the agreement.

5.4. On receipt of horses from the NPWS delivering the horses the individual or party will take ownership, including sole responsibility and liability for the wild horses’ welfare and maintenance including any immediate or ongoing associated costs. The NPWS will not take back any horses handed over.

5.5. A copy of all details of eventual fate and sale or disposal of all wild horses accepted from the program must be provided to the NPWS within 6 months of taking ownership of the wild horses.

5.6. The individual or party agrees not to sell, loan, donate or lease any wild horses to individuals or groups who intend to release the wild horses onto either NPWS or public managed lands or unfenced private lands that adjoin NPWS or public managed lands.

5.7. The individual or party agrees to make available for inspection by NPWS or RSPCA officers any sites where horses will be retained by them.

6. PERIOD OF AGREEMENT

6.2. The Agreement period will be from 1st December 2014 to 1st December 2015.

6.3. This agreement period may be increased or reduced via negotiation and mutual agreement between the individual / group and the Regional Manager.

6.4. The Agreement will be subject to a review of performance at two months from commencement.

6.5. The Agreement may be terminated by the Regional Manager with two weeks notice. Reasons for suspension may include:

6.5.1. Individual or group not meeting required response or availability times.

6.5.2. Individual or group not taking the required amount of horses.

6.5.3. Individual or group breaching animal welfare codes of practice.

6.6. The Agreement may be suspended by the Regional Manager with 24 hours notice for emergency events affecting the program area, such as fire or flood.

Note: Regional Manager refers to the NPWS Regional Manager for the Southern Ranges Region.

7.  CRITERIA TO BE ADDRESSED IN THE EXPRESSION OF INTEREST

Written registrations of interest addressing the following information and requirements as listed below will be considered:

7.2. Full name and address of the individual or company / organisation and the names of officer holders / managers where applicable;

7.3. If an organisation, proof of incorporation with the NSW Department of Fair Trading;

7.4. Evidence of skills and experience in the handling, loading and transporting of wild horses;

7.5. Evidence of ability to respond and be available at their nominated holding yards to receive horses delivered by NPWS staff or its contractors within 24 hours of notification by NPWS;

7.6. Full details of the type any vehicles, trucks and or trailers that will be used in the relocation of the horses and specifications of the horse crate, registration number and evidence of current comprehensive insurance and public liability insurance coverage of at least $20 million dollars;

7.7. Details of the location of the holding property, if used, where horses will be taken when removed from the park and its travel distance from either the townships of Jindabyne, Khancoban, Tumut or Adaminaby

7.8. Proof of ownership and/or written approval of the owner(s) of the holding property(s) to use the property to hold wild horses removed from Kosciuszko National Park.

7.9. Proposed procedure for the sale and/or re-homing or disposal of horses received.

7.10. Any maximum limits to the number of horses that the individual or group can take.

7.11. Contact details for the person or organisation if further information is required by the NPWS in assessing the registration of interest.

Please note that final selection may require a face to face interview and property and facility inspection.

Registrations of interest may be submitted on the attached proforma.

8. WHAT THE NPWS WILL/ WILL NOT PROVIDE 

During the agreement period the NPWS will provide:

8.2. 24 hours notification by phone call to the individual or party of intended trapping periods, and confirming their readiness to receive up to 15 wild horses or the agreed number of wild horses at their nominated holding yards.

8.3. Transportation of wild horses via NPWS staff or contractor to the nominated and agreed holding yard in accordance with the model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals – Land Transport of Horses (CSIRO 2003), in a fit and reasonable condition.

8.4. copies of the relevant  Code of practice including the model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals – Land Transport of Horses (CSIRO 2003) and the Draft NSW NPWS Code of Practice  for the passive trapping and/or transport of feral horses;

8.5. Provide individual record sheet/s identifying each horse taken possession of by the individual or party, with documentation to record the eventual fate of the feral horses received to be returned to the NPWS after 6 months by the individual or group.

8.6. Contact details for Wild Horse advocacy community groups that may provide further advice in regard to the care and re-homing of wild horses.

The NPWS will not provide:

8.7. Any guarantees as to the number, age, sex, colouration, conformity or temperament of wild horses available or delivered to any individual or party.

8.8. Any remuneration or financial support to any individual or party that has taken ownership and possession of wild horses from the program. In so doing the individual or party agrees that they are responsible and liable for the ongoing care or husbandry of wild horses from the program, including, feed, water, housing, agistment, transportation, veterinarian, farriery, blacksmithing or dentistry fees required by the wild horse/s.

9.  SUBMISSION OF REGISTRATIONS OF INTEREST

Written  submissions should be clearly marked as:

Registration of interest response– Taking ownership and possession of Wild Horses

And can be lodged at:

National Parks and Wildlife Service

Southern Ranges Regional Office

 Kosciuszko Road, (PO Box 2228)

JINDABYNE NSW 2627.

Registrations of interest on the attached submission proforma may be submitted electronically by email or by facsimile to.

Email:   rob.gibbs@environment.nsw.gov.au

Fax:  (02) 6456 2291

For further information please contact :

Snowy River Area Manager

Pam O’Brien 

Ph - Office 02 6456 7266, mobile 0428 486 340

or

Senior Project Officer

KNP Wild Horse Management Plan

Rob Gibbs

Ph - Office 02 6450 5507, mobile 0427 703 494.