A final attempt to get the Supreme Court to stop Parks Victoria shooting brumbies in Alpine National Park has failed.
Philip Maguire, who owns land adjacent to the national park, appealed last month's court ruling that rejected his objections and allowed the culling of horses to go ahead as planned.
After reading submissions from both parties and listening to five hours of evidence during a video court hearing on Friday, Chief Justice Anne Ferguson said the appeal had been rejected.
Reasons for the decision will be published next week.
Mr Maguire's barrister Anthony Strahan had told the court that a 2016 Parks Victoria plan stated that trapping the horses was the organsation's first-choice method, then only after further public consultation, would shooting the animals be considered.
He argued Parks Victoria was obliged to go to the public before deciding to cull the brumbies.
"In this sort of area in particular, where you have public land that is being managed for the public with diverse groups of stakeholders, it is very, very important to the process that people are brought into the process in the manner of what is described in this legislation as engagement," he said.
Mr Strahan said that did not mean the public got to make the decision, but also should not just sit on the sidelines.
He argued the trial judge last month made an error when he ruled Parks Victoria did not have to engage on each decision it makes, but did not say what the organisation should have done instead.
The argument was critical of Parks Victoria's 2016 consultation on a plan that stated brumbies would not be shot for the next three years, but it would be considered after that point.
"You can't test public sentiment by asking the public about something you're not planning to do," Mr Strahan said.
"It's a matter of logic - that doesn't work."
He said Mr Maguire had a particular interest in the issue of shooting brumbies because it impacted his ability to run a business related to the horses.
But Parks Victoria's barrister Jason Pizer said the trial judge was right to rule Mr Maguire did not have standing to make the application in court to stop the culling of feral horses because his connection was only an "intellectual or emotional concern".
He said Mr Maguire was "vague and non-specific" about how brumbies improved the amenity of his land and reduced fuel loads, and was no different to any other member of the public.
"There is no evidence as to the number of horses said to graze on the applicant's land," he said.
"There is no evidence to suggest that the feral horses that were said to contribute to the amenity of the applicant's land, being the Bogong brumbies, frequented the areas of highest conservation concern and feral horse impacts."
Mr Pizer said Mr Maguire could not say for sure that Parks Victoria would cull those particular horses.
He argued Mr Maguire had not considered the views of others in the community who did not object to the shooting of horses.
After failing in the appeal, Mr Maguire was ordered to pay Parks Victoria's legal costs.
Mr Maguire posted on the Rural Resistance Facebook page on Friday morning before the court hearing that win or lose, he had achieved his objective of stopping brumbies being shot in the Alpine National Park in 2020.
Parks Victoria had originally planned to start shooting on June 12 after the court appeal.
"It's probably too late for shooting operations be conducted this winter," Mr Maguire said.
"We now have enough evidence for another case to follow direct on the heels of this appeal if necessary.
"According to Parks Victoria, they had a small window of six weeks during May and June to carry out their shooting operation.
"That window is now closed. I know you don't trust them and nor do I, but I have an advantage in that I know who I'm dealing with.
"So do they, now. They know they can't hide."
There will still be efforts out of court to stop the shooting of brumbies.
Benambra MP Bill Tilley has asked Victoria's environment minister Lily D'Ambrosio to call an urgent meeting with all stakeholders interested in the high country horses before what he called the Parks Victoria "slaughter-fest" began.