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Roo Harvesting Program

Roo Harvesting Program

Mixed reaction to government's kangaroo control program

The Victorian Farmers Federation Livestock Group said it welcomes the release of a permanent Kangaroo Harvesting Program to help manage kangaroo populations in Victoria.

“After 5 years of advocating for the pet food trial to be made permanent, we welcome the Kangaroo Harvesting Program which will improve kangaroo management, cut red tape for farmers, and bring Victoria in line with other states,” said Mr Leonard Vallance, VFF Livestock President.

The Kangaroo Harvesting Program will feature a standardised form for landowners to provide written consent for the harvester to cull kangaroos on the landowner’s property. Farmers are being encouraged to ask the harvester for evidence of their authorisation to harvest kangaroos and that they have appropriate insurance.

“It’s positive to see that the program removes the administrative burden of kangaroo management on farmers. Farmers will no longer need to apply for a permit or prove kangaroo damage has occurred on their property to access the new kangaroo pet food program,” said Mr Vallance.

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“However, we are still concerned that kangaroo control in Victoria is being managed by two Government departments, and whether departmental delays will hinder the efficiency of the process. We also want to ensure that the kangaroo pet food supply chain doesn’t drown in red tape as this program is rolled out.

“The kangaroo population in Victoria has exploded in recent years to well beyond natural levels. The abnormally large kangaroo population is having a serious impact on agricultural businesses, native habitats, regional road safety, and the welfare of the kangaroos themselves.

However, Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull isn't happy with the program, saying it will be treated as a joke by East Gippsland farmers.

“The commercial quota for all of the Gippsland region – which includes East Gippsland, Wellington, South Gippsland, Bass Coast, Latrobe, Baw Baw, Cardinia, Casey and Mornington Peninsula Shires – is 925 kangaroos,” said Mr Bull.

“If you break it down, it averages 103 kangaroos per Shire – as if that is going to make any difference whatsoever.

“This will make minimal difference in an area like Meerlieu / Bengworden / Strathfieldsaye, which is heavily over-populated with roos, let alone the entire East Gippsland Shire, nor will it have any discernible impact across the 44,000 square kilometres of the nine shires outlined by the government.

“While the kangaroos harvested will go to pet food, kangaroos controlled with an Authority to Control Wildlife permit won’t be able to be processed as pet food. Why not use this meat, rather than leave it to rot in a paddock feeding feral animals?”

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