Call for government to get the jump on kangaroos and deer
THE State Government should make Victoria’s kangaroo pet food scheme ongoing and extend it to include deer, according to Euroa’s state MP Steph Ryan.
Ms Ryan, who is also the deputy leader of The Nationals, told Parliament recently that landholders in the Strathbogie Ranges had reported seeing deer on their properties.
“Deer are a pest animal that do enormous damage to the environment,” she said.
“They have already become well established in areas including Tatong and the Victorian high country but we need to act quickly to stop them inhabiting areas like the Strathbogie Ranges.
“Extending the current kangaroo pet food trial to include deer would enable landholders to enlist the support of appropriately licensed shooters to help control their spread in a measured and regulated way.
“It would also ensure the carcasses of any animals can be processed as pet food, instead of being left to rot.”
Ms Ryan said the kangaroo pet food trial was instigated under The Nationals and Liberals when last in government to allow kangaroo meat harvested legally to be processed as pet food.
The trial has been extended but has no certain future beyond March next year.
The scheme has also resulted in extra jobs in the Euroa electorate, with pet food abattoirs in Stanhope and Seymour benefitting from the changes.
Strathbogie resident Graham Moore is a professional shooter who has been called on by landholders with permits to cull kangaroos.
Mr Moore said the number of pest animals was only growing and the government should turn the trial into an industry that could be expanded across the state.
“The problem is increasing and there have been quite a few landholders who’ve had to renew their permits because they underestimated the number of kangaroos on their property,” Mr Moore said.
“It’s a difficult situation because the department is still issuing shoot and drop permits and animals are being wasted.
“With the trial, the animals are used and not wasted, jobs are created and everyone wins.”
Farmers, landholders and shooters across the Euroa electorate have backed Ms Ryan’s calls for the government to commit to the scheme and to make it permanent.
“Earlier this year I was contacted by Ian Ross from Mia Mia who estimates that at least 1000 kangaroos are on his property at any one time,” Ms Ryan said.
“He has been controlling the kangaroo population for a number of years with permits but feels, given the small number of kangaroo his permits allow, it has not made any noticeable impact.”