Culled kangaroos for pet food trial
KANGAROOS in North East Victoria will be killed for pet food under a new trial to control large mobs of the marsupial and reduce waste.
It is a move that has been welcomed by local farmers fighting a constant battle against mobs of up to 300 kangaroos.
Byawatha farmers Harvey Benton and Rex Allen have welcomed the initiative on the grounds of animal welfare and the reduction of wastage that currently takes place after a kangaroo is killed.
They already have permits to each kill 70 kangaroos per annum, but both welcome the new trial to stamp out high density mobs.
Mr Benton said kangaroo populations are the worst he has seen in decades, describing the culling trial initiative as “magnificent”.
“It’s a great idea and it offers incentive for people on the land to cull and get reimbursed for their efforts,” Mr Benton said.
The two year trial will roll out across 12 Victorian local government areas where kangaroos cause the most damage to land and crops.
Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh said the trial would be restricted to holders of an Authority to Control Wildlife (ATCW) permit and it will give landowners an alternative disposal option.
Eastern Grey andWestern Grey kangaroos will be culled through the trial but the meat, at this stage, will not be processed for human consumption.
Culling will be carried out by skilled marksmen with accredited qualifications.
“The two year trial will be conducted in six local government areas in North East Victoria and six in Western Victoria where there are the highest number of wildlife control applications,” Mr Walsh said.
“Currently kangaroos culled under authorised control efforts cannot be used or processed commercially.
“Pet food processors have shown interest in making productive use of what is currently a wasted meat supply, and this would also help landowners with disposal,” he said.
Mr Walsh said in some situations non-lethal methods of control are ineffective, impractical or excessively costly.
Non-lethal control includes scaring by use of lights and loud noises, limiting food by strategically planting crops, and kangaroo proof fencing – the latter often impractical and prohibitively expensive.
“ATCW permits will continue to be assessed on case-by-case basis and will only be granted if the Department of Environment and Primary Industries’ officers are satisfied lethal control is required,” Mr Walsh said.
ON THE MENU: Kangaroos will be used in pet food under a new trial in the state.