Culled kan­ga­roos for pet food trial

North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - News -

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.

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