MPs sup­port larger roo hunt

Shepparton News - Country News - - COBRAM HORSE TRIALS - By Alana Chris­tensen

A Shoot­ers, Fish­ers and Farm­ers Party MP has called for the hunt­ing of kan­ga­roos to be al­lowed to fight what he has la­belled ‘‘prob­lem­atic’’ pop­u­la­tion num­bers.

State Mem­ber for North­ern Vic­to­ria Daniel Young made the call af­ter DELWP an­nounced it would con­duct aerial kan­ga­roo sur­veys across Vic­to­ria for the first time, end­ing Septem­ber 30.

Mr Young wel­comed the sur­vey call­ing it the ‘‘first step’’ to un­der­stand­ing the ex­tent to which kan­ga­roo pop­u­la­tions are be­com­ing un­man­age­able.

‘‘Should the sur­vey show that kan­ga­roo num­bers are prob­lem­atic, as I be­lieve they are, the State Gov­ern­ment needs to next con­sider that cur­rent man­age­ment prac­tices are not sus­tain­able,’’ he said.

‘‘As such, this is an ideal time to start talk­ing about al­ter­na­tives. One such al­ter­na­tive would be to re­clas­sify kan­ga­roos to game for hunt­ing pur­poses.’’

Vic­to­rian Na­tion­als deputy leader and State Mem­ber for Euroa Steph Ryan echoed Mr Young’s calls and said she be­lieved there should be con­sid­er­a­tion for ex­pand­ing the kan­ga­roo pet food scheme to also in­clude deer.

‘‘Deer are a pest an­i­mal that do enor­mous dam­age to the en­vi­ron­ment,’’ Ms Ryan told par­lia­ment.

‘‘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 car­cases of any an­i­mals can be pro­cessed as pet food, in­stead of be­ing left to rot.’’

The kan­ga­roo pet food trial has been ex­tended un­til March next year yet the fu­ture of the pro­gram is un­clear.

Pet food abat­toirs in Stan­hope and Sey­mour are cur­rently in­volved with the process that Ms Ryan said had helped to bring jobs to the Euroa elec­torate, yet she be­lieved more needed to be done.

‘‘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 kan­ga­roos his per­mits al­low, it has not made any no­tice­able im­pact.’’

Strath­bo­gie res­i­dent and pro­fes­sional shooter Gra­ham Moore said he sup­ported the scheme be­cause he be­lieved the num­ber of pest an­i­mals was con­tin­u­ing to grow.

A spokesper­son for Strath­bo­gie Shire Coun­cil, which in­cludes the towns of Euroa and Strath­bo­gie, said the shire ranger mainly dealt with kan­ga­roos fol­low­ing a col­li­sion with a car, but that the coun­cil did is­sue per­mits to con­trol the pop­u­la­tion.

Mitchell Shire devel­op­ment and in­fra­struc­ture direc­tor Jeff Saker said that like other coun­cils with ru­ral and semi-ru­ral ar­eas, the shire ex­pe­ri­enced kan­ga­roo pop­u­la­tions gath­er­ing on pub­lic and coun­cil land re­serves but cur­rently has no kan­ga­roo man­age­ment plan.

‘‘A kan­ga­roo man­age­ment plan would re­quire dis­cus­sions with DELWP and other stake­hold­ers to de­ter­mine what the plan may de­tail,’’ Mr Saker said.

Ac­tion needed . . . Politi­cians are call­ing for a so­lu­tion to grow­ing kan­ga­roo pop­u­la­tions.

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