Roos move in from west for food, wa­ter

Central and North Rural Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - GE­ORDI OF­FORD Ge­ordi.of­[email protected]­ral­

DRY con­di­tions are forc­ing kan­ga­roos to move in from the west of the state to find food and wa­ter.

AgForce North re­gional di­rec­tor and gra­zier Do­minic Bur­den said the num­bers were as­tound­ing.

“We can have any­where be­tween 10,000 and 15,000 of them. We’re feed­ing them and we aren’t get­ting a dol­lar for it,” he said.

“The best way to man­age them is to keep their num­bers down and we’ve been do­ing that by culling un­der per­mits.

“We’ve culled thou­sands of them.”

Mr Bur­den said large in­fes­ta­tions of the na­tive an­i­mal left lit­tle to no food for their live­stock.

“They eat a lot of ground cover,” he said.

“Their num­bers ex­plode when it rains, they come and get the green pick.

“If there were less of them we prob­a­bly wouldn’t be as short on feed as we are.”

While culling them for the kan­ga­roo in­dus­try has been sug­gested, he said there

❝ We can have any­where be­tween 10,000 and 15,000 of them. We’re feed­ing and graz­ing them and we aren’t get­ting a dol­lar for it. — Do­minic Bur­den

wasn’t a sus­tain­able mar­ket for them.

“There isn’t any de­mand for a large amount of their meat,” he said. “There needs to be some­thing re­al­is­tic there for it to be able to work.”

He said un­der cur­rent per­mit laws, peo­ple weren’t al­lowed to use the skin or meat of the roos.

“It would be hard for some peo­ple on the land be­cause you’re raised not to waste any­thing,” he said.

Mr Bur­den said the in­stal­la­tion of fenc­ing has also helped with the prob­lem.

“The dif­fer­ence in coun­try is amaz­ing,” he said.

“We do still have a healthy pop­u­la­tion of roos in the fenc­ing, but they are in much smaller num­bers.”

AgForce Cen­tral re­gional pres­i­dent/di­rec­tor John Baker said he had no­ticed a rise in num­bers as the drought con­tin­ued.

“I’ve no­ticed their num­bers ris­ing in the last two or three years,” he said.

“As it has got­ten drier they have started to come fur­ther east search­ing for feed and wa­ter.

“They eat a lot of grass. Five kan­ga­roos eat as much as one cow, so if you had 1000 of them, that’s 100 head of cat­tle you could be run­ning.

“They also cause a lot of dam­age to fences when they try to get in or out.”


FEED SHORT­AGE: Gra­ziers across Western Queens­land are los­ing feed thanks to large mobs of kan­ga­roos eat­ing most of their ground cover.

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