Culled roos for pet food
MINISTER for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh has announced Victoria is going to trial arrangements for the processing of kangaroo meat for pet food.
The trial will be restricted to kangaroos culled under Authority to Control Wildlife (ATCW) permits, with the aim of reducing waste.
Local government areas involved in the trial in the Hume Region are Mitchell, Murrindindi, Mansfield, Strathbogie, Benalla and Wangaratta.
“The two year trial will be conducted in six local government areas in North East Victoria and six local government areas 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, but pet food processors have shown interest in making use of what is currently a wasted meat supply.
“The controlled trial, which will begin f r om March 31, will allow selected and regulated processing of these carcasses for pet food.”
Local farmers who cull roos under existing permits believe the new arrangement will not affect them, but are adamant something should be done to reduce roo numbers.
Dennis Vickery from Maindample said roos are coming out of the bush near the Paps, looking for feed and water.
“The new arrangement is a good move – it’s wasteful to shoot an animal and leave it there,” he said.
“But I’m a little worried about the controlled burn that’s to take place in front of the Paps – the roos will have even less to feed on and more of them will come down.”
Maindample f a r mer Sam Parsons said he too approved of the cull.
“I’ve seen 60 or 70 roos i n a mob and t here are multiple mobs – they are everywhere,” he said.
“When I put i n f or my licence to cull them I was only allowed to shoot around 50.
“When the dead ones are left on the ground the foxes pick up the scent, particularly if they’re hungry – it’s a good way to get foxes.”
But, predictably, not all people are equally happy about the trial.
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber is pledging to fight to reverse the decision.
“The Napthine Government i s giving i n t o pressure from the National Party,” said Mr Barber.
“Livestock farmers go to great lengths to comply with animal welfare, meat quality and safety, but this gives them a new competitor who doesn’t have to meet the same standards.
“It’s a nonsense to say that these kangaroos would have been killed anyway.
“Permits are handed out willy nilly, there’s close to zero supervision and now that there’s a quid to be made, everyone will want one.
“We will be campaigning to reverse this decision.”
PET FOOD: Kangaroos will be used for pet food.