Culled roos for pet food

Mansfield Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By RICHARD JAGO

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.

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