Kangaroos to be harvested and used in pet food
The Kangaroo Harvesting Program allows accredited shooters to harvest kangaroos and have carcasses processed for pet food by licensed businesses.
The Andrews Labor Government’s permanent Kangaroo Harvesting Program has begun, which aims to better manage kangaroo populations around the state of Victoria, Australia, and support the local pet food industry.
Kangaroos are regarded by many as pests in the region, causing road accidents and destroying crops. In July 2018, large numbers of kangaroos raided patches of grass in the Australian capital Canberra causing concern for drivers.
The new program is administered by the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, and includes safe-guards to ensure harvesting is carried in a sustainable fashion, that animal welfare standards are met and the livelihoods of local farmers protected.
The Kangaroo Harvesting Program replaces the Kangaroo Pet Food Trial, which has run for the past five years and informed the design of the permanent program.
“The programme balances the need to keep populations at healthy levels and ensure farmers are not being overrun by roos who can eat crops, damage property, and compete with stock for feed and water,” said Minister for Agriculture (Northern Victoria), Jaclyn Symes.
Seven harvest zones have been designated, covering areas with significant numbers of kangaroos. An allocated number of the animal will be able to be harvested in each zone by shooters accredited with the programme, using a tag system.
A maximum total harvest will be set by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning for each harvest zone based on state-wide kangaroo population surveys. These quotas will be updated annually to reflect changes in wildlife numbers and to ensure a sustainable Victorian kangaroo population.