’Roo pet food industry okay by Coalition

By Country News

A Liberal Nationals government would allow a kangaroo pet food industry to develop, the parties announced last week.

The current trial program, using culled kangaroos where they have become a nuisance, would become permanent.

Shadow Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh said the Liberal Nationals would also expand the program to take in other areas where kangaroo numbers were out of control.

‘‘The kangaroo pet food industry doesn’t need another extension, it needs certainty,’’ Mr Walsh said.

‘‘Daniel Andrews and his city-centric Labor government refuse to support this fledgling industry and the jobs it’s created.’’

Since the trial was established by the former Liberal Nationals government in 2014, about 87000 kangaroo carcases that would otherwise have been discarded, have been processed.

Currently, the trial is restricted to 16 regional local government areas, but the Liberal Nationals’ plan would expand it to all rural and regional LGAs.

A permanent program would align with the guidelines of the existing trial and would not change the requirement for Authority to Control Wildlife permits to be issued for any kangaroos used as pet food.

According to VFF Livestock president Leonard Vallance, the growing kangaroo population has a detrimental impact not only on agriculture but also on native flora and fauna, leaving little shelter for other animals, reptiles, birds and insects.

‘‘The kangaroo pet food industry is a means of managing the kangaroo population at a sustainable and viable level in a regulated environment,’’ Mr Vallance said.