Ryan calls for ’roo pet food decision

By Country News

The future of a program to turn harvested kangaroo meat into pet food needs to be made clear and employees given certainty according to Member for Euroa Steph Ryan.

The kangaroo pet food scheme is set to expire in March 2019, with Ms Ryan reiterating the Nationals’ commitment to make the scheme permanent and extend it to include deer, should they win the November Victorian election.

The Victorian Government previously extended the program for one year in March.

‘‘Landholders are fearful that (Premier) Daniel Andrews plans to put a stop to the kangaroo pet food scheme if he gets back into government,’’ Ms Ryan said.

‘‘Landholders won’t be the only ones to lose, with jobs at pet food processors at Seymour and Stanhope also on the line.’’

Ms Ryan said concerns about the explosion in kangaroo numbers across the region were growing as seasonal conditions worsened.

She said farmers around Toolleen and Euroa had witnessed increased kangaroo numbers on public land, especially as seasonal conditions worsened and feed became more scarce.

‘‘The kangaroo pet food program has created jobs in regional Victorian communities such as Stanhope and Seymour and it means kangaroo carcases no longer need to be left in a paddock to rot,’’ she said.

‘‘It is shameful that the Andrews Government continues to ignore the problems increased kangaroo numbers are creating for farmers and motorists in regional Victoria.’’