The VFF Livestock Group is calling on the Victorian Government to commercialise the 2014 kangaroo pet food trial to ensure the sensible and effective management of kangaroo populations, as Nationals deputy leader Steph Ryan puts further pressure on the government to renew the trial, which is set to expire at the end of March.
‘‘The success of the kangaroo pet food trial has clearly demonstrated that it is an effective system for sustainably managing kangaroo populations and reducing waste,’’ VFF Livestock president Leonard Vallance said.
‘‘The Minister for Environment Lily D’Ambrosio must implement a kangaroo harvesting framework based on the evidence her department gathered in the trial and their 2018 kangaroo aerial survey.
‘‘These important decisions need to be made based on objective evidence, not an emotional knee-jerk reaction.’’
Ms Ryan said if the current trial was not renewed it would put further pressure on drought-stricken farmers.
‘‘Kangaroo numbers have increased as a result of improved pasture but as conditions worsen, there’s a real risk that they will begin to starve,’’ Ms Ryan said.
‘‘Farmers cannot afford to carry hundreds of kangaroos when they are struggling to feed their stock.
‘‘Labor’s refusal to front up and tell people that they care more about placating inner-city greenies than they do helping rural communities who are suffering from drought conditions disgusts me.’’
In response, the government said it was considering options for when the trial ended.
‘‘The kangaroo pet food trial was designed to explore options for reducing the waste of carcases from kangaroos that are controlled through the scheme,’’ Ms D’Ambrosio said.
‘‘Options are currently being considered for the future of kangaroo processing in Victoria after the trial has finished.’’
According to Mr Vallance, Victoria is currently the only state in Australia without an approved management plan for commercial kangaroo and wallaby harvesting.