The suspended kangaroo harvesting program should be reinstated across areas of north-east Victoria not affected by the summer’s bushfires, says State Member for Euroa and Victorian Nationals Deputy Leader Steph Ryan.
“It is illogical the Andrews Government has halted this program in areas which are hundreds of kilometres away from the bushfires in the Upper Murray,” Ms Ryan said.
“We had no major fires in the Bendigo, Campaspe, Strathbogie or Benalla areas over summer and landholders need to be able to access the kangaroo harvesting program.
“Without it, anyone who has a permit to cull kangaroos to keep numbers under control now has no choice but to leave the carcase to rot in a paddock, creating a smorgasbord for foxes and wild dogs.”
Kangaroo harvesting quotas are determined by zone and are being reassessed following recent bushfires.
A Victorian Government spokesperson said a decision was expected next month.
“We’re still assessing the impacts of the bushfires on kangaroo populations in the north-east,” they said.
Meeting with farmers impacted by kangaroos in Heathcote on May 8, Ms Ryan said she had written to Victorian Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio, demanding a resumption of the program.
“The harvesting program helps communities like Heathcote where kangaroos are in serious numbers,” she said.
Ms Ryan said she was concerned the bushfires were being used as an excuse for the Victorian Government to abandon the program.
She said the promising start to the season meant kangaroo numbers had increased.
“It might not seem like so much of a problem now when feed is plentiful through winter, but come summer kangaroos will begin to struggle as paddocks start to dry off.”