“After 5 years of advocating for the pet food trial to be made permanent, today we welcome the Kangaroo Harvesting Program which will improve kangaroo management, cut red tape for farmers, and bring Victoria in line with other states,” said Mr Leonard Vallance, VFF Livestock President.
The Kangaroo Harvesting Program will feature a standardised form for landowners to provide written consent for the harvester to cull kangaroos on the landowner’s property. Farmers are being encouraged to ask the harvester for evidence of their authorisation to harvest kangaroos and that they have appropriate insurance.
“It’s positive to see that the program removes the administrative burden of kangaroo management on farmers. Farmers will no longer need to apply for a permit or prove kangaroo damage has occurred on their property to access the new kangaroo pet food program,” said Mr Vallance.
“However, we are still concerned that kangaroo control in Victoria is being managed by two Government departments, and whether departmental delays will hinder the efficiency of the process. We also want to ensure that the kangaroo pet food supply chain doesn’t drown in red tape as this program is rolled out.
“The kangaroo population in Victoria has exploded in recent years to well beyond natural levels. The abnormally large kangaroo population is having a serious impact on agricultural businesses, native habitats, regional road safety, and the welfare of the kangaroos themselves.
“During the Kangaroo Pet Food Trial, we were inundated with calls from members who have lost pasture and crops, and had fences ruined by large numbers of kangaroos. It was a clear message from the farming community that a permanent kangaroo harvest program was needed,” said Mr Vallance.
The VFF will continue to provide feedback to Government agencies and contribute to the program review in late 2020 to ensure the program is effective for all stakeholders, and that sensible quotas are set to manage kangaroo welfare and support farmers to relieve any additional grazing pressures during the drier summer months.