Agriculture | March 29, 2019

Labor backs down on kangaroos at last minute

The Andrews Government has buckled to pressure from National MPs on the state’s kangaroo pet food scheme, throwing the program a lifeline at the last minute.

The scheme, which was set to expire this Sunday, will now be extended until October 1 when a permanent industry will be created.

The Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy has been an outspoken advocate for the continuation of the program, which she has described as vital to local farmers.

“Farmers across Victoria will be relieved to hear the program will continue in its current form until October,” Ms Kealy said.

“The Andrews Government has dithered for months over the program, refusing to guarantee it would be ongoing.

“This announcement is a huge win for local farmers and pet food processors and comes after years of lobbying by myself and The Nationals team, local farmers, the VFF, the pet food industry and all the drivers that have hit a roo and added their voice to our campaign.

“A huge thank you to everyone for their strong support and advocacy.

“With your help we have made it happen.”

The Nationals first established the scheme in 2014, after farmers raised concerns that kangaroos culled under a permit were being left in paddocks to rot.

“We now need to ensure that the government’s regulation of the new industry from October and the harvesting zones and quotas that are set are in line with community expectations and needs,” Ms Kealy said.

“Farmers around some areas of Lowan have reported kangaroo numbers in plague proportions.

“This program offers a way of proactively converting a problem to a product with an economic benefit for rural and regional communities.

“The sustainable management of kangaroos is important for our region and the state.”

Ms Kealy said the government should immediately begin the reissue of tags to licensed shooters so pet food processors using kangaroo carcasses could keep using roos in a sustainable way.                                                                                       

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