Agriculture Environment | February 06, 2020

Rethink needed on halt to kangaroo harvesting program

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy has spoken in Parliament, calling on the Andrews Labor Government to reverse its decision to halt the Kangaroo Harvesting Program in western Victoria.

“While I agree the program should be halted in areas devasted by bushfire to protect our wildlife, kangaroos remain in plague proportions in our part of the state and our landholders need support to continue to control numbers in a sustainable way,” Ms Kealy said.

“Wildlife and stock losses in East Gippsland and North East Victoria have been absolutely devastating.

“We must protect wildlife where numbers have been devastated and nurse and rehabilitate animals injured by bushfire and I wholeheartedly support the Federal Liberal Nationals Government’s $50 million emergency fund for wildlife impacted by bushfires.

“But we also need to be able to manage the ongoing issue of plague numbers of kangaroos locally to minimise the heavy damage they are doing not just to farm property and pastures, but also our fragile ecosystems and native flora and fauna.

“I am concerned that the Labor Government’s reaction to halt the Kangaroo Harvesting Program across the entire state, including areas like ours that have not been impacted by bushfire, will have an extremely negative impact on our local region, with over 20 direct job losses the inevitable result.

“The Government has said they will suspend the program across the entire State until kangaroo populations can be assessed.

“I am calling on the Andrews Labor Government to immediately reverse the suspension of the program in western Victoria where bushfire has had no impact on kangaroo numbers to allow this critical program for our farmers and environment to continue.”

The Kangaroo Harvesting Program was established to manage kangaroos in plague numbers through commercial harvesting and processing as pet food as an alternative to the Authority to Control Wildlife license where kangaroo carcasses are left to rot.

The program eliminates waste, helps manage pests including wild dogs, reduces environmental harm to fragile ecosystems and supports landowners in managing the damage caused by plague kangaroo populations including destruction of crops and damage to farm property.



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