Melbourne: The Labor Government’s permanent Kangaroo Harvesting Program began on Tuesday, to better manage kangaroo populations around the state and support Victoria’s kangaroo pet food industry.
Accredited shooters will now be able to harvest kangaroos and have carcasses processed for pet food by licensed businesses – making it easier for farmers, minimising waste and supporting jobs in regional communities.
The new program is administered by the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, and includes strict safe-guards to ensure harvesting is carried out at a sustainable level, that animal welfare standards are met, and that the livelihoods of local farmers are protected.
The Kangaroo Harvesting Program replaces the Kangaroo Pet Food Trial, which has run for the past five years and informed the design of the permanent program.
To ensure kangaroos are managed in a sustainable way, seven harvest zones have been designated, covering areas with significant numbers of kangaroos. An allocated number of kangaroos will be able to be harvested in each zone by shooters accredited with the program, using a tag system.
A maximum total harvest will be set by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning for each harvest zone based on state-wide kangaroo population surveys. These quotas will be updated annually to reflect changes in wildlife numbers and to ensure a sustainable Victorian kangaroo population.