Labor must commit to kangaroo pet food scheme
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien is calling on the Andrews Labor Government to extend the Kangaroo pet food trial to Gippsland to ease the burden on local farmers and landholders.
The trial, which allows legally harvested kangaroo carcasses to be salvaged for pet food, is due to expire in March and Mr O'Brien is calling on the government to make it permanent.
Mr O’Brien said in 2016 the Andrews Labor Government extended the program to four additional areas but failed to include Gippsland.
“The trial was established by The Nationals in government for an initial two year period and following extensive lobbying from National Party MPs, the program was extended. Now it needs to be made permanent,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Kangaroos are causing havoc on many Gippsland farms and local roads and not enough is being done to ensure Victoria’s kangaroo population is managed in a sustainable way.”
Mr O’Brien said The Nationals' kangaroo pet food scheme is a practical measure to address Victoria’s kangaroo problem.
"It made no sense that kangaroos could be culled but their carcasses had to be buried. That's still the case in Gippsland and the scheme should be extended to here.
“It reduces waste, reduces pest pressure on local farms and creates local jobs. Extending the scheme to Gippsland would make it more attractive for professionals to assist with culling in our region."
Mr O'Brien said the scheme would not change the number of kangaroos culled, only help landholders in culling efforts and utilise a valuable resource.
According to VicRoads crash data, there have been 797 collisions with animals resulting in injury or fatality in Victoria over the last five years.
Mr O’Brien said kangaroo numbers are very high in some areas, harming local farms and making our roads dangerous and more needs to be done.
“Extending this scheme across all regional local government areas in Victoria and making it permanent is one step the government should be taking,” Mr O’Brien said.
“I call on the Andrews Labor Government to make the kangaroo pet food licence system a permanent program for all of Victoria.”