Local farmers excluded from kangaroo pet food trial
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien has called on the Labor Government to extend the Kangaroo Pet Food Trial to Gippsland to assist local farmers and landholders.
Mr O’Brien said it was disappointing the Melbourne Labor Government had last week opened up the program to four additional areas, but Gippsland was not included.
Mr O’Brien said the trial was established by The Nationals in Government for an initial two year period and following extensive lobbying by National Party MPs, the program has been extended.
“Before this program was implemented, kangaroo carcasses could not be used for meat and had to be buried. The Nationals took a common sense approach by allowing the meat to at least be used for pet food. Other states already have an industry for human consumption.
“This trial has not increased the total number of kangaroos permitted to be harvested under licence, but it has made it easier for some landowners to deal with problem kangaroos while delivering economic returns for the regions,” Mr O’Brien said.
“I’ve had a number of primary producers whose farms are being severely impacted by kangaroos contact me and as a result I asked the government to extend the trial to Gippsland.
“The rejection of this idea by Labor’s Environment Minister shows that her city-centric government has little regard for or understanding of the issues facing farmers in Gippsland.”
Mr O’Brien said processing kangaroo carcasses for pet food rather than burying them stopped unnecessary waste, created local jobs and a new niche market for high quality pet food.
“My Nationals colleagues who have had the trial running in their electorates for the past two years have endorsed the program and have seen first-hand the benefits of it,” Mr O’Brien said.
“I challenge the Andrew’s Labor Government to stand up to the inner city Greens and put country people first for once by making the kangaroo pet food licence system a permanent program across the whole state.”