Farmers from across Victoria are telling us that the kangaroo populations are the worst they've ever seen.
The VFF Livestock Group has had dozens of calls about how the huge populations are eating valuable pasture and crops on farms and decimating native vegetation in state forests. Other farmers have to go out every second day to fix broken fences.
However, there is one business in town benefiting from the overpopulation of roos. Local panel beaters have seen an increase in business because of the high number of cars colliding with kangaroos on our roads.
Furthermore, the dry seasons are exacerbating the situation. Farmers are reporting high numbers of emaciated kangaroos in large mobs, all struggling over limited resources. Fortunately, there is a road-tested solution waiting to be implemented.
The kangaroo pet food trial has been running since 2014 and over five years it has clearly demonstrated its effectiveness in managing kangaroo populations, creating new business opportunities, and reducing pests attracted to carcasses.
We are calling on the Minister for Environment Lily D'Ambrosio to transition the trial into a permanent framework to ensure kangaroos are managed effectively. Victoria has been left behind as the only state without an approved management plan for commercial kangaroo harvesting. Without a formal framework, kangaroos will continue to plague our farms, reduce our productivity, and threaten road safety.
Considering the numbers we have in Victoria, it is crazy to think we import kangaroo meat for human consumption from SA and NSW. I urge the minister to consider how we can bring this sustainable meat to market in Victoria. We have an opportunity to sensibly manage the kangaroo population and support a viable business. We just need the government to act now.
- Leonard Vallance, VFF Livestock president