Tag Archives: Authority to Control Wildlife

Kangaroo cull approved for next to the Carlisle River Wildlife Shelter

Carlisle River Wildlife Shelter’s Ron and Carola Anstis are heartbroken to learn animals they had spent years caring for were being shot dead thanks to approval from the State Government.

Embedded conflicts of interests exist within the State government because they have responsibilities for both administering the Wildlife Act, to protect native species, AND for administering permits to kill them! (Authority to Control Wildlife permits).

They are the only wildlife shelter in the area that cared for Eastern Grey Kangaroos, between Geelong and Warrnambool, and that’s a big area. However, the area is too small to share with wildlife, and some narrow-minded people still want to access firearms, and kill them. The Anstises take in pouch young we care for them for about two years and spend more than $1000 on each.

Ron Anstis said “we just told the department we can’t put that much into it only for them to allow someone else to kill it. This is the same department that issue us our wildlife licence.” So the same Government Department, (Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning- DELWP), that issues wildlife licences, is the same department that issues killing permits.

Ron and Carola have no ability to fight that permit what so ever, and there is no appeals process to allow residents to dispute cull permits where required.


The Department admits they have no data or records on how many native animals in Victoria, of most species, except for anecdotal evidence.

The government officer was satisfied that the landholder had explored available nonlethal management measures, such as maintenance and improvement to boundary fencing, prior to applying for the ATCW. “The officer also confirmed that the kangaroos were causing damage to pasture from overgrazing….” Wonder if they’ve assessed if it’s been “overgrazed” from overstocking of livestock and/or feral animals?

Two rabbits eat the same amount as a kangaroo and a cow with a calf at foot will eat as much as 30 kangaroos; DELWP should be required to explain to the applicant the dietary differences between kangaroos and cattle so that the applicant can be properly informed about the amount of competition for pasture that actually exists,” Mr Anstis said.

The couple left a rescued joey at government office in protest over a kangaroo cull permit at their neighbour’s property.

The Anstises were forced to leave eight-month-old Angel at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning offices in Colac on Tuesday. Anstises had decided to stop rescuing and rehabilitating joeys and injured eastern grey kangaroos because of the contradictory action by DELWP of giving their neighbour permission to legally cull 60 roos! The neighbours want to improve their pastures, the cheap way.

The couple, with 23 years of experience in wildlife care, is calling for state government change that would see exclusion zones around wildlife shelters to prevent the allocation of culling permits.

Victoria, the most cleared and damaged State, has lost it’s balance, and has no place for EGK! Livestock, infrastructure, land clearing, roads, urbanisation and liberal distribution of ATCW means these iconic native kangaroos are doomed to be left to die, if found as joeys, in the large area of Victoria that the Anstises served.

Share This:

Pet food “trail” of kangaroo meat inevitably a success!

About 71,000 kangaroos across Victoria have been used to make pet food as part of the trial to reduce waste from legal culling. The trial – which covers 16 local government areas including Southern Grampians and Glenelg shires – is due to end in March next year. The initial two-year trial was extended by two years – was it ever going to be questioned, or abandoned?

So the liberal distribution of Authority to Control (kill) Wildlife (ATCW) has inadvertently produced “waste” kangaroo meat? The kangaroos causing alleged “damage” to land-holders’ property can be shot and instead of being left to rot, and waste, can now produced meat for pets? How convenient? Rather than damage-control, sounds more like an industry thinly disguised as Management!

The word “cull” is a misnomer too. It’s a word to describe to kill the weaker animals in a group in order to reduce their numbers. To save remaining herds and habitat… (Collins English Dictionary). On the contrary, this killing is about profits, of killing the best of the stock, not weaker animals. The best pet food would not be those that are dying and sick, but healthy, visible and viable as a commercial product!

Victorian Pet Food Processors operations manager David Preece said “the trial had provided jobs for about 25 people and provided other workers with more hours.” So it was inevitable that the so-called “trial” would be successful, due to economic benefits and jobs?

The intent of this kangaroo pet meat trial has nothing to do with environmental values, conservation, animals welfare, protection of our ancient and iconic species, or touristic revenues. It’s about $$$ and denuding the State of “pest” kangaroos!

DELWP and Primesafe claim that … “the trial is not intended to increase the number of kangaroos controlled, rather it is to reduce the waste of carcasses from kangaroos that would have been controlled regardless of the trial…”  So, the fact that land-holders, shooters and processors and the rest of the supply chain are rewarded economically has nothing to do with the increased number of kangaroos being “controlled”?

Magnanimously, on its website, DELWP said kangaroo populations were managed to “prevent crashing — or dying in large numbers from starvation ­during droughts — to prevent damage to vulnerable native vegetation and habitat from overgrazing, to allow heavily grazed areas to regenerate or to protect water catchments”.  So they *might starve*, so kill them first?

Back in 2016, 25,000 roos were set to be “managed”, but now it’s 71,000?  According to The Age article, the number of Eastern Grey kangaroos allowed to be killed in Victoria had more than doubled in the two years the government has permitted the commercial processing of kangaroo meat. 

DELWP and Primesafe claim that “the trial does not change the requirement for a landholder applying for an ATCW to demonstrate that kangaroos are causing damage to their property….”  Just now many compliant officers are available to check the properties of each ATCW applicant and recommend alternative, non-lethal control methods?

(Hon Liliana (Lily) D'Ambrosio, Minister for Energy, Environment)and Climate Change)
The kangaroo meat ‘trial’ was never meant to be scrapped, or really be a ‘trail”, but a method  of introducing a commercial kangaroo meat industry into Victoria, by stealth!






Share This:

Victoria’s trial of kangaroo meat – more kangaroos to be slaughtered due to liberal distribution of killing (“control”) permits

Environment Minister Lisa Neville said there is no link between the number of permits issued and the number of kangaroos processed for pet food? 

Each year, DELWP authorizes the “control” (killing) of kangaroos to reduce damage to landowners.  They claim that all practical, non-lethal control options must be exhausted before authorizing the killing of the animals.

Despite this supposedly exhaustive policy, the number of Eastern Grey kangaroos allowed to be killed in Victoria has more than doubled in the two years the government has permitted the commercial processing of kangaroo meat! Once any form of native animal management becomes a commercial venture, there will be more kangaroos to lethally “manage”.   It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy.

These control permits have no requirement for shooting-skills testing for landholders, nor routine monitoring.  Amateur, or infrequent shooters, are likely to cause tremendous injuries, and suffering, rather than clean, instant killings.

Despite “very, very, strict conditions” of this trial, nobody knows how many kangaroos there are in Victoria, so an expanding pet food trade is assuming inexhaustible supplies of meat!

“I do not accept that kangaroos destroy crops, compete for pasture and destroy the environment; AWPC will prove that it is more financially viable to protect kangaroos, the environment and other species.

“It is very easy to make wild assumptions and put it forward as a fact. I do not accept that kangaroos destroy crops, compete for pasture and destroy the environment. I hear and see these claims all the time, however I never see any evidence (scientific or financial) to prove these claims.

“It is my belief that our wildlife and their habitat bears the brunt of very poor land management practices. Unfortunately it would seem if you have enough money, there is always a way to destroy habitat and wildlife, more commonly known as ATCW permits and Native Vegetation Offsets.”

Craig Thomson – AWPC Planning Officer


(image: In 1998, Viva!’s director Juliet Gellatley visited Australia and created a storm of controversy - doing about 50 media interviews and a press conference at Canberra’s Houses of Parliament - filmed live on national and regional TV news.  http://www.savethekangaroo.com/campaign-history)

There are glaring conflicts of interests, in DELWP being the protector of wildlife, administers of the Wildlife Act, and at the same time distributing landholders Authority to Control (“cull”) Wildlife (ATCW) to destroy them. The reason given for giving out ATCWs is because landholders claim that kangaroos can “destroy crops” and cause “economic hardship”.

With commercial interests involved, and the seemingly “pest”-control basis of the ATCWs, more of them are likely to be requested and issued – based on industry and monetary gain from the pet food industry! It then becomes an introduction of a commercial kangaroo meat industry for Victoria, by stealth, something that was denounced by previous governments, and the CSIRO, back in the early 1980s as being unsustainable – due to insufficient animals, and intensive farming.

There is a lack of transparency, and a Review process with stakeholders, to question the validity and thoroughness of the issuing process

How frequently and regularly do site inspectors actually, and exhaustively, advise landholders of alternative measure to avoid lethal controls?

Without wildlife corridors, just how much land is safe, connected and reserved for wildlife, even “common” animals such as kangaroos, numbers can decline – and there are many cases of once common animals becoming extinct?

The Victorian fires in 2008, and since, has claimed the lives of huge numbers of wildlife.

Tragically, thousands of kangaroos and other wildlife are killed or injured in road accidents each year. Kangaroos feed in the early morning and late afternoon at dusk and are often hit when crossing from one part of a grazing area to another on the opposite side of the road. In the years ended 30 June 2015 and 2014 Wildlife Victoria recorded over 6,000 animals hit by vehicles in the state of Victoria with the two preceding years recording 4,655 and 3,801 respectively.

Minister Peter Walsh said that he “did not expect the processing of Victorian kangaroos to lead to any more kangaroos being killed in Victoria, but once there’s monetary gain from the carcasses, there’s no limit to how many landholders will see kangaroos as agricultural “pests” – and have them lethally “managed”.

(The Age, March 19, 2014)


The number of Eastern Grey kangaroos allowed to be killed in Victoria has more than doubled in the two years the government has permitted the commercial processing of kangaroo meat. (The Age, March 10, 2016) We suggest that this increase is no accident, but motivated by the $1.4 million pet food trade.

Without knowing just how many kangaroos in Victoria at any time, and assuming fluctuations due to climatic conditions, it remains a subjective and arbitrary assessment to what level of killings is sustainable.

With declining numbers of kangaroos in NSW, their interests are in extending the industry to Victoria.


What statistics is this Government basing their figures and their assumption that Victoria is able to sustain the slaughter of up to 70,000 kangaroos each year? Prior to this trial it was accepted that the annual number of Kangaroos shot under permit was around 30,000, but there has never been a comprehensive count of kangaroos in Victoria because the terrain makes it too difficult.

Councils can see an opportunity to add to their coffers, and thus support a “cull”.

Applicants for a ATCW do not pay a fee. The cost falls onto Victorian tax payers. If landholders were required to pay for their permits and numbers issued would be drastically reduced.

Share This:

Wildlife carers quitting after 30 years due to DELWP’s hostility towards kangaroos

Kangaroos nursed back to health after a planned fire escalated out of control now face a cull on the orders of the same department that ordered the burn. The very same department, DELWP, responsible for the care of wildlife, actually turned tail and permitted a “cull” of kangaroos, despite being tirelessly and lovingly nursed back to health by wildlife carers!

After a planned burn that started the Lancefield fire, they approved a six-month culling permit for the owner of a property that borders the shelter  – because of “damage caused by the kangaroos to the land”, where he runs sheep, and fences.  Surely more “damage” would be done by sheep than kangaroos?  However, the latter animals are economic assets, whereas kangaroos only have economic value when dead – for the pet meat trade!

The Authority to Control Wildlife permit application was approved, thanks to the farmer citing his desire to repasturise the land.  So, he can’t live harmoniously with native animals than have a minimal impact on grasslands?  This farmer got the go ahead to kill kangaroos on his property, which neighbours the Macedon Ranges (Victoria) Pastoria East Wildlife Shelter“All of the wild kangaroos here have been through that fire, they’ve all been impacted by it. They’ve lost habitat and food, they’ve been traumatised,” owner Christine Litchfield said.

Wildlife carers Ms Litchfield and Mr Ward say they are bemused by the department’s “heartbreaking” decision, considering DELWP formerly praised the work of the pair and wanted photos for an internal magazine!

“… Keep in mind we’re in a conservation zone, we are up against a large crown land forest. The idea that you’re going to kill kangaroos to stop this problem is unlikely to work completely,” Marcus Ward said.  What part of “conservation” do DELWP not understand?  What sort of Department, except an Orwellian one, would endorse the care and protection of wildlife – injured by their own “controlled burn” that got out of control – and also permit their “cull”?


Wildlife carers say they cannot continue to nurse injured kangaroos back to health only to risk having them shot by a neighbouring farmer once they are released.  These amazing people spend their own time and money on compassion and care for injured animals, only to have them lethally “managed”!  Marcus Ward, owner of the Pastoria East Wild Life Shelter, says he will have to close his doors after 30 years.

Under such a contradictory and twisted State government Department, presumably meant to be responsible for our wildlife, administer the Wildlife Act 1975, but at the same time approve of “culls” and the kangaroo meat industry in Victoria!  They can’t be the carers, conservationists and the killers at the same time – they are deeply embedded in conflicts of interests.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) decided not to prosecute the neighbouring property owner for animal cruelty, after kangaroos were shot in the body and left to bleed to death.  So, what and when do they actually do to protect wildlife in Victoria?


“We can’t continue… knowing any animal that comes here is under risk,” Mr Ward said.

“That won’t change until we’re confident the culling won’t proceed.”  Without Macedon Ranges’ Pastoria East Wildlife Shelter, Mr Ward said rescuers had few local options for shelters to take kangaroos.

“The shelter in Kilmore is overloaded from the area, and the one in Hepburn that we rely on a lot closed their doors to any new animals last week,” he said.

Native animals, especially kangaroos, are enemies of Victoria, and land-holders – apparently.   The facade that DELWP have any care of responsibility for native animals is becoming thinner and they are being exposed as more interested in commercial kangaroo meat – and cleansing the State of our iconic native animals – in the name of “progress” and profits!


PETITION: Call of plan to “cull” kangaroos


Share This: