Victorian kangaroo pet food trial – to be broadened

More than 23,900 kangaroo carcasses have been processed for pet food in Victoria, under the trial so far, which started in 2014. The government recently decided to extend the trial for another two years.

The trial operates in 12 council areas, but councillors and farmers from other regions have urged the government to do more to address kangaroo numbers, citing the negative impact they are having on farms and the dangers they pose to motorists.

Now, the trail will include Bendigo and the Glenelg Shires, where it is believed that kangaroo populations have increased.

Reports from the City of Greater Bendigo indicate that hundreds of kangaroos are killed each year in that municipality after being struck by cars.

However, human population growth is being ignored in the strategy, and assessment!  The City of Greater Bendigo population forecast for 2016 is 112,853, and is forecast to grow to 156,151 by 2036.  This will bring more habitat loss to native animals, more traffic on roads, and more collisions.

Environment Minister Lisa Neville said the trial had not led to more kangaroos being destroyed.

“This doesn’t result in more kangaroos being culled, what it does is result in better management of the carcasses to reduce that waste and vermin,” she said.  So, they carcasses are just “wastage” and need to be commercially utilized, as an alternative to actually mitigating the problem!

Most of the kangaroos that are shot are on agricultural land.  Farmers are intolerant about sharing pasture.

It’s a de-facto commercial kangaroo meat industry in Victoria, something that was rejected decades ago as being unsustainable, and ethically questionable.

An early 1980s C.S.I.R.O. study questioned the whole basis of kangaroo management and commercialization in Victoria, and the principle of issuing agricultural wildlife destruction permits under the Wildlife Act 1975.  A “National kangaroo Management Program” working group met in 1981, and it was determined that Victoria could not meet most of the requirements of the Plan, and that commercial shooting should cease.

Our government does not know how many kangaroos there are, and extinction is a process, not an event.  Instead of mitigating the problem, our native animals are vilified as “pests”, only valuable as meat!


Letter in The Age, 27th February, 2016


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Environment Minister Lisa Neville’s comment that kangaroos in Victoria are being killed “humanely” and under “strict conditions” (The Age, 25/2) is misleading. When mother kangaroos are shot, their joeys are killed or left to starve or die from predation. Many kangaroos are shot and do not die immediately, suffering internal injuries and having body parts blown off.

More than a decade ago, the CSIRO conducted a study into the viability of commercially killing kangaroos in Victoria and found there were not enough to sustain an industry. Victoria has even fewer kangaroos now.

Australia wide, up to 5million kangaroos are allowed to be shot every year – the largest slaughter of land-based wildlife in the world. If current rates continue, the icon of Australia faces extinction.


Anne Skelly,


Australian Wildlife Protection Council

AWPC President, Maryland Wilson, says that numbers are no guarantee against extinction; look at the carrier pigeon in the USA.   Victoria has never had a commercial ‘roo industry because it does not have enough kangaroos to sustain one. They are universally loved, making them exceptional.                                                                                                                               Lisa Neville’s DNRE does not know how many kangaroos there are in Victoria, but it is her job to protect this ‘protected’ species!

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