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.

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.

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  • Marion Friedl

    Stop slaughtering kangaroos for good!!! It´s a shame that their meat´s even exported to Europe (Germany here) in the meantime, and that some humans think it´s an exclusive delicatesse, I´ve been Veggie for 31 years so far, but even if I ate meat I´d never eat kangaroo meat, these animals´re fascinating, great mothers too, and don´t do any harm to anyone!!!

  • Who eats there there country’s national Emblem any way?
    Leave our Kangaroos off the menu ffs
    Live Export now kangaroos we are turning into a 3rd world country of shame.

  • Janet Kenelley

    This is yet another demonstration of government ineptitude…the government and its departments MUST STOP using killing animals for the sake of a quick fix…there a must be respect for animals and the environment…human interference has resulted in destruction of precious wildlife and the environment!!

  • Per aiutare tutti gli animali

  • vita brunetti

    Please save the Kangaroos,don’t eat them!!!

  • 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.

  • Ximena Suarez Lopez


  • Anneke Andries

    barbaric trade, needs to stop now!

  • I could not agree more, mans selfish greed is the main cause of all species extinction or decline in this country. I hope the government wakes up to this before it’s too late but I fear not

  • Chantal Buslot

    To support the kangaroo industry you have to subscribe to this culture of blame.

    It is power, economics, self interest and the suspension of truth which increasingly drives society – all societies – and Australia is no different. To exploit or destroy humans or animals en masse you first have to demonise them and present them as a threat or create an artificial need, as in the case of livestock farming. It then requires only a small, additional step to begin the slaughter but once it starts it develops a momentum and a life of its own.
    As a nation, the course Australia has chosen is based on short-term financial and political expedients which will eventually lead to disaster. The same is true for most other countries but because of Australia’s unique and fragile environment, it will be one of the first to hit the buffers. Eventually, it will not be just the kangaroos who pay the price. If kangaroos were a genuine threat, the industry would have had no need to manufacture excuses in order to justify the slaughter.

    The original excuse for kangaroo killing was ‘damage mitigation’ – polite words for pest control. However, it wasn’t helped by the industry’s own scientists. First, CSIRO showed that wheat crop damage was a myth and that kangaroos aren’t keen on any farm crops and can’t thrive on them (1). A study of the kangaroo killing zones quickly revealed that kangaroos are largely commercially shot in areas where which produce almost no crops and account for only 10 per cent of Australia’s meat production. Despite this, the excuses shifted to grazing – kangaroos have to be killed so that sheep can prosper.

    If there was any doubt left that kangaroos are pests and compete with sheep, it was finally laid to rest by Gordon Grigg, the man who first encouraged the slaughter with his bible, The Commercial Harvesting of Kangaroos in Australia. It had previously been claimed that one kangaroo equalled one sheep in its grazing demands, forgetting to add that at about 100 million, the actual number of sheep far outstrips even the most ambitious estimate for kangaroos.

    It is important to recognize that while the kangaroo industry was originally a response to the pest problem caused by these animals it has now come to exist in its own right as the user of a renewable natural resource and thus serves its own interests.

    Don’t be fooled by protests that kangaroos are shot because they compete with grazing animals – this mass slaughter is purely and simply a commercial kill of Australian wildlife. Some skins and meat products are used domestically (60 to 70 % of kangaroo meat goes into the Australian pet food market), and the rest is exported to 55 countries as leather or meat for human consumption. Kangaroo leather is widely used in the manufacture of sporting shoes and gloves as well as in dress shoes and accessory manufacture.

    Read the following articles :

  • stop this barbarity now!

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