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Culled kangaroos to be harvested in Victoria for pet food sale

Since 2000, almost 35 million kangaroos have been 'harvested' in Australia's four other mainland states.

Since 2000, almost 35 million kangaroos have been 'harvested' in Australia's four other mainland states. Photo: Dean Osland

Kangaroos will be shot and processed for commercial pet food sale for the first time in Victoria under a two-year trial that could value the 69,000 kangaroos killed annually in Victoria at about $1.4 million.

The trial, to be announced on Wednesday and begin on March 31, will only involve kangaroos that would have been killed anyway under wildlife control permits.

The government said it has no plans to extend the trial to use kangaroo meat for the dinner table.

Graphic: Jamie Brown

Graphic: Jamie Brown

Since 2000, almost 35 million kangaroos have been ''harvested'' in Australia's four other mainland states for table meat and leather products, with exports to more than 55 countries.

The trial commercial use of culled kangaroos in Victoria will include only the eastern grey and western grey and does not alter the state's protected species status of kangaroos - meaning it is illegal to kill kangaroos without a permit.

The RSPCA is on the record as opposing the commercial use of kangaroos culled in Victoria, with concerns animal welfare considerations could become secondary.

The government said under the trial, kangaroos must be killed by shooters listed on the permit and only kangaroos killed with a single shot to the head will be processed.

Each kangaroo is expected to fetch about $20 at the meat processor.

Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh said he did not expect the processing of Victorian kangaroos to lead to any more kangaroos being killed in Victoria.

‘‘It will not mean any increase in the wildlife control permits at all, it is just utilising the waste that is there from the current controls,’’ he said.
Mr Walsh said the shot kangaroos would only be used for pet food and there were no plans to use kangaroos culled in Victoria for table meat.

‘‘This is not about eating Victorian kangaroos; this is about utilising the waste from wildlife," he said.

‘‘Currently those people who control kangaroos under a wildlife permit have to bury them, so it is about utilising what is effectively waste,’’ he said.

The government said it would monitor the number of wildlife control applications to prevent a spike in applications from the new industry.

Roly Rivett, owner of Victorian Petfood Processors in Camperdown, said the company’s Hay plant in New South Wales was processing 1000 kangaroos a week for pet food sales in Victoria and the east coast.

He said it was a waste to leave culled kangaroos lying in paddocks.

‘‘We have markets,’’ he said.

21 comments so far

  • An abomination.

    Commenter
    Robusto
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 19, 2014, 10:47AM
    • No more an abomination that any animal killed for consumption, by humans or otherwise. You condone it, like passively buying packaged meat at the supermarket, or you don't, and are vegetarian.

      Death is the unavoidable reality. Get on board or don't. But spurious emotional arguments about which species is okay to be consumed and by whom (or what, in the case of pet food) are redundant.

      We can only draw the line at insisting on a humane death.

      Commenter
      siglo dos
      Date and time
      March 19, 2014, 12:01PM
  • Unfortunately for anyone who thinks this is not good - there are only two solutions - humans move out of animals' habitation, or you move animals out of human habitation
    You can armchair protest, join groups and be upset - but if you live in the real world, you will value human life. The kangaroo sadly as anyone who thinks it is a dear little creature, has been breeding in a country where humans live. So we move out of Australia or become real.

    Commenter
    Marty
    Location
    Melb
    Date and time
    March 19, 2014, 11:11AM
    • Well, that's just simple-minded. Thinking at that level will never produce fair and workable solutions to environmental and wildlife problems like this.

      Commenter
      Robusto
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 19, 2014, 11:19AM
    • "The kangaroo sadly as anyone who thinks it is a dear little creature, has been breeding in a country where humans live".
      Think it is the humans that have been breeding in a country where kangaroos live. Pretty sure they were here first, and for a hell of a lot longer too. But hey, humans have guns and will shoot from a long distance away. Cowardly, for sure, but humans must have their McMansions and big-screen tvs, and that must take precedence over an animals home.

      Commenter
      The Other Guy
      Location
      Geelong
      Date and time
      March 19, 2014, 12:02PM
    • @Marty is 100% correct. We live in the northern belt of Melbourne and if I go for a walk around block I will on average see 200-300 roos and 5-6 roadkill roos... new every day. We had 15 roos at our backdoor this morning. Last year we didn't have 6 on our block ALL year. Now we have multiple every day. They are a pest, they need to be culled. Don't worry greenies, more humane than seeing one limp away with broken legs from a car accident (saw this 2 days ago). Easy to whinge when sitting in a cafe in city.

      Commenter
      CullTime
      Date and time
      March 19, 2014, 12:02PM
  • If they are going to be culled, might as well use them. Roo does taste nice after all.

    Commenter
    Richard
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 19, 2014, 11:14AM
    • These Kangaroos are not for human consumption, they are being slaughtered to feed cats and dogs.

      Commenter
      Cienwen
      Date and time
      March 19, 2014, 12:28PM
  • The abomination in my eyes would be if the animals that are being culled are left to rot. I am not an expert on the necessity of culling, but if we are going to do it, we might as well do it productively as possible.

    Commenter
    Ronald
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 19, 2014, 11:14AM
    • I agree. An abomination these animals were being thrown away.

      Commenter
      Rational
      Date and time
      March 19, 2014, 11:15AM

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