Kangaroo pet food trials should be permanent: Purcell

Delays in issuing permit tags to landowners is compromising the success of the Kangaroo Pet Food trial according to Western District MP James Purcell.

In Parliament last week Mr Purcell asked the government to speed up the process and consider making the trial a permanent program to assist with controling plague like levels of kangaroos across Western Victoria.

"The vast majority of kangaroo carcasses controlled under the Authority to Control Wildlife permit system are wasted; either left to decay onsite or buried by farmers," said Mr Purcell.

"The trial has created some 30 jobs within the pet food industry and for professional shooters in the area, but these aren't secure because of the trial status. If we make it a permanent program it gives the industry an incentive to improve the processes."

The trail was first introduced in 2014 and extended to include additional areas, including Glenelg, in 2016.

However, Mr Purcell says what appears to be a very sensible solution has been poorly managed.

"The trial was recently extended until March next year, but the decision to extend was left until the very last minute, putting jobs at risk and adding more delays.

"Each year it takes the department so long to issue tags for the program that paddocks are too wet for shooters to get in, so the 12 month season then becomes a three to six month season," he said.

Some kangaroo population measurements had shown an increase in kangaroo population in trial areas because concentrated culling meant new populations move into the trial areas during this “off” season.

"The trial needs to be permanent  and statewide to allow landowners, shooters and the pet food industry can develop independent programs that ensure a continual and sustainable culling process," he said.

ENDS