Victoria’s new permanent Kangaroo Harvesting Program puts the Sustainable Use of Wildlife on a pedestal. In contrast to the Authority to Control Wildlife system (which will run concurrently with the Kangaroo Harvesting Program), the new program will minimise wastage and ensure that harvested animals are put to good use.
The Program replaces the Kangaroo Pet Food Trial. Unlike the Pet Food Trial which was predicated on taking the waste from culling, the new program is predicated on establishing a sustainable Kangaroo harvesting industry in Victoria.
Kangaroos, like all wildlife, can become overabundant and have detrimental impacts given the right circumstances. The new program seeks to manage Kangaroos using sound wildlife management principles.
Under the program accredited shooters will now be able to harvest kangaroos and have carcasses processed for pet food by licensed businesses.
To ensure kangaroos are managed in a sustainable way, seven harvest zones have been designated, covering areas with significant numbers of kangaroos. An allocated number of kangaroos will be able to be harvested in each zone by shooters accredited with the program, using a tag system.
A maximum total harvest will be set by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning for each harvest zone based on state-wide kangaroo population surveys. These quotas will be updated annually to reflect changes in wildlife numbers and to ensure a sustainable Victorian kangaroo population.
Kangaroo is an excellent game meat and it is hoped that efforts will be made to extend the parameters of the program to allow for human consumption.