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Call for jump in kangaroo harvesting quota

05 February 2021

The Andrews Government is under pressure to increase the kangaroo harvesting quota for north east Victoria, as kangaroo numbers spike.

Speaking in Parliament this week, Member for Euroa and The Nationals’ deputy leader Steph Ryan said the quota for the north east zone – which includes 12 local government areas stretching from Campaspe and Bendigo in the west to Towong and the Alpine Shire in the east – had been set at just 8,060 for the coming year.

“The government’s own survey found that kangaroo numbers are at 2 million, an increase of 40 per cent since 2018,” Ms Ryan said.

“Allowing kangaroos to be harvested for human consumption is a sensible change, and one which I have advocated for years. Kangaroo is a lean meat that is rich in protein and environmentally sustainable.

“However, the government was clearly more concerned about politics than data when it set the quotas for the north east zone.

“If the quota was distributed evenly across each local government area, it would mean less than 60 kangaroos in each local government area would be harvested each month.

“That is a ridiculous figure for shires like Bendigo, Campaspe, Strathbogie and Benalla. Lumping Heathcote into the same zone as Corryong – when Heathcote has the highest number of motor vehicle collisions with kangaroos of anywhere in Victoria – is ludicrous.

“The quota set for the north east is simply not high enough to ensure a viable industry for harvesters or processors, and is not enough to manage kangaroos across our region.”

Ms Ryan said quotas for other zones such as Central and the Lower Wimmera were set at 25,000 for the same period.

“I appreciate that the government may be concerned about a political backlash if kangaroos are being shot in areas affected by last summer’s bushfires, but the reality is that the vast majority of the zone was unaffected by fire.

“Farmers are being forced to use shoot and drop permits to control numbers because the government has not been realistic about the quota. Some harvesters also believe the will have to look for alternative work.

“The Agriculture Minister needs to urgently review these limits,” Ms Ryan said.

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