Jobs, farmers at risk as kangaroo scheme set to end
21 March 2019
Euroa MP and The Nationals deputy leader Steph Ryan has hit out at the Andrews Labor Government saying its refusal to renew the kangaroo pet food scheme is threatening local jobs and making life harder for farmers already under pressure from drought.
Knackeries in both Seymour and Stanhope have been utilising kangaroo carcasses for pet food since the program was first introduced by The Nationals in 2014.
Farmers across the region who are struggling with kangaroo numbers have also been calling on the government to provide certainty.
Ms Ryan said the scheme, which formally expires under regulation next Sunday, had already been shut down after the Andrews Government stopped issuing tags to licenced shooters several months ago.
“This government hasn’t been brave enough to come out and tell farmers it won’t be renewing the scheme, instead shutting it down by stealth,” Ms Ryan said.
“This risks local jobs and placing farmers who are struggling with drought under more pressure as they try to cope with increased kangaroo numbers.”
Ms Ryan said tough conditions had made the program even more important.
“Kangaroo numbers have increased as a result of improved pasture but as conditions worsen, there’s a real risk that they will begin to starve,” Ms Ryan said.
“Farmers cannot afford to carry hundreds of kangaroos when they are struggling to feed their stock.
“Labor’s refusal to front up and tell people that they care more about placating inner city greenies then they do helping rural communities who are suffering from drought conditions disgusts me.”
The kangaroo pet food scheme was established to manage kangaroo numbers and to utilise the carcasses of culled roos. Without a scheme in place, kangaroos culled under an authority to kill wildlife permit will be left to rot in paddocks.
“Labor MPs need to get out of the city and make an effort to understand the pressure people are under,” Ms Ryan said.
“For the sake of our farming communities, I call on the Andrews Government to show some guts and reinstate this program before it expires.”