Nationals’ deer policy to benefit local jobs
23 March 2018
Pet food processors at Stanhope and Seymour are set to benefit from a new plan to include deer in Victoria’s kangaroo pet food program.
The Nationals have promised to include deer in the program to control numbers and support local jobs if they are elected to government later this year.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said The Nationals recognised the role hunters play in controlling problem deer numbers.
“Expanding the program to include deer will support local jobs at Seymour and Stanhope,” Ms Ryan said.
“Not only are deer a real problem in the high country and areas like Tatong, but numbers have increased to such an extent that they are now being found in vineyards in the Strathbogie Ranges,” Ms Ryan said.
“We have already announced we will make the kangaroo pet food trial permanent and extend it across the state. Expanding it to include deer meat makes sense.”
Ms Ryan said currently hunters were only allowed to take what they could consume themselves.
“Our policy reduces waste, reduces pest pressure on local farms and the environment and creates local jobs.”
Record numbers of deer were hunted in 2016, with Victoria’s 35,000 licenced hunters recording nearly 100,000 deer – almost twice the average since 2009. In the same year, deer hunters contributed $142.1 million for Victoria’s economy.
Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said including deer meat in the pet food program would be good for regional jobs.
“Daniel Andrews is standing in the way of new regional industry because he is scared of growing support for the Greens in Labor’s inner-city electorates,” Mr Walsh said.
“The pet food program is common sense. It makes use of a resource that would otherwise go to waste, creating jobs and investment in regional communities.
“Only the Liberal Nationals support our hunters and will give our pet food processors investment certainty by making the kangaroo pet food trial permanent and expanding the program to include deer.”
Both the Australian Deer Association and the Victorian Farmers Federation have expressed support for expanding the pet food industry to include deer.