Stanhope pet food business wants kangaroo carcasses
18 September 2015
Friday 18 September 2015
Countrywide Petfoods Pty Ltd in Stanhope wants the state government’s trial allowing kangaroo carcasses to be used for pet food to be made permanent.
Business owner Michael Scales said this would allow him to fully employ an extra four people and would go a long way in addressing the issue of sustainable management of Kangaroos in Victoria.
Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh and Deputy Leader of The Nationals and Member for Euroa Steph Ryan were in Stanhope today to meet with Mr Scales and call on Labor to do something about kangaroo numbers.
“We are calling on Labor to increase the number of permits issued for kangaroos and to extend the previous Coalition Government’s kangaroo processing trial,” Ms Ryan said.
“I continue to be contacted by constituents concerned about the number of kangaroos on our roads, as well as on farmland.
“Making this trial permanent would benefit Victoria two fold by increasing employment opportunities, such as here in Stanhope, and by allowing for more control over the kangaroo population.”
Mr Scales said his business currently employed 40 full time equivalent staff and had been in operation close to 50 years, supplying meat for pets to Melbourne, Geelong, Sydney and Brisbane.
The business has processed over 2000 kangaroos since the Coalition introduced the trial, but with the trial coming to an end the business was now left in limbo.
“The government needs to provide clarity on whether or not the trial will be continued or made permanent,” Mr Scales said.
“We need to have that assurance so that we can make commitments to our investors and to our employees.
“We are keen to invest further in this part of the business and expand what we are doing but there is no point investing money unless we are going to see a return in the long run.”
Mr Scales said he would also like to see the trial extended to include all local government areas across regional Victoria.
“This would allow for a continuous, ongoing and sustainable management process across all of Victoria.”
Ms Ryan said the trial had also been the first real approach to understanding the Victorian kangaroo population and the number of kangaroos being controlled within the state.
“It is time the government took the issue seriously and did something about the problem,” Ms Ryan said.
“This is not about declaring ‘open season’ on kangaroos. It’s about taking sensible measures to manage the population.
“The government has an opportunity to create local employment while also ensuring that kangaroo numbers are sustainably managed.”