The Victorian Government's trial to allow the use of kangaroo meat resulting from authorised wildlife control activities to be processed into pet food has been extended to 30 September 2019.
During the extension period, the Victorian Government will develop a regulatory framework, including a Kangaroo Management Plan, to support the sustainable operation of an ongoing kangaroo pet food program in Victoria. The new program will operate from 1 October 2019.
While kangaroos are protected in Victoria, there are situations where kangaroos can cause damage which can negatively affect Victorian farmers, regional communities and biodiversity. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) issues Authority to Control Wildlife (ATCWs) under section 28A of the Wildlife Act 1975 for the control of kangaroos where they are demonstrated to be damaging pasture, crops or other property or impacting on biodiversity values.
Wherever possible, DELWP advocates non-lethal management of kangaroos. Where non-lethal techniques are ineffective or impractical, lethal control may be necessary.
The vast majority of kangaroo carcasses from kangaroos controlled under an ATCW are buried or left onsite to decompose.
The Victorian Government commenced a Kangaroo Pet Food Trial (KPFT) in March 2014 to allow the use of kangaroo carcasses resulting from authorised control activities to be processed for pet food. It has been extended twice to test its sustainability over a longer period and to see whether changes to compliance, monitoring and education would address issues that arose. It will now operate until 30 September 2019, after which an ongoing kangaroo pet food program will commence.
The further extension of the trial will not change the requirement for landholders applying for an ATCW to demonstrate that kangaroos are causing damage to their property. The trial is not for the purposes of population control and kangaroos are not harvested under the trial specifically for pet food.
All participants in the trial must adhere to the Wildlife Act 1975. Participating professional shooters are also required to adhere to strict conditions consistent with the National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos to ensure that kangaroos are controlled humanely. There are severe penalties for non-compliance with the Act and the conditions.
More information is available here