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State Government to review kangaroo management

Victoria’s growing kangaroo problem could soon have a solution, with the State Government announcing an independent advisory group to look into methods of kangaroo management.

VFF Land Management Committee chair Gerald Leach said the organisation would lobby for a farmer to be a part of the mix once the group is officially appointed.

“We want to make sure agricultural impacts are considered and solutions are practical for farmers,”he said.

“Over the past year, both road safety and agricultural production have been significantly impacted by above average kangaroo numbers and we need to act to stop this.”

Gerald said the VFF had been contacted by farmers who have observed the climatic and kangaroo population changes, particularly to the North East to South West of Victoria.

“Where high population numbers interface with population areas, roads, crops and results for production, fencing and road safety have been significant,” he said.

“In drier periods, farmers feel the pinch because kangaroos consume nearly two thirds what a sheep does and some crops are already damaged from the weather variability.

“The VFF is urging the Government to reduce red tape in obtaining wildlife control permits.”

Along with the new advisory group, the Government also announced a two year extension of the pet food trial and its expansion into new areas of Victoria.

Gerald said farmers benefitted from a secure pet food industry and that the trial should not stop at jurisdictional boundaries of local government.

“The trial is a means of carcass disposal, but it’s important that the trial also provides market support across Victoria to help farmers manage waste from control activities,” he said.

“It’s important that additional areas are determined in consultation with the Government with control activities being undertaken.

“We need to ensure that the trial captures environmental conditions that are causing higher than normal populations and integrating with urban and agricultural areas.”

The Government appointed Kangaroo management advisory group should consider the effectiveness and cost benefits of encouraging kangaroo fencing adjoining public parks, streamlining wildlife control permits, and ensuring control practices and market drivers from the pet food trial are effective in reducing numbers.

Tracking population numbers is also important to help understand public problem impacting different biodiversity assets, road safety and agricultural production in Victoria.

“Overpopulation of kangaroos is a significant land management problem that requires attention for a broad range of community, economic and environmental reasons,” Gerald said.

The VFF intends to lobby for increased funding for government interagency responses.

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