A state government initiative to control kangaroo numbers by using the meat for pet food processing is set to expire on March 31.
Countrywide Pet Foods owner Michael Scales said the lack of information from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) about the future of the trial had caused uncertainty.
‘We’ve had meetings with various people from the department and they can’t tell us because it is up to the minister to make a decision on what happens to the trial based on the recommendations from DELWP,” Mr Scales said.
“During the last meeting we had around September last year, we were told we would find out more information around January and February this year, that’s far too late.”
The trial was initially launched in 2014 and included multiple local government areas and was extended in September 2016 to include Greater Bendigo and Loddon.
Mr Scales said there are people who had been issued an Authority to Control Wildlife (ATCW) and the management of kangaroos had become a form of self-employment.
“They have all been asking me about the future of the trial and of course we have no ability to give them answers in regards to what will happen when it concludes in March.”
“We need an answer from the government as to what is going to happen, it just keeps dragging on.”
DELWP issues an ATCW to professional shooters for the management of kangaroos where they are detrimental to pasture, crops or other property, or affect the state’s biodiversity values.
ATCWs for kangaroos are issued on a case by case basis and non-lethal management measures must be attempted before lethal measures, restricted to shooting, are carried out.
A spokesperson for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio didn’t rule out continuing the trial.
“We know it is important to give businesses the certainty they are seeking and we will have more to say in due course,” the spokesperson said.