THE Kangaroo Harvesting Program has drawn criticism from wildlife groups, and praise from shooters.
The program allows accredited shooters to harvest kangaroos and licensed processors to use the carcasses for pet food from Tuesday.
Australian Society for Kangaroos president Nikki Sutterby said it was devastating that the pet food program had been approved.
Ms Sutterby said it was distressing to know Victoria would lose its kangaroos.
She called for an enquiry into the entire industry, saying kangaroo numbers were "catastrophically low" across Australia.
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning studies found the number of kangaroos approved for control increased sharply in areas where the pet food trial program was instituted.
Ms Sutterby said shooters killed joeys in cruel ways after shooting their mothers.
She said Kangaroos were important as Australia's primary herbivore
"[Kangaroos are] an integral part of our environment, and they need to be there. But this industry, and agriculture is decimating them," Ms Sutterby said.
Kangaroo shooter Glenn Cole thought differently. My Cole said the program as announced looked like it would be very workable.
The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions will run the program, for which DELWP will set the quota of kangaroos. DELWP ran the trial program.
"The way that DELWP did it, the system was extremely slow. This new system is streamlined, and it's going make it easier for the landholder and the shooter," Mr Cole said.
Mr Cole said kangaroos needed to be controlled, as kangaroos had "bred up" because property owners in Australia made conditions more suitable for the animals.
"We've got to bring it back into a sustainable manageable number," Mr Cole said.
"They're competing with food for livestock and other native animals. They're destroying rare plants. They damage fences and crops for farmers."
Mr Cole said the program would provide him with a full time job.
KANGAROO-based food is set to be a permanent feature on Victorian pets' plates, after the government instituted a controversial program that has run as a trial for five years.
From Tuesday, the Kangaroo Harvesting Program allows accredited shooters to harvest kangaroos and licensed processors to use the carcasses for pet food.
A trial program has run since March 2014, with extensions taking it to 2018 and 2019.
The trial drew a range of views from the community.
Some community members said the trial meant kangaroo carcasses would be used, rather than left on the ground. Others said the shooting was cruel, and shooters did not follow the code of practice.
Zones have been set up covering areas with large numbers of kangaroos.
Shooters will be permitted to harvest a set number of kangaroos in each zone, monitored with a tag system.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning will set a maximum total harvest for each zone, based on kangaroo populations surveys. These quotas will be updated annually.
Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes said the program balanced the need to keep kangaroo populations at healthy levels, with the need to make sure farmers were not overrun by the animals.
A DELWP report found there was a sharp rise in the number of kangaroos approved for control in the trial areas.
Interested landholders and farmers can visit: agriculture.vic.gov.au/
More to come.
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