For the first time, Victorian kangaroo meat will be available for human consumption as the state government looks to reduce overabundant populations.
The 2021 quota allocation for the Kangaroo Harvesting Program has risen by 37,780 to 95,680 kangaroos, due to an increase in the estimated statewide kangaroo population in the past three years.
To reduce waste and boost economic opportunities, the government has allowed human consumption of kangaroo, which was previously used only in pet food.
Meats on Mitchell owner Joshua Williams said while his business sells a small selection of kangaroo products, price and consumer hesitancy impact sales.
"I think that if the product is locally sourced it will help drive price down and interest more consumers," Mr Williams said.
"We sell kangaroo fillets as they are the most popular and easiest to cook, but many people don't know how to cook kangaroo.
"It's a very lean meat, so pan frying it very quickly, just like an eye fillet steak, because it has no fat in it, is the way to go."
Only trained professional shooters authorised through the Kangaroo Harvesting Program will be able to provide animals to abattoirs to be processed.
Harvesters must be authorised, hold a firearms licence and be accredited in firearm proficiency and game harvesting.
Since October 2019, 86 harvesters and five meat processors have taken part in the pet-food-only program.
Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas said it is important kangaroo numbers are sustainably managed in Victoria to reduce impacts on landholders and the community.
"The change to how products generated from the harvesting program can be used gives more options to harvesters and processors and creates more jobs in country towns," Ms Thomas said.
Kangaroo is a lean meat with less than two per cent fat, which is high in protein, essential B vitamins and minerals such as iron and zinc.
Compared to beef, kangaroo contains double the amount of iron and triple that of chicken and pork.
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