The city centric Andrews Government has made a dogs breakfast of the kangaroo pet food program, wrapping it up in red tape.
The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath said the State Government’s constant indecision has seen the kangaroo pet food program operating under uncertainty for five years now.
“The latest changes announced by the Andrews Government creates further dysfunction, making the program unworkable for Victorian farmers who are desperately try to manage bulging kangaroo populations on their properties,” said Ms Bath.
“Kangaroos culled on farms were previously able to be used as pet food, but now the Andrews Government has put a stop to this.
Kangaroos controlled under an Authority to Control Wildlife (ATCW) permit can no longer be processed for pet food under Labor’s changes, forcing farmers to leave carcasses rotting in a paddock.
Ms Bath said this ludicrous decision is just another Andrews Government slap in the face for our hard working farmers.
“More rotting carcasses provides feral pests such as wild dogs and foxes with an all you can eat buffet and will result in their populations exploding,” Ms Bath said.
“Our farmers must be able to control kangaroo numbers on their properties, it makes perfect sense that they be included in the pet food program so the resource is not wasted.”
Ms Bath said removing kangaroos culled under an ATCW permit is utter stupidity.
“This decision is another example of how little city-centric Labor understands the challenges of regional farmers and landholders.
“They have made a high functioning and popular regional program created by The Nationals unworkable,” Ms Bath said.
“The Andrews Government now says it will set up seven ‘sustainable harvesting areas’ instead for pet food which is almost guaranteed to be strangled by bureaucracy.
“Even though the revised program has supposedly started this week, there is a cloud of uncertainty around the seven regions and quotas.
“At the heart of this decision is the fact that Labor don’t like the kangaroo pet food program and they don’t want it to work.”
Shadow Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh said Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes should explain her changes.
“The Minister is illogical if she thinks it’s better to leave kangaroos carcasses lying in the paddock to be eaten by wild dogs and foxes is better than having them used for pet food.”