MEMBER for Lowan Emma Kealy has called on the state government to extend a kangaroo culling trial to West Wimmera Shire.
The government introduced a two-year trial to cull kangaroos for pet food in 2014.
The trial includes Horsham Rural City, Yarriambiack and Northern Grampians municipalities and allows Authority to Control Wildlife permit holders to cull or take dead kangaroos off private land for commercial processing.
Ms Kealy said the trial had been successful and she urged the government to not only continue it, but extend it to West Wimmera and Glenelg shires.
“The trial removes the process of culling from landowners to an external body,” she said.
“It is a rigid system and a more accurate way to manage populations.”
Ms Kealy said since the trial started there was no increase in the number of kangaroos culled throughout the state.
“About 100,000 kangaroos are culled each year in Victoria and during the trial we haven’t seen an increase in those numbers,” she said.
“This shows we are managing kangaroos in a way that is also creating jobs in the area, from the shooters to the pet food suppliers.
“We are also not letting the product go to waste.”
Ms Kealy said while there were environmental concerns about the issue, the trial had only occurred in areas where kangaroos were in plague proportions.
“These are areas with thousands of kangaroos, where the sheer quantity of animals is causing immense damage to native flora and fauna,” she said.
“It is important to manage the environment appropriately.”
The trial will finished in June.
“There are now jobs at risk and we need to know where the future of this trial is going,” Ms Kealy said.
“We would like to see the trial made permanent and extended across the state.
“West Wimmera and Glenelg shires are heavily forested and have high numbers of kangaroos.
“It’s important these landholders have access to the culling program.”
Ms Kealy said shooters were trained to kill kangaroos with a single shot to the head to make the process as humane as possible.
“I am an animal lover, but we do have to get the balance right,” she said.
“We just need a sensible and reasonable outcome – either make the trial permanent or extend it.
“We don’t want to see it scraped.”