INCREASING kangaroo populations are prompting processor Macro Meats to consider revitalising field harvesting in SA.
Macro Meats managing director Ray Borda said there once was up to 200 licenced shooters in SA, but higher licence and compliance fees, the mining boom and an unwillingness to work in isolated areas had reduced that figure to less than a quarter.
“We want to get that number back up to 100 full-time shooters,” he said.
Mr Borda said his company was keen to invest more in kangaroo harvesting in SA, even though it was one of the most expensive states to shoot and process kangaroo.
This included building depots with chiller boxes in certain areas.
“Kangaroo populations in this state are getting to a stage where it’s becoming more viable as a business and as a field harvester,” he said.
“Shooters will be able to harvest more, quicker in a night because of the high densities.
"Even though some areas have been experiencing tough seasonal conditions, we believe within a short time this will change and we need to have harvesters ready for when it does get better.”
Field harvesters make between $20 and $25 a kangaroo, and could harvest many in a night, but strict shooting requirements applied.
“There is a lot of compliance involved,” Mr Borda said. “Applicants would need to have undertaken a firearms accuracy course; be licenced with the Department of Environment, among other requirements.
“But we are producing food for international markets and human consumption.”