Kangaroos size under scrutiny along border

Kangaroos size under scrutiny along border

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A Western NSW MP has backed calls by the Pastoralists Association of West Darling to lower the minimum harvested kangaroo carcase weights.

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A Western NSW MP has backed calls by the Pastoralists Association of West Darling to lower the minimum harvested kangaroo carcase weights.

Member for Barwon Roy Butler, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, said the NSW government needed to lower the minimum carcase weight to 13 kilograms to encourage commercial harvesting.

The minimum was increased to 14kg and 15kg, depending on how they are dressed in 2017 as part of conditions to commercial harvest licenses.

Mr Butler said kangaroos were suffering unnecessarily slow deaths due to the lack of water and feed available.

He said commercial harvesting was a safe and humane method to managing the population and lowering the minimum weight would encourage further harvesting.

"Farmers are already under immense pressure to manage what little feed and water they have for remaining stock - without kangaroos placing more pressure on their supplies," Mr Butler said.

"We're seeing mass dying events of kangaroos across the west due to the prevailing dry conditions - its time the government looks at what it can do to manage this situation in a humane manner."

Mr Butler said PAWD had been calling for this change for some time, following some "rather distressing" kangaroo deaths on their member's properties.

"Reducing the carcase weight requirement is one way the government can support farmers and regional communities in managing this issue," he said.

"The alternative is we stand by and watch farmers and their livestock, and kangaroos continue to unnecessarily suffer in the face of this ongoing drought."

Speaking at the recent PAWD annual general meeting president Lachland Gall said the association would like to see the minimum carcase weight reduced and the $1.17 fee on royalty tags waived.

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"Unfortunately, the commercial harvest has fallen well short of the available quota in recent years," he said.

"There has been a rise in the number of kangaroos harveste recently, but this pales into insignificance against the number that have died due to the drought condition prevailing throughout eastern Australia.

"The Association and the Kangaroo Management Taskforce. hare the position that full utilisation of the commercial kangaroo harvest quota is the preferred option for reducing kangaroo numbers to sustainable levels."

SA-based kangaroo processor Ray Borda, Macro Meats, said last week there was a place in the market for most sized kangaroos, despite drought conditions.

"Kangaroos in average to good conditions are for human consumption and export," he said.

"Kangaroos that are in slightly poorer condition could be for small goods, and poorer condition still, into pet food.

"There is a home for all kangaroos."

Mr Borda said it was a shame to see kangaroo meat "wasted" and left on the ground following non-commercial culling.

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