Workshop pushes for more sustainable management of kangaroos
14 September 2016
A kangaroo management workshop at Cobar this month saw a strong push for developing strategies that balance kangaroo welfare and agricultural production.
The two-day workshop was a joint initiative of the Western Lands Advisory Council and Local Land Services Western Region to develop an informed and collaborative approach to sustainable kangaroo management in western NSW.
Acting General Manager of Local Land Services Western Region, Erlina Compton said the focus was on working with local landholders to consider options for managing kangaroo populations that would achieve a sustainable, viable and resilient Western Division.
“We had strong representation at the workshop from western landholders, the local Aboriginal community, kangaroo industry experts, and industry governing agencies, as well as kangaroo harvesters and game meat specialist retailer, Macro Meats,” Ms Compton said
“There was a great deal of discussion about ways to support a viable harvesting industry, to promote the health benefits of kangaroo meat, and create new markets for the product.”
Managing excessive grazing pressure was also a key issue, with concerns raised about the significant environmental harm to native vegetation and water resources that can result from uncontrolled overgrazing.
Dave Allen from Nullogoola Station, via Cobar said there were thousands of kangaroos on his property, competing for the same feed as domestic stock.
“Kangaroos are here to stay, but we need to manage their numbers so they don’t damage the landscape and the economic viability of farmers,” Mr Allen said.
“We can manage the grazing impact of our sheep and goats, but if we can’t manage the kangaroos, we can’t effectively manage the grass which is our key resource.”
While kangaroo numbers are increasing on the back of widespread good seasonal conditions, Western Lands Advisory Council Chair, Geoff Wise said the population would inevitably crash with the next dry spell.
“The experts estimate we are heading towards record high numbers of kangaroos in western NSW,” Mr Wise said.
“We anticipate a huge kangaroo welfare issue is looming when the next long dry period takes hold and these animals die from disease, starvation and thirst.”
“We would prefer policies to be implemented with Government and community support to allow for managed and more humane intervention to avoid such unacceptable welfare consequences.”
Workshop participants will now work together to provide recommendations and advice on practical and achievable approaches to kangaroo management, including proposals regarding commercial harvesting and on-farm management practices.
Media Contact: Meg Strang 0429 340 600