THE Kangaroo Harvesting Program is set to resume across Gippsland and the North East zones after an assessment of kangaroo populations in those regions after this year’s bushfires.

In January, the program was suspended as the impact of the fires was considered. The program recommenced across most of the state in February and will now be active across a wider area.

Tags will be issued for the North East and Gippsland harvest zones, but harvesters will not be able to operate within the Towong, Alpine or East Gippsland shire areas due to the impact of the bushfires.

“It makes sense for the Kangaroo Harvesting Program to resume in the areas not extensively impacted by the bushfires earlier this year,” said Acting Executive Director Forest and Game, Mark Sandiford.

“It’s important that kangaroo numbers are sustainably managed to reduce their impact on landholders and the farming sector.

“Only authorised and accredited harvesters operate under the program and there are protections in place to ensure best-practice shooting and processing for pet food.”

The Kangaroo Harvesting Program began in Victoria on October 1, 2019 to enable commercial harvesting of kangaroos in Victoria, primarily for pet food.

The program ensures Victoria’s kangaroo population is managed in a sustainable way, in line with animal welfare standards, while helping landowners who are having problems with kangaroos.

Kangaroos can cause issues for farmers including crop destruction, competition with livestock for feed, and damage to property such as fences.

Harvest numbers are set by a quota based on annual kangaroo population surveys and modelling undertaken by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

To participate in the Kangaroo Harvesting Program, harvesters need to be authorised and hold a firearms licence and accreditations in firearm proficiency and game harvester skill set.

Harvesters must also abide by the National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Commercial Purposes.

For further information about the Kangaroo Harvesting Program visit: http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/kangarooharvestingprogram