In Victoria, commercial harvesting of Eastern and Western Grey kangaroos has been allowed since 1 October 2019, under the Victorian Kangaroo Harvest Management Plan (KHMP).
Under this program, landholders can use authorised harvesters to control kangaroos on their property at no charge. Unlike the Authority to Control Wildlife (ATCW) system, where landholders control and dispose of the kangaroos themselves, the harvesting program allows landholders to engage professional harvesters who will undertake the control and will remove the carcasses for commercial use.
Benefits of using the Kangaroo Harvesting Program
There are a number of benefits for landholders that use the Kangaroo Harvesting Program rather than the ATCW system:
- You don't need to apply for an ATCW
- You don't have to control the kangaroos yourself
- You don’t need to dispose of carcasses
- Using professional harvesting services can be more humane
- Professional harvesters control and remove the kangaroos from your property
- Professional harvesting services are free for landholders
- Carcasses are used commercially rather than wasted
The Kangaroo Harvesting Program is administered by the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR), while DELWP is responsible for preparing the Kangaroo Harvesting Management Plan and annual quota for the program.
For more information about the program and to find a commercial harvester operating in your area please visit DJPR’s Kangaroo Harvesting Program page.
Landholders who want to control kangaroos on their property but do not want to use the Kangaroo Harvesting Program can apply for an ATCW. Kangaroos controlled under an ATCW cannot be commercially processed.
Kangaroo Harvest Management Plan
The Kangaroo Harvest Management Plan sets the objectives and requirements for commercial kangaroo harvesting. Harvesting must be ecologically sustainable, humane, and only undertaken by authorised people.
To ensure the sustainability of Victorian kangaroo populations, the plan sets out the requirement for commercial harvest quotas across 7 harvest zones. The harvest quotas are the maximum number of kangaroos that can be taken under the program each year.
- Victorian Kangaroo Harvest Management Plan 2021-2023 (PDF, 728.7 KB)
- Victorian Kangaroo Harvest Management Plan 2021-2023 (DOCX, 2.7 MB)
The annual Eastern and Western Grey kangaroo quota is 10 per cent of the Victorian population. This includes both the commercial Kangaroo Harvesting Program and the Authority to Control Wildlife (ATCW) system.
The quota available for commercial harvest in each of the harvest zones is set in the Quota Determination for 2021 below.
Further information on the science behind the quotas can be found in the Kangaroo harvest quotas for Victoria, 2021 report by the Arthur Rylah Institute.
The number of kangaroos controlled through the commercial harvesting program and the ATCW system is closely monitored to ensure it remains sustainable.
ATCWs are assessed on a case by case basis and the number granted in any one year is not capped. To ensure the level of take across both systems is sustainable, the harvesting program quota may be reduced or suspended during the year if levels approach the recommended maximum. Any changes in quota will be advertised on the DJPR website.
Developmental Wildlife Trade Operation
The 2021-2023 Kangaroo Harvest Management Plan has been recognised under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 as a Developmental Wildlife Trade Operation. This allows products obtained through the program, including those stockpiled since the program commenced on 1 October 2019, to be exported internationally. This will remain in effect for the life of the current plan.
Impacts of the 2019/20 bushfire season
In response to the devastating 2019/20 bushfire season, the impacts the bushfires had on the kangaroo populations in the two worst-affected harvest zones, the North East and Gippsland Zones, was assessed. As a result, harvesting under the program was suspended for a portion of 2020.
The assessment’s findings are detailed in a report produced by the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research.
Harvesting recommenced in all harvest zones in August 2020, except in three Local Government Areas (LGAs) where kangaroos were most heavily impacted - the Towong, Alpine and East Gippsland Shires. These LGAs remained closed to harvesting until the end of 2020. Harvesting is able to occur in these shires from January 2021.
Kangaroo Harvesting Program reports
Every year, the KHMP reports on harvest statistics and on the total take of kangaroos under both the commercial kangaroo harvesting program and the ATCW system.
The report for 2019 is provided below.
- Kangaroo Harvesting Program 2019 Report (PDF, 502.2 KB)
- Kangaroo Harvesting Program 2019 Report (DOCX, 1.8 MB)
The 2020 report will be published in early 2021.
Victoria’s first kangaroo population survey was conducted in September 2017, then again in 2018 and 2020 to track population trends. Further information on the kangaroo survey can be found on the Our Wildlife – Kangaroos page.
More surveys will be undertaken in the future, as required by the KHMP.
Kangaroo Pet Food Trial evaluation
The Kangaroo Harvesting Program was established after an evaluation of the former Kangaroo Pet Food Trial which found that the risks associated with commercial kangaroo processing could not be adequately managed under the trial framework.
Further information on the trial and its evaluation can be found in the following evaluation report.
Page last updated: 28/01/21