The Kangaroo Pet Food trial commenced in March 2014, allowing the use of kangaroo meat resulting from authorised wildlife control activities to be processed for pet food.
This trial was extended until March 2018 to test its sustainability over a longer period and to expand the geographic area of the trial.
The trial will now continue until 31 March 2019.
While kangaroos are protected in Victoria, there are situations where kangaroos can cause damage which can negatively affect Victorian farmers, regional communities and biodiversity. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) issues Authority to Control Wildlife (ATCWs) under section 28A of the Wildlife Act 1975 for the control of kangaroos where they are demonstrated to be damaging pasture, crops or other property or impacting on biodiversity values.
Wherever possible, DELWP advocates non-lethal management of kangaroos. Where non-lethal techniques are ineffective or impractical, lethal control may be necessary.
The vast majority of kangaroo carcasses from kangaroos controlled under an ATCW are buried or left onsite to decompose.
The Victorian Government commenced a Kangaroo Pet Food Trial (KPFT) in March 2014 to allow the use of kangaroo carcasses resulting from authorised control activities to be processed for pet food. The trial was extended until March 2018 to test its sustainability over a longer period and to expand the geographic area of the trial. Following an evaluation of the trial, it has been extended to 31 March 2019.
The trial does not change the requirement for a landholder applying for an ATCW to demonstrate that kangaroos are causing property damage.
All participants in the trial must adhere to the Wildlife Act 1975. Participating professional shooters are also required to adhere to strict conditions consistent with the National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos to ensure that kangaroos are controlled humanely. There are severe penalties for non-compliance with the Act and the conditions.
An evaluation of the KPFT has identified a number of positive outcomes, but it also highlighted some key risks associated with allowing commercial processing of kangaroos.
The trial resulted in increased use of kangaroo carcasses when compared with the small proportion used for personal use under the standard ATCW system. It also reduced the effort required from participating landholders to control kangaroos on their property and dispose of their carcasses.
While there were benefits, the evaluation highlighted some key risks associated with introducing a financial incentive into the ATCW system. Numbers of kangaroos approved for control have risen sharply in trial areas. While there may be several contributing factors, a comparison of the increase in trial and non-trial areas shows that the trial is likely to be the primary cause of the increase. The current design also presents some limitations with monitoring, regulation and compliance.
The extension of the trial to 31 March 2019 will allow time to assess whether kangaroo management activities under ATCWs and the trial are impacting on the health and sustainability of Victoria’s kangaroo populations, and to see whether changes to compliance, monitoring and education will address the issues that arose.
Victoria’s first kangaroo population survey was conducted in September 2017, and will be repeated this year to track population trends. Further information on the kangaroo survey can be found on the Our Wildlife – Kangaroos page.
The further extension of the trial will not change the requirement for landholders applying for an ATCW to demonstrate that kangaroos are causing damage to their property. The trial is not for the purposes of population control and kangaroos are not harvested under the trial specifically for pet food.
Landholders in the following 16 LGAs are eligible to participate in the trial:
LGAs in North East Victoria:
- Greater Bendigo
LGAs in Western Victoria:
- Northern Grampians
- Southern Grampians
- West Wimmera
KPFT fact sheets
For an overview of the trial:
Information for landholders:
Information for professional shooters:
Information for pet meat processing facilities:
KPFT ATCW application form
Export of kangaroo skins
On the 1st February 2018, the Federal Minister for the Environment and Energy, approved DELWP’s Kangaroo Pet Food Trial Developmental Wildlife Trade Operation Plan as a developmental wildlife trade operation and as an existing stocks wildlife trade operation under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. These approvals enable participating pet meat processors to export kangaroo skins collected under the trial overseas.