Kangaroos to be turned into pet food in Australian 'harvesting' program

The "Kangaroo Harvesting Program" will become a permanent fixture in the southern Australian state after a five-year trial was completed, according to a press release from the Victoria state government.

While the animals are seen as a cute symbol of Australia by foreigners, kangaroos are increasingly causing problems at home by destroying crops and causing car accidents.


"Accredited shooters will now be able to harvest kangaroos and have carcasses processed for pet food by licensed businesses," reads the release.

The stated aim of the program is to manage kangaroo populations, minimizing waste, supporting jobs and making life easier for farmers who see the marsupials as pests.

"The Program balances the need to keep kangaroo populations at healthy levels and ensure farmers aren't being overrun by roos who can eat crops, damage property, and compete with stock for feed and water," said Jaclyn Symes, Victoria's minister for agriculture.

Lessons from the five-year "Kangaroo Pet Food Trial" were incorporated in the design of the permanent program, which includes seven designated "harvest zones" home to large numbers of kangaroos.

Accredited shooters will be allowed to kill a set number of kangaroos in each zone as part of safeguards to make sure harvesting is sustainable and animal welfare standards are met, according to the state government.

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