Roo not on your dogs’ menu

A MAJOR Border business has no plans to take part in the trial commercial processing of culled kangaroos for pet food.

The trial was announced by Victorian Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh this week.

Wangaratta and Benalla are among six local government areas in the North East that will be covered by the two-year-trial.

Another six council areas in western Victoria will also be involved, but the trial does not cover Wodonga, Indigo, Towong and Alpine.

Mars Petcare says is has no intention of using any of the processed kangaroo meat.

A spokeswoman said Mars Petcare had a policy of not using kangaroo meat in any of its product range, “and therefore this trial has no impact on the business”.

Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh said the two-year trial — to start on March 31 — would be restricted to kangaroos that were culled under “authority to control wildlife” permits.

Mr Walsh said the aim was to reduce waste and provide an alternative disposal option for landowners.

Wangaratta and Benalla have been chosen for the trial because the areas have high concentrations of kangaroos requiring culling.

“Currently kangaroos culled under authorised control efforts cannot be used or processed commercially,” Mr Walsh said.

“Landholders must bury the caracasses and, depending on the size of the control effort required this can be laborious.”

The 69,000 kangaroos killed every year in Victoria has estimated to have a commercial value of about $1.4 million.

But the trial does not impinge on kangaroos’ status as a proteced species in Victoria and so permits still are required to kill them.

Close to 35 million kangaroos have been used in Australia’s four other mainland states for table meat and leather products since 2000.

The trial though does not allow for kangaroos culled through permits to be used for human consumption.