Victoria's trial allowing culled kangaroos to be used for pet food will be widened.
More than 23,900 kangaroo carcasses have been processed for pet food under the trial so far, which started in 2014. The government recently decided to extend the trial for another two years.
The trial is now under way in 12 council areas, but councillors and farmers from other regions have urged the government to do more to address kangaroo numbers, citing the negative impact they are having on farms and the dangers they pose to motorists.
It is now likely to be extended to include Bendigo and the Glenelg Shire, where it is believed that kangaroo populations have increased.
Some country councillors have also urged the government to allow culled kangaroos to be used for human consumption. Neville Goulding, a Gannawarra councillor, said the trial was "a good start", but added: "They're a valuable protein source and I would hope eventually, that instead of just putting them in pet food, that we'd be able to use them for human consumption. New South Wales already does that."
Meanwhile, new figures from the City of Greater Bendigo indicate that hundreds of kangaroos are killed each year in that municipality after being struck by cars.
In the past month alone 86 kangaroo carcasses were removed from roads in the Heathcote area, and about 60 from the Bendigo area by the council. Over the course of a year the council estimates it removes about 900 carcasses from roads across the municipality.
But these figures represent just some of the deaths, because they do not include kangaroos killed on VicRoads' roads in the municipality where the speed limit is more than 80 km/h.
Bendigo councillor James Williams said he wanted Bendigo to be included in the pet food trial. Kangaroo numbers had become "a real problem" in the municipality, were regularly involved in car accidents and had a significant impact on farms.
"We've actually seen them right in the CBD. And on a regular basis they come in around the city," he said.
"They are a major hazard (on the roads) and they're a major concern. We spend a lot of time picking up dead kangaroos."
Environment Minister Lisa Neville said there was "no doubt" that kangaroos were posing "a real problem" in a number of Victorian communities. The trial was operating humanely under "very very strict conditions" and standards.
She said the trial had not led to more kangaroos being destroyed.
"This doesn't result in more kangaroos being culled, what it does is result in better management of the carcasses to reduce that waste and vermin," she said.
Last year, about 135,000 kangaroos were destroyed under a permit system that allowed farmers to control kangaroos. Ms Neville said about 21,000 of those were included in the pet food trial.
Brendan Roughead, the environment department's regional director for the Grampians Region, said the trial had been a success. "The goal of the trial was to minimise waste and that's certainly happening. And it's had added benefits in terms of generating regional jobs," he said.
Most of the kangaroos shot in the trial were on "large commercial farming properties where they have significant kangaroo issues, and generally abutting significant tracts of public land."