PLANS to legalise the processing of deer carcasses for pet food would be positive for Howlong, according to Cool Off director Simon Staughton.
The state opposition says it will legalise the practice if elected in November.
It would allow shooters to sell deer for processing as pet food, which Mr Staughton said could create jobs at the Howlong processing plant.
He said the practice was allowed in NSW, but not Victoria.
The business processes some deer for export as pet food, which Mr Staughton said was a “scarce” commodity exported to countries including America and Canada.
But it can’t source the animals from Victoria, where wild deer can’t be commercially processed.
“There are quite a few deer harvested in northern NSW,” he said.
“There’s quite a large deer population there.
“From Howlong’s point of view, we’re in a prime area to take delivery from all over the Mitta Valley and through the mountains of North East Victoria, where the deer are becoming uncontrolled.
“It would be positive to everyone.
“They’re quite a significant pest.
“If they’re shot and left on the ground, they become food for wild dogs.
“We’re getting quite a few shooters in NSW who are keen to get on board with us.”
The changes would be positive for job numbers in the region, Mr Staughton said.
He said the population was “out of control” in the North East.
Mr Staughton said Cool Off needed to use professional, licensed shooters.
“We’d like the animals to be turned into a resource that can be controlled,” he said.
"There is a thought within the governments or relevant departments that they don't want to put a commercial value on the deer.
“Once you put a commercial value on deer, you can never exterminate them.”
Cool Off is undergoing a large expansion at Howlong.