Hamilton and Camperdown would benefit directly if the state government allowed the processing of Victorian kangaroos for pet food.
Pressure on the government to allow the move is mounting with the member for Western Victoria David O’Brien backing the campaign.
Mr O’Brien, who recently visited the Victorian Petfood Processors’ Hamilton facility, said allowing kangaroos culled in Victoria to be processed for pet food at such facilities in Hamilton and Camperdown would boost regional industry and make use of a wasted resource.
He said state Ag-riculture Minister Peter Walsh was waiting on finalised advice from the Department of Environment and Primary Industry about the move.
“I expect the government’s response to be finalised within the next few months,” Mr O’Brien said.
“What is clear at the moment is that there are kangaroos being culled for environmental reasons.
“I understand that several thousand have been culled in recent years at Puckapunyal and it is a terrible waste that instead of supplying the pet food industry, the carcasses are left to rot in the paddock.
“Victoria is currently one of the only mainland states where this processing is not carried out.”
Mr O’Brien said he was not ruling out a move at a later stage to allow kangaroos in Victoria to be processed for human consumption.
He said Victorian Petfood Processors, which had facilities at Hamilton, Camperdown, Ballarat and Loch in Gippsland, was among a number of western Victorian producers keen to process Victorian kangaroo meat for pet food.
Victorian Petfood Pro-cessors manager David Preece said it brought in kangaroo meat from NSW.
A change to Victorian meat would reduce costs and give farmers a market for kangaroos culled locally. “The farmers get permits to shoot the kangaroos but they have to leave them there. It is a waste of resources,” Mr Preece said.
Mr O’Brien said arguments that Australians should not be eating a national emblem needed to be put aside.