DO you know what Victorian kangaroo meat tastes like?
You soon might.
The state government is considering the feasibility of commercial harvesting of wild kangaroos for human consumption.
All kangaroo meat sold in Victoria is sourced mostly from Queensland and New South Wales.
The commercial use of culled kangaroos in Victoria is banned.
That could soon change.
The Southern Grampians Shire Council wants the ban lifted and the state government is evaluating the move.
‘’Each year between 9000 and 30,000 animals are authorised to be destroyed and left on site,’’ the council said in a motion to the Municipal Association of Victoria state council to be held next week.
“There is a potential commercial use for these kangaroo products.
“Allowing the controlled commercial culling of kangaroos would allow councils in rural areas to investigate the potential to grow their meat processing industries, create new businesses and local long term jobs and accrue additional economic benefits to regional areas of Victoria.”
The plan was opposed by the RSPCA.
Southern Grampians Shire manager of economic development and tourism Hugh Koch said the move could be an economic fillip.
“Being in regional areas where we are we are looking at a number of economic development opportunities and this was one that was pointed out to us by a number of kangaroo shooters and so too by a local abattoir,’’ he said.
“Under the current regulations wallabies or kangaroos which were destroyed ... were mainly left on the ground to rot and because we are talking about what are permitted to be culled we thought it would be a great idea to explore the opportunities to develop an industry out of it.”
Mr Koch said the idea was not to shoot more kangaroos, but to not waste those that were already shot.
“What shooters tell me is that they can take two carcasses away at the moment but they shoot 80,’’ he said.
“We think there is tremendous opportunity for people to set up mobile cool rooms to store the carcasses, bring them back to a licensed abattoir and develop it either for a domestic, export or pet food market,’’ he said.
A state government spokeswoman said the government was evaluating the concept with advice from the Department of Primary Industries.
“We will await the outcome of that work before making a decision about possible changes to regulation to allow commercial kangaroo harvesting,’’ she said.
However, the RSPCA does not support the commercial use of kangaroos culled in Victoria.
“Once you have commercial drivers then sometimes the welfare drivers become secondary,’’ RSPCA Victoria chief executive Maria Mercurio said.