IN THE NEWS: Kangaroo rules may change

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IN THE NEWS: On FEB 22, 2012

VICTORIAN farmers may soon be able to harvest kangaroos.

A report, believed to recommend a change in the state's laws, was handed to the Victorian Government a few weeks ago.

It comes as kangaroos reach record numbers across Australia due to the end of drought.

Calls are growing to lift a ban in Victoria on the commercial processing of culled kangaroos.

Landholders are able to destroy about 30,000 kangaroos a year in Victoria but while they may take some meat for personal use, they must dispose of the carcasses.

The Competition and Efficiency Commission, a branch of the Government's Treasury Department, first recommended a law change in a draft report last year.

A second draft report later that year called Securing Victoria's Future Prosperity: A reform agenda did not mention culling.

The Weekly Times has learned that lifting of bans on commercial harvesting had been put to government as a "hot spot" reform.

The Department of Sustainability and Environment issues Authority to Control Wildlife permits to landholders based on sustainable limits.

The commission last year called on the Government to simplify the process for obtaining permits, estimating each permit cost about $480.

About three million kangaroos are shot across Australia each year, but Victoria is the only state that does not have a commercial industry.

Kangaroo Industry Association chief executive John Kelly said kangaroos could number more than 52 million in a year. "If Victoria changes the law then farmers won't have to do the job, they can ask a commercial service to do it for free," he said.

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