Farmers have long called for a culling of kangaroos, arguing population numbers are out of control and that they compete with livestock for pasture.
But turning the beloved marsupial into pet food has raised the ire of animal rights activists, making it a tricky issue for the Andrews government to navigate.
But just two days before the end of the trial, minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes confirmed on Friday an extension until September 30. An extra six months will allow the government to develop framework around a kangaroo management plan.
From October, rules will be in place for processing kangaroo carcasses, while there will be designated kangaroo harvesting zones and annual quotas. Farmers, community members and environmental groups will have their say in what the plan looks like.
“We’ve listened to farmers’ concerns and that’s why we’re taking action to sustainably manage kangaroo populations and reduce waste going forward to the benefit of farmers and our environment,” Symes said.
Victorian Nationals leader Peter Walsh said the announcement was overdue, but claimed government had “butchered” the trial and it failed to understand regional Victoria.
“Labor’s proposal is a backwards step. The industry has thrived since it was established by the former Liberal Nationals government in 2014 to deal with out-of-control kangaroo numbers and ensure a resource that would otherwise be left to rot in paddocks would not go to waste. But under Labor’s plan, wild dogs and foxes will be having a feast on controlled kangaroos that are again left in the paddock to rot.”