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ATAAC | Australian Teens Against Animal Cruelty - Culled Kangeroos for pet food?

The State Government has rejected a plan to turn
culled kangaroos into pet food, saying it would constitute commercial
harvesting.

Southern Grampians Shire Council is supporting a bid by Tesbury
Meats -- who want to collect the kangaroos and process them into pet
food at their Hamilton meat works -- and has approached the
Government on their behalf.

The proposal comes after residents in some of Melbourne's bayside and
urban fringe suburbs this month called for a cull of possums and
cockatoos.

Residents in the bayside suburbs of Black Rock, Sandringham and
Hampton are fed up with possums invading roofs, wrecking gardens and
spreading droppings and want the animals culled.

Upwey residents are also petitioning the State Government for a
wildlife cull, this one for sulphur-crested cockatoos, which they say
are causing damage to their homes, crops and orchards.

A large-scale cull of the animals is unlikely because possums and
cockatoos are protected species.

Landowners may apply to the Department of Sustainability and
Environment for permits that allow them to trap, relocate, scare or
destroy problem birds and animals.

Thousands of kangaroos are culled in Victoria each year under DSE
permits and must be left to decompose where they are killed.

Southern Grampians mayor Marcus Rentsch said the pet food proposal
would create at least two new jobs in the regional town.

"All they are trying to do is remove the carcasses -- they are an
environmental and health risk, it's not good to have them just
sitting there," he said.

Mr Rentsch said Tesbury Meats had plans to collect the culled
kangaroos, freeze them and transport them to its Hamilton processing
plant.

Australian Wildlife Protection Council president Maryland Wilson said
the kangaroos should not be culled in the first place.

"There's no scientific or moral justification for killing kangaroos,"
she said. "We are wiping out wildlife right across Australia and in
particular in Victoria because two thirds of the state's land is
privately owned, which means people can do whatever they like."

Government spokeswoman Jessica Harris said there were no plans for a
commercial kangaroo industry in Victoria.

"Current provisions do allow for commercial use of kangaroo meat and
there are no plans to change this," she said. "A previous inquiry has
found that a commercial kangaroo processing industry would not be
viable."

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