Reducing wastage from ACT kangaroo control

AWS has been has commissioned to prepare a discussion paper on options for reducing the waste of kangaroos taken under the ACT’s kangaroo management program which has two parts:

  1. Conservation culling of kangaroos on public lands and
  2. Damage mitigation culling on rural lands in the ACT.

Some people regard any consumptive use of kangaroos as unethical and distasteful; they may also oppose it on cultural grounds. While considering these perspectives, we are mindful that sound evidence-based policy for kangaroo management should also be based on best animal welfare, environmental, and economic information. The project on which we are engaged is part of the ACT Government’s commitment to achieving that goal. More information at the links below.

We are looking for thoughts and suggestions for potential carcass utilisation options Practical and logistic aspects would be a welcome contribution to the consultation process. A working list of options and suggestions currently under consideration is below.

     Indigenous use
  • Skins for ceremonial cloaks
  • Tails for fireside meetings and sinew harvesting
  • Biltong and fresh meat for personal use

 Carnivore food

  • Zoo lions, Tasmanian devils, dingoes
  • Domestic animal shelters
  • Baits to protect native species from foxes or dogs

Organic Waste

  • Composting
  • Production of ‘frass’ soil conditioner from insect larvae, and high protein insect meal
  • Biodegradation in the field

Commercial human consumption use and pet food

  • Premium quality meat
  • Biltong and jerky
  • Skins

Education resource Teaching aids

Commercial harvesting is often suggested by the community as the solution to carcass utilisation. This option is not considered appropriate where kangaroos are removed from public land specifically to achieve a conservation benefit. Rather a non-for-profit use for these animals would be preferred to avoid any inconsistency in the fundamental conservation-focused goals of this program.
Commercial use of carcasses may be possible from private lands, where kangaroos are managed according to the business needs of the rural property. However a 2011 feasibility analysis concluded that commercial harvesting is unlikely to be cost-effective for the ACT. Our discussion paper will review the findings of the analysis.

We have put a form at Utilisation Survey to gather the contributions of key stakeholders. The form will help us determine the potential demand for carcasses (or parts thereof, e.g. tails, skins, meat, bones, etc.) that could be utilised in the five-month period from March-July annually. It will help an assessment of the capacity for the ACT’s kangaroo management programs to meet the supply demands associated with various utilisation options, noting that the volume of supply is likely to be highly variable throughout this time. The form also enables nomination of proposed utilisation opportunity as commercial (private sector) or non-commercial (NGO, not for profit)?

More reading at following download links:
Eastern Grey Kangaroo Management Plan
ACT Waste Management Strategy
National Statement on improving kangaroo management
Professional kangaroo population control leads to better animal welfare, conservation outcomes and avoids waste

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