Drought-stricken farmers get 'power to protect their properties'

INCREASED LIMITS: NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair says there will be “increased limits” on the number of kangaroos that may be culled, based on property size. Photo: Contributed
INCREASED LIMITS: NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair says there will be “increased limits” on the number of kangaroos that may be culled, based on property size. Photo: Contributed

More kangaroos will be culled near Dubbo and across NSW as the state government moves to reduce “some of the burden of drought” on farmers.

This week NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair announced the government was cutting red tape to help farmers contain damage caused by kangaroos.

He said the changes gave farmers more power to protect their properties, “especially as they manage the challenging conditions”. 

“These changes will also maintain animal welfare standards and ecologically sustainable kangaroo populations,” Mr Blair said.

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Under the government’s NSW Drought Strategy farmers will be able to apply for licences to cull kangaroos over the phone or by email, and more shooters will be able to operate on a property under the same licence.

There will also be “increased limits” on the number of kangaroos that may be culled, based on property size.

Carcasses will no longer be tagged and left in the paddock. Landholders will be able to use a carcass for a range of non-commercial purposes such as bait meat. 

“Kangaroos around local food and water sources are putting significant pressure on farms,” Mr Blair said.

“We must start to turn that around as soon as possible.

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“Many farmers are taking livestock off their paddocks, only to then see kangaroos move in and take whatever is left.

“This is the last thing any farmer needs at the moment. If we don’t manage this situation we will start to see tens of thousands of kangaroos starving and suffering ultimately leading to a major animal welfare crisis.

“I know both farmers and our regional communities are under immense pressure right now but I hope these changes are another way the NSW Government can assist in reducing some of the burden of drought.” 

The government is also extending commercial kangaroo harvest zones in south-east NSW in 2019.

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“These changes will reduce biosecurity risks, incentivise experienced shooters to support landholders in reducing numbers, and enable NSW to move towards the commercial culling quotas set by the Commonwealth government,” Mr Blair said.

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