Livestock SA has welcomed the announcement of proposed amendments to the South Australian Commercial Kangaroo Management Plan 2018-2022.
The State Department for Environment and Water is proposing to expand the commercial kangaroo harvesting zone to four new sub regions, including the Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu, Kangaroo Island, Lower South East and Upper South East, and an extension to the Murray Mallee and Mid North Region to include the Yorke Peninsula and Lower North. The number of kangaroo species available for harvest will also increase by four species.
The proposal comes after renewed calls from industry to provide additional flexibility in kangaroo management across SA.
Livestock SA President Joe Keynes said the proposed changes were a positive step in kangaroo management.
“Livestock SA has strongly lobbied for commercial harvesting areas to be increased to ensure harvesting can occur in all areas where kangaroo populations have increased significantly,” he said.
“Since 2011 kangaroo numbers have increased significantly across the state, doubling from an estimated 2.5 million to more than 5 million.
“This large rise in kangaroo populations has impacted hugely on producers, as well as at an environmental level, with increased numbers placing significant grazing pressure on properties.
“Despite recent rainfall in some of these areas, many producers have limited feed due to ongoing dry conditions and kangaroos are eating significant amounts of pasture that sheep and cattle would otherwise consume.
“They can cause damage to infrastructure such as fences and have an impact on water resources.
“There has also been a population shift, with many kangaroos moving further south in search of feed.
“There is good evidence from the insurance industry that these growing kangaroo numbers are a road safety issue, with a rise in single car collisions. In 2017-18 RAA research showed that SA motorists lodged more than 1700 animal collision claims, double the amount of the previous financial year. About 60 per cent of these collisions were attributed to kangaroos.”
Mr Keynes encouraged producers to share their views on the amended plan and provide feedback during the consultation period, which will run until September 6, 2019.