Drought-stricken farmers get more kangaroo culling powers

TOUGH TIMES: Kangaroos eat much of the feed before stock can get to it. Photo: Louise Kennerley
TOUGH TIMES: Kangaroos eat much of the feed before stock can get to it. Photo: Louise Kennerley

The NSW government has cut red tape and given more power to our drought-stricken farmers to help manage the damage caused by kangaroos.

As part of the NSW Drought Strategy, the new approach will allow farmers to apply for licences over the phone or via email, to cull kangaroos, and more shooters will be able to operate on a property under the same licence.

Under the new system, carcasses will no longer need to be tagged and left in the paddock, and landholders will be able to use the carcass for a range of non-commercial purposes such as bait meat.

There will also be increased limits on the number of kangaroos that may be culled, based on property size. Previous and current licence holders can apply for licences over the phone.

Bective farmer Lachlan Ennis said many people don’t realise how much of an impact kangaroos can have on a property.

“Just after the rain, you’ll find bits of green pick shooting up, and the roos get in there and eat it all before it’s big enough for cattle or sheep to eat it,” Mr Ennis said.

“Some properties have got a massive number of roos, and you see a lot more of them in drought. They’re out and about looking for food and water.

“Making these licences easier to access will definitely encourage more people to investigate them.”

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Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said the changes are giving farmers more power to protect their properties, especially as they manage the challenging conditions, while also maintaining animal welfare standards and ecologically sustainable kangaroo populations.

“Kangaroos around local food and water sources are putting significant pressure on farms – we must start to turn that around as soon as possible,” Mr Blair said. 

“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.” 

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