From Wednesday, the NSW Government has relaxed kangaroo cull red tape in an effort to give more power to drought-stricken farmers.
As part of the NSW Drought Strategy, the new approach will allow farmers to apply for licences to cull kangaroos over the phone or via email, and more shooters will be able to operate on a property under the same licence.
It remains a legal requirement for individuals to obtain a licence from the National Parks and Wildlife Service to shoot kangaroos, however moving to an online system will take away the time-consuming task of having to pick up tags and then having to tag the animal in the paddock.
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 noncommercial 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.
Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair said these changes are giving 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
“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 one way the NSW Government can assist in reducing some of the burden of drought.”
In addition, the NSW Government has announced extensions to the commercial kangaroo harvest zones in South East NSW. This is expected to occur during 2019.These changes will both reduce biosecurity risks and incentivise experienced shooters to support landholders in reducing numbers.