Queensland and Victoria in a race to cull-tivate a kangaroo meat industry
The states of Queensland and Victoria are looking at culls of excessive numbers of kangaroos as a resource to harvest for Australian and overseas customers.
Kangaroo, which historically has been disparaged as pet food, has now become an Australian restaurant delicacy with its low cholesterol, gamey-tasting meat prized by gourmands.
According to a recent region report on Australia’s ABC radio, a Charleville-based business man in north-west Queensland has announced plans to re-open a game meat abattoir to produce shelf-ready kangaroo meat products such as sausages and lasagne. The abattoir was formerly a multi-million dollar plant, but has been closed since 2005 due to issues with exporting kangaroo meat.
The potential markets for the abattoir include Russia, which previously was a substantial importer of kangaroo products.
Meanwhile, the Victorian government has announced that it will look into what legislation needs to be changed to allow the commercial production of kangaroo meat in Victoria, the only State where kangaroo is prohibited. Currently all kangaroo meat sold in Victoria is sourced interstate.
Despite recent support from Victorian commercial hunters, there have been concerns raised about the kangaroo meat direct ‘from the wild.’ In September 2012, ABC reporters exposed the hygienic issues involved with the kangaroos being killed outside of a sterile factory.
The Victorian government has stated that if the legislation was changed, it would not increase the amount of kangaroos killed in the state each year and only kangaroo meat from the annual culling system would be allowed.