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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 29 October 2015) . . Page.. 3946 ..

(4) How many leaseholders engaged licensed shooters to conduct kangaroo culls in the ACT between September 2013 and September 2015.

Mr Rattenbury: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The Nature Conservation Act 2014 (NCA) is the primary legislation for nature conservation and the protection of all native animals. Anyone intending to legally cull kangaroos is required to apply for a licence to kill a native animal and any use of meat or skins (including possession) also requires approval under the NCA.

Under current ACT Government policy, outlined in the Kangaroo Management Plan (2010), kangaroos are culled for either damage mitigation or conservation purposes (ACT Government conservation cull).

Depending on the intended use for the kangaroo meat, compliance with various health and food standards legislation would also be required. In addition, there are licensing requirements for carcass holding, transport and processing facilities.

The modern commercial industry is based on treating kangaroos as a resource to be managed sustainably, rather than as a pest. For example, commercial harvesting in NSW is strictly regulated under a management plan approved by the Commonwealth which satisfies requirements in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity and Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC). The EPBC management plan is required for export purposes.

A Feasibility Study for the Commercial Disposal of Culled Kangaroo Carcasses in the ACT (Feasibility Study) was tabled in the Legislative Assembly in 2011. The Feasibility Study identified:

that in addition to investigating legislative and regulatory issues, economic, social, environmental and market issues need to be identified and considered;

there would be costs to the ACT Government associated with exploring options for an ACT-based commercial operation; and.

any options would need to be considered in relation to the structure and operation of the existing commercial kangaroo industry.

(2) In 2015, the ACT Government used 8% of the kangaroos culled in the conservation culling program to make baits. This provided enough meat for the ACT Government wild dog and fox control programs.

(3) There are no plans to use kangaroo meat derived from the ACT Government kangaroo conservation cull for private or commercial purposes. The relatively small numbers culled in individual nature reserves each night, and overall annual numbers (usually less than 2,000) are unlikely to make this a feasible proposal. A commercial operation requires a continual and minimum supply to make it economically and practically viable. The Feasibility Study identified a substantially greater number of carcasses are available from culling on rural leases; these could be a consideration for offsetting set-up costs for a commercial operation.

(4) The licensing period for the general season (mixed sex period) for kangaroo culling in the ACT is between 1 March and 31 July each year. Leaseholders are also able to undertake ‘male only’ culling between 1 August and 31 October each year if the licence applicant has undertaken culling during the general season.

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