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Industry challenges

Since Russia announced a ban of the importation of kangaroo products in August 2009, AgForce has been extremely active in helping to find other solutions to manage the massive impact macropods have on-ground.

AgForce sees this Russian ban on roos as a double blow for regional communities, particularly in the south and central west of Queensland.

With no roo market the kangaroo population will explode – which is on the back of increased population forecasts due to improved seasonal conditions. This will lead to increased grazing pressure in areas that are already suffering immense production losses due to over grazing by the marsupials and the inability to spell paddocks.

It is widely accepted that kangaroos account for 30 percent total grazing pressure (TGP) when they are managed (Pople and Grigg, 2001). It has also been scientifically established that without the harvest management scheme the kangaroo population would be 30 percent higher than it currently is.

Recent estimates also suggest that with improved seasonal conditions the kangaroo population in Queensland will increase naturally by 20 – 30 percent over the next two to three years. This TGP means that there will be less productivity of livestock due to the increase in the kangaroo population.

The increased TGP will also cause serious ecological damage on already fragile ecologies.

AgForce Macropod Advisory Group

AgForce has formed the Macropod Advisory Group to continue to push for solutions, and to ensure that producers and landowners can see some real solutions on-property.

The group, chaired by Stephen Tully, includes representatives from across Queensland and focuses on issues that directly affect landholders such as the harvest management scheme, damage mitigation permits, total grazing pressure and population estimates.

The group aims to lobby for landholders to have more input in the management of these animals, but to drive these issues it is essential to get accurate and detailed information to start finding ways forward and to take issues to government.

As the group is seeking to make significant change to macropod management in Queensland, we envisage that this is the first step in a process expected to take some time.

What do our members think?

The AgForce Macropod Advisory Group launched an online survey to collect accurate and detailed information about the on-ground and financial impacts caused by macropods.

A focus of the survey was to assess the effectiveness of the current macropod harvest scheme, including population estimates and the impacts of only taking out larger animals. All landholders were encouraged to complete the survey to have their say in the future direction over the sustainable management of macropods.


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