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Impact of commercial exploitation on Kangaroos in Victoria

Life on land

"There can be no other reason to allow the killing of Kangaroos on public lands in Victoria other than commercial exploitation has decimated Kangaroo populations on private land to such an extent that there no longer exists sufficient numbers to meet the set quotas".

Peter Hylands

April 24, 2024

This analysis describes the number of Kangaroos killed using Victorian Government permits before and after commercial exploitation commenced in Victoria in 2014.

The commercial exploitation of Kangaroos in Victoria has nothing to do with mitigation of harm, but everything to do with commercial gain. There has been a fivefold increase in the killing rate of Kangaroos in Victoria since the Kangaroo pet food trial commenced in 2014.

There is indisputable evidence that the commercial exploitation of Kangaroos has destroyed large populations of Kangaroos in many States (e.g. NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into the Health and Wellbeing of Kangaroos and other Macropods in New South Wales). Victoria, as a recent addition to the commercial exploitation of Kangaroos, is now being used to extend the life of this dying industry, which is struggling to justify its existence.

The places in Victoria where one would expect to see Kangaroos, are now devoid of Kangaroos. Kangaroo populations have become increasingly fragmented as the ecology and family kinships of Kangaroo mobs has been disrupted. Despite the obvious absence of Kangaroos from many landscapes across the state, the Victorian Government’s population estimates and quotas continue to rise.


The likely economic contribution of this much hyped regional opportunity in Victoria is approximately $1.9 million in 2022 and is far outweighed by many millions of dollars of government expenditures and the costs incurred from damage to regional businesses and lives caused by the shooting. The estimate of economic value of this activity of $1.9 million, benchmarks nicely into the Australian Government's own estimate of gross value Australia wide of $31,582,408 or USD 20,844,3829 in the financial year 2021 - 2022.

“The Victorian Government receives revenue from the exploitation of Kangaroos in the form of application fees for a Wildlife Processor Licence. In 2023, there were 11 Kangaroo processors who held a Wildlife Processor Licence. An application for a one-year Wildlife Processor Licence in 2023-24 is $782.20 and $1,877.40 for a 3 year licence”.

So the Victorian Government, for all the mayhem and cruelty and costs it generates, receives a total income from the commercial exploitation of Kangaroos from the processors in the range of $6,883.80 to 8,604.20 per annum depending on duration of the licence. Yes, that is the total figure from all processors.

There is no cost to register as a commercial Kangaroo shooter in Victoria or obtain tags (usually manufactured in Malaysia) under the KHP. However, fees are expected to be introduced in future. There are fees associated with obtaining a Game Meat Processing Facility (Harvest Vehicle) licence from PrimeSafe.


Among the many matters of concern are these:

The new Victorian Government ‘plan’ 2024-2028 to commercially exploit Kangaroos has a duration of five years, the first and previous plan had a duration of three years. This means the Australian Government will not be reviewing the plan, which is a disaster for Kangaroo populations in the state, for another five years, and precisely during the period when it requires close scrutiny from outside the state.
There are too many licensed Kangaroo shooters in Victoria and too few Kangaroos.
Kangaroo shooters from interstate are allowed to shoot for commercial gain in Victoria. This means  that Kangaroo shooters have no local responsibility or accountability to the people who live and run businesses in the places where Kangaroos are being shot, further disempowering local residents.
Kangaroo carcasses can be taken to other states for processing, this may prove particularly bad for the Kangaroos living in National Parks in Victoria, particularly the Mallee Parks, and the ability to take Kangaroo carcasses cross border has a significant range of implications for governance standards and scrutiny and may increase distances of travel.


These are the available statistics from 2009 to 2023. The numbers do not include the death of joeys, killed by blunt force, decapitation or shot. The tables below demonstrate just how little the Victorian Government knows about the numbers. There are too many 'not availables' in these tables and according to the government, the data does not exist.


So spotlighting Kangaroos in Victoria and doing so unannounced in the dead of night, even in suburbia, adjacent to where people live, doing so using high powered rifles to kill the Kangaroos, is not dangerous?

Game Management Authority director of compliance and intelligence, Zac Powell, said they executed search warrants on properties in Moe and Morwell in December 2022 as part of an investigation into reports of illegal spotlighting the search of the properties in admissions from the men linked them to the illegal spotlighting.
“The search of the properties and admissions from the men, linked them to the illegal spotlighting reports resulting in their arrest, he said. Illegally spotlighting deer at night is dangerous and can put communities, properties and livestock at risk”. Weekly Times 24 April, 2024