The whole state of NSW has officially been declared in drought with one quarter classified as “intense drought”. With less than 10mm of rain falling in the past month kangaroos have moved closer to human habitation and water sources.
New South Wales Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair says their numbers are now out of control.
“We have kangaroos in plague proportions across NSW now,” he said.
Andrew Davidson, a lamb producer at Somerton, outside Tamworth in NSW, said they are competing with domestic stock for resources.
“We’ve had no stock on it, but the roos have been giving it a pretty good towel up early mornings, late afternoons and during the night,” he said.
As part of the drought strategy, farmers can now apply online or over the phone for a license to shoot the animals, rather than in person.
Carcasses will no longer have to be tagged or left in the paddock, and the meat can now be used for non-commercial purposes,including bait meat.
The Greenies do not approve
Professor Steve Garlick who runs a sanctuary for injured native animals, has argued there is no plague.
He said the animals are just moving closer to food and water.
“Kangaroos are not in plague proportions. They might be in some specific areas, and that’s because we are in a drought, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.
“But no one seems to be interested in any of the wildlife in this drought situation.”
He opposes all kangaroo culling and argues the Government’s decision will be dangerous.