The NSW government has given more power to drought-stricken farmers to shoot more roos to save feed for drought-hit cattle and sheep.
As part of the NSW drought strategy, the approach will allow farmers to apply for licences over the phone or via email, to cull kangaroos and more shooters will be able to operate on a property under the same licence.
Under the new system, carcasses will no longer need to be tagged and left in the paddock, and landholders will be able to use the carcass for a range of non-commercial purposes like bait meat.
There will also be increased limits on the number of roos that may be culled, based on property size.
All of NSW and nearly 60 per cent of Queensland is drought declared, allowing farmers to apply for drought aid.
Lachlan Ennis, a farmer from Bective in northern NSW, said many people did not realise how much of an impact roos could have on a property.
“Just after the rain, you’ll find bits of green pick shooting up, and the roos get in there and eat it all before it’s big enough for cattle or sheep to eat it,” Mr Ennis said.
“Some properties have got a massive number of roos, and you see a lot more of them in drought. They’re out and about looking for food and water.
“Making these licences easier to access will definitely encourage more people to investigate them.”
Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said animal welfare standards and ecologically sustainable kangaroo populations would be maintained.
“If we don’t manage this situation we will start to see tens of thousands of kangaroos starving and suffering ultimately leading to a major animal welfare crisis,” Mr Blair said.
“Kangaroos around local food and water sources are putting significant pressure on farms – we must start to turn that around as soon as possible.
“Many farmers are taking livestock off their paddocks, only to then see kangaroos move in and take whatever is left.”