Roo shooting ban to affect west of the state
HARVESTING kangaroos is the lifeblood of many towns in the west, like Surat, where the local game meat abattoir is the biggest employer in town.
But commercial roo shooting could be all but wiped out across western Queensland in 2020, following a state government decision to place sweeping suspensions on the practice in the central zone, which includes the Maranoa Region, Western Downs Region, Balonne Shire, Murweh Shire, Paroo Shire, and more.
In a statement, a Department of Environment and Science spokesman said the decision to suspend commercial harvesting in the area from north of Richmond and Hughenden, down to the border, and east to Dalby and Goondiwindi was due to drought.
"Due to the ongoing drought, populations of the red kangaroo, the common wallaroo and eastern grey kangaroos have declined in the central zone south and central zone north," he said.
"Macropod populations in Queensland depend on pasture availability, and declines in macropod populations are a natural occurrence that always follows drought periods.
"The Queensland Government allows the commercial harvesting of three species, the red kangaroo, the common wallaroo and eastern grey kangaroo, through the Macropod Management Program, and the commercial harvest of macropods in Queensland is also governed by the Federal Government's Wildlife Trade Management Plan (WTMP).
"This plan sets out population trigger points in relation to harvest quotas for macropods.
"When the numbers of macropods drops below the trigger point, harvest quotas are reduced or the harvest is suspended.
"This is what has occurred in the central zone north and the central zone south, and the commercial harvest of macropods has been suspended after an aerial survey showed population estimates had reached the Federal Government's trigger point.
"In instances where animals cause, or may cause, damage or loss; or represents a threat to human health or wellbeing, applications can be made for a Damage Mitigation Permit (DMP).
"Under a DMP, a maximum of two per cent of the estimated population for each commercially harvested species can be taken."