Kangaroo harvesting

The Kangaroo Harvesting Program (KHP) began in Victoria on 1 October 2019 to enable the harvesting of Eastern and Western Grey kangaroos (grey kangaroos) in Victoria. The program provides an alternative to the existing Authority to Control Wildlife (ATCW) system for landholders wishing to control kangaroos on their property.

The KHP helps landholders reduce issues caused by kangaroos on-farm, it makes use of the carcasses and provides an income for the trained harvesters. Problems faced by landholders include crop destruction, competition with livestock and damage to property such as fences.

The sustainability of kangaroo populations is protected by limiting the harvest using annual quotas. The harvesting quota is set taking into account population estimates and the predicted ATCW numbers for the coming year.

Authorised harvesters take kangaroos in a sustainable manner at no cost to landholders. Suitable kangaroo carcasses are delivered to a processing centre where they are processed for food and other products, minimising wastage. Harvesters are accredited in firearm proficiency and game harvester skill sets. They must act in accordance with national standards.

Landholders engage authorised harvesters directly and can request details of authorised harvesters in their area. Landholders wishing to use authorised harvesters do not need to apply for an ATCW

The program is designed and implemented by the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions in collaboration with the Game Management Authority (GMA) (who also lead compliance and enforcement of the KHP) and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

The KHP operates in accordance with the 2021-2023 Victorian Kangaroo Harvest Management Plan:

Authorised Harvesters are subject to the Conditions of Authorisation:

Authorised harvesters are required to act in accordance with the National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Commercial Purposes.

In 2021, the new Kangaroo Harvest Management Plan 2021-2023 was released.

The new plan has changed slightly from the previous year’s plan. Changes to the 2021 – 2023 plan include:

  • the life of the plan has been extended to three years
  • the expansion of the program to using kangaroos for human consumption (previously limited to pet food)
  • the ability to trade interstate for both harvesters and processors where they are legally authorised to do so in the relevant jurisdiction
  • the Kangaroo Harvest Management Plan 2021-2023 being being declared a Developmental Wildlife Trade Operation under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999. This will allow kangaroo products collected under the program, such as skins, to be exported overseas.

Map of Victoria showing the kangaroo harvesting zones. The zones are Mallee, Upper Wimmera, Lower Wimmera, Otway, Central, North East and Gippsland.

Click map to view a larger version or download the Kangaroo harvest zones map Kangaroo harvest zones map (PDF 2325.2 KB)PDF icon

There are seven kangaroo harvest zones in Victoria:

  • Mallee
  • Upper Wimmera
  • Lower Wimmera
  • Central
  • Otway
  • North East
  • Gippsland

See Local Government Areas in each harvest zone Local Government Areas by zone (DOCX 7.91 KB)DOCX icon

Harvesters in different parts of Victoria can apply to harvest in any given zone.

A quota for the harvesting program is set each year and allocations released in stages throughout the year.

To ensure the sustainability of kangaroo populations, a total recommended take (across the KHP and ATCWs) is determined. The total recommended take is set at 10% of the population.

The KHP is based on each zone’s estimated population. Zones with a higher proportion of Victoria’s kangaroo population will generally have a higher quota. The predicted ATCW numbers within a zone also affect the KHP quota.

ATCWs are considered on a case by case basis and not capped, therefore the level of take across the two programs is monitored closely. If the level becomes too high, the number of quota allocations will be revised at the next planned release.

From this quota, harvesters in different parts of Victoria can apply for an allocation which specifies how many or grey kangaroos they can harvest in any given harvest zone.

These allocations are strictly enforced, and non-compliance may result in revocation of authorisation to operate. Non-compliant harvesters can face significant penalties.

The 2021 quota is now available and covers the period 11 January 2021 to 31 December 2021.

Harvest Zone

Total Annual Quota per Zone

Mallee

1,110

Upper Wimmera

9,610

Lower Wimmera

25,850

Central

25,500

Otway

16,500

North East

8,060

Gippsland

9,050

Statewide Total (annual)

95,680

Harvesters can apply for a quota allocation in any zone. The allocation will specify how many kangaroos they can harvest and in which zones. Tags (with quota ID) are then posted to harvesters for attaching at the time of harvesting.

Harvesters must only harvest the number of kangaroos they have been allocated tags for, and only in the zones the tags specify.

The annual quota and quarterly releases for 2021 are provided below. Any quarterly unallocated quota may be rolled into the next quarter release.

Harvest Zone

Total Annual Quota per Zone

Total Quota released for Quarter 1

Quota to be released for Quarter 2

Quota to be released for Quarter 3

Quota to be released for Quarter 4

Mallee

1,110

275

275

275

285

Upper Wimmera

9,610

2,400

2,400

2,400

2,410

Lower Wimmera

25,850

6,460

6,460

6,460

6,470

Central

25,500

6,375

6,375

6,375

6,375

Otway

16,500

4,125

4,125

4,125

4,125

North East

8,060

2,015

2,015

2,015

2,015

Gippsland

9,050

2,260

2,260

2,260

2,270

Total released

95,680

23,910

23,910

23,910

23,950

The total number of grey kangaroos taken in Victoria will be monitored closely throughout the year. The KHP quota may be adjusted at points throughout the year to maintain a sustainable take across the KHP and through ATCW’s.

Quarter one quota applications

The KHP  is currently accepting 2021 quarter 1 quota applications.

Active/Non-Active

Previously harvesters were considered active across all zones if they could demonstrate they met the active criteria for one zone.

As of January 2021, the status of a harvester is assessed per harvest zone. Harvesters must demonstrate activity in the zone in which they are applying for quota.

A harvesters initial status per zone for 2021 will be based on their activity in that zone throughout October- December (last three months of 2020)

2021 Active/ Non- Active criteria

Status

Criteria

Non-active Harvester in zone

*A non-active harvester:

  • a new harvester
  • a harvester who has not received an allocation of tags in the last three   months for the zone
  • a harvester who has received an allocation in the last three months for the zone but has not consumed 50% of the total tags issued to them in this three-month period.

Active Harvesters in zone

*An active harvester:

  • a harvester who has received an allocation of tags in the three months prior to applying for tags and has consumed (used) at least 50% of the total tags issued to them for the zone within this three-month period.

2021 Tag allocation rules

The tag allocation rules outlined below will continue to apply to all harvesters for 2021 as they did in 2020.

Tag allocation rules were introduced in 2020, to prevent non-active harvesters from stockpiling unused tags.

Demonstrated harvest status

Initial tag allowance

Subsequent tag allowances *

Non-active Harvesters

Maximum 50 tags, per zone

Maximum 200 tags per zone

Active Harvesters

Maximum 200 tags per zone

Maximum 200 tags per zone

* Before being able to apply for subsequent tag allocations, the harvester must have consumed (used) 50% of the previous tags issued to them.

The Kangaroo Harvest Management Plan has been updated and the new plan will be in effect until the end of 2023.

Some of the amendments included:

  • Extending the life of the plan from 1 year to 3 years (authorisations will continue to be issued annually)
  • Allowing harvested grey kangaroos to be used for human consumption and for products to be exported overseas
  • An ability to suspend harvesting in a zone or a zone segment (local government area) when an event (such as a bushfire) occurs that could affect grey  kangaroo populations
  • Allowing the annual KHP quota to be published separately to the management plan. This allows the quota to be adjusted each year

Developmental Wildlife Trade Operation

The KHMP 2021-2023 now recognised under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 as a Developmental Wildlife Trade Operation. This allows the international export of kangaroo products from this program.

PrimeSafe

On 1st February 2020, the Meat Industry Act 1993 was amended. As a result, vehicles used in harvest, processing, storage or transport of kangaroos for pet or human food or other commercial products, must be licensed with PrimeSafe.

For further information on these regulatory changes please visit the PrimeSafe website.

To get involved in the program as a harvester, you'll need to register through Service Victoria.

Please ensure you are using Chrome as your browser when registering or logging into their system.

Register as a harvester

Log in as an existing Service Victoria user

You will need to provide evidence of appropriate training including:

For any enquiries about import or export permits please email  the wildlife licensing team via email at wildlifelicensing@delwp.vic.gov.au

Frequently asked questions

For more information, please see the following documents:

Need assistance? For help registering or using the Service Victoria App please access our Guide for Harvesters Guide for Harvesters Guide for Harvesters (DOCX 40.67 KB)DOCX icon

To get involved in the KHP as a landowner, you’ll need to register through Service Victoria.

Once registered, you can request a list of currently authorised harvesters who have expressed an interest in operating in your zone.

It will be up to you to make direct contact with harvesters to organise a time and date for harvest.

Register as a landowner

Landowners are required to provide written consent to an authorised harvester to harvest grey kangaroos on their property.

Also, they should request evidence from the harvester that they have appropriate public liability or public indemnity insurance.

Note that the authorised harvester e-licence on the Service Victoria app is sufficient proof of authorisation for processors and landowners.

Download: Consent form for landowners Consent form for landowners Consent form for landowners (DOC 715.5 KB)DOC icon

Frequently asked questions

For more information, please see the following documents:

If you have a wildlife problem on your property, you can apply for an ATCW to control wildlife that is:

  • damaging buildings, pasture, crops or other property
  • posing a risk to human health and safety, or
  • damaging the environment

If you require an ATCW, you must complete and sign an ATCW application form and submit it to the Conservation Regulator (DELWP) according to the locations listed on the form.

For more information on ATCWs, see Wildlife.vic.gov.au: Wildlife management and control authorisations.

  • Follow all instructions, signage and park where directed.
  • Before entering or leaving a property, ensure your vehicle, equipment, footwear and clothing are clean and free of any visible dirt or contaminants and, if possible, disinfected or washed away from livestock or crops.
  • If entering certain areas, you must use provided equipment or clothing if asked.
  • Minimise contact with livestock, crops and plant materials, and only enter authorised areas.

Contact information

All queries, complaints and concerns should be emailed to kangarooharvesting@ecodev.vic.gov.au or by calling 136 186.

Page last updated: 4 March 2021