Australia’s Hunter Valley mulls kangaroo cull

As drought conditions continue to grip much of South Australia, winemakers in Hunter Valley are preparing to begin culling kangaroos, which, desperate for food, could threaten the industry come September.

Earlier this month the state of New South Wales (NSW) was declared entirely in drought, following exceptionally dry 2018 vintage.

It means that kangaroos in the region are now quickly running out of food, according to the Maitland Mercury, and if not managed could soon become a threat to the region’s vineyards come bud burst in September

Pokolbin vignerons, who are already expecting a low volume vintage because of the drought, told Fairfax Media that they could soon make an application to the State Government’s Office of Environment and Heritage to hire registered shooters.

Bruce Tyrrell told the paper that they had lost around 80 tonnes of their crop to kangaroos last year.

“If there’s nothing else to eat they will find what they can and that’s likely to be vines,” he said. “I’ve seen a little vineyard here, which normally picks around 35 tonne, lose 30 tonne over two nights after kangaroos moved in. That vineyard lost most of its income for that year.”

The topic of kangaroo culling is an emotive and controversial one in Australia, which has strict laws on permits allowing for the killing of the animals.

Kangaroo populations are on the rise in some parts of Australia, which has threatened to put a strain on the wine-growing industry.

Earlier this year, a winery in Western Australia cancelled its planned kangaroo cull after facing criticism from animal rights advocates on social media.

Milbrook winery, in the Perth Hills wine region of Western Australia, had planned a cull of kangaroos which had been invading the vineyards and eating crops to take place on April 24.

Though the “fauna management project” had been approved by Australia’s Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), Milbrook announced it was axing the scheme after it was met with a fierce backlash from animal-lovers on Facebook.

“We’d be better off if we had a lot more practical input rather than highly educated impractical input from a city office,” added Tyrell on the situation looming in Hunter Valley.

One Response to “Australia’s Hunter Valley mulls kangaroo cull”

  1. Justine says:

    Wine growers should protect their crops with fencing and netting instead of killing wildlife to save money, which they SHARE the land with

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