Riverland man's costly roo rampage
Authorities are urging landowners and shooting contractors to be wary of consequences they may face for shooting wildlife without a permit after a man in the South Australian Riverland area was recently convicted and fined for shooting 27 kangaroos.
The Renmark man faced the long arm of the law in the Berri Magistrates Court after shooting the kangaroos without a permit.
He was fined $3750 after pleading guilty to breaching the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972, in addition to paying legal costs and the Victims of Crime Levy.
Barring an authorised permit from the Department for Environment and Water, kangaroo culling is strictly prohibited as a result of kangaroos being classified as a protected native animal under the Act.
Lisien Loan, the Director of Conservation and Wildlife at the Department for Environment and Water, said the recent developments should serve as a reminder to landholders and shooters that permits are strictly required for wildlife slaughter on the properties of contractors.
“DEW takes the illegal shooting of native animals very seriously."
“We acknowledge that large kangaroo populations can have potential impacts on crops, pasture and native vegetation and that’s why we provide landholders with an avenue to manage kangaroos on their property through a stringent permit system."
“We must ensure kangaroo numbers are ethically managed so it’s important that landowners apply to DEW for a Permit to Destroy Wildlife before taking any action."
“A commercial harvest industry operates across most of the state but again, please do not engage a professional shooter until you have obtained the necessary permit.”
Penalties for illegal slaughter of kangaroos are severe and offenders face fines of up to $2500 or six-month jail terms.
There is also a fine of $50 per animal.
According to Federal government tables, around 1.6 million kangaroos are commercially harvested each year.
The issue of kangaroos being illegally culled resurfaced last month in New South Wales.
The first public examination of the industry occurred in decades after employees from the multi-million dollar animal trade aired concerns that professional shooters were operating without permits.
NSW Liberal MP Catherine Cusack, who sits on the NSW Parliament's Planning and Environment Committee, detailed her alarm over the practice of kangaroo culling.
The committee spent months examining the health of kangaroos in the state over three public hearings, with Ms Cusack saying:
"It's actually quite distressing to me that our kangaroos could be in such a predicament."
The inquiry revealed the National Parks and Wildlife Service's oversight of kangaroo shootings by private land-holders was veiled by an inability to provide accurate figures on how many kangaroos were being illegally culled at the time.