The development of a new code of practice for the commercial harvesting of kangaroos

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As a condition of their licence or permit, all commercial kangaroo harvesters must comply with a national code of practice that outlines animal welfare standards for the harvesting of kangaroos and wallabies. The previous code was published in 2008 and was due for review in 2013. Since the 2008 code there has been new research that warrants inclusion to ensure the industry maintains best practice.

The purposes of this project were to:
• Develop a new evidence-based national code of practice for the commercial harvesting of kangaroos to include more detail on best practice harvesting procedures and clearer guidelines for harvesters with particular regard to minimising the suffering of dependent young.
• Conduct consultation with stakeholders about the revised code.
• Develop an understanding of public perceptions of the commercial kangaroo industry about the adoption and awareness of the code.

In Australia, public consultation is considered best practice, and is a requirement in the development of new animal welfare standards that are to be incorporated into legislation or regulation. This report presents an overview of the process and consultations to develop a revised national code of practice for the commercial harvesting of kangaroo. The report includes the results from public consultation on the new code and survey results on attitudes and understanding of kangaroo harvesting.

The revised code itself is based on current expert knowledge and scientific evidence. It sets standards in the form of ‘requirements’ that must be met to achieve an acceptable level of animal welfare during commercial harvesting. The revised code also includes standard operating procedures and additional information and resources on how to achieve the requirements of the code.

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