Farmers call to cull roos to prevent damage to grazing land

FARMERS have called for a kangaroo cull as the animals' numbers explode across the entire state.

Bidwill farmer Bevan Birt said a cull was needed to cut numbers and prevent damage to grazing land.

But Hervey Bay macropod lover Colin Candy said there was no need to kill roos, denying they were in plague proportions.

Agforce livestock policy officer Michael Allpass this week said kangaroo numbers had exploded and Queensland grazing land could not cope.

Agforce estimates there are more than 20 million kangaroos in Queensland alone.

Agforce macropod committee chair Stephen Tully said: "If plague numbers are allowed to continue we will be forced back into a situation like that seen between 2001 and 2003 when 26 million kangaroos died due to starvation."

Mr Birt, a sugarcane and cattle farmer, said kangaroos on the Fraser Coast were particularly an issue for hobby farmers, whose crops were sometimes devastated by mobs of kangaroos.

The roos also went into forestry areas and brought back ticks and the seeds of noxious weeds which could then affect farm land and stock, he said.

Mr Birt said the weed called giant rat's tail grass could be a particular problem.

"It just runs rampant," he said.

But Mr Candy, who has been fighting a court battle against the State Government for more than 10 years after rangers removed his pet red kangaroo from his home, said the roo population in Queensland was 37 million in 2001.

"The kangaroo population is not in plague proportions. It's ridiculous to say that," he said.