AGFORCE has reconfirmed its commitment to supporting the rebuilding of the kangaroo industry in Queensland by meeting state and federal governments to discuss ways to manage plague populations and reinvigorate the kangaroo meat trade.
In 2009 Russia banned imports of Australian kangaroo meat due to bacterial contamination concerns, bringing the collapse of a $24 million a year industry.
Since then the sector has struggled to rebuild, hurting regional economies and leaving primary producers exposed to plague level populations, according to AgForce.
At the end of last year the kangaroo population in Queensland was estimated to be more than 20 million, although AgForce said it had concerns this count may be understated.
AgForce macropod committee chair Stephen Tully said there were a number of issues limiting the kangaroo industry that must be addressed to revitalise trade and, as a result, regional economies.
"We urge both the Federal Government and key individual stakeholders to continue to speak with both Russia and China to reinvigorate our trade relationship with these two key partners," Mr Tully said.
"We understand there are challenges, however a vibrant kangaroo industry not only provides income to regional Queensland but also supports the grazing and grains industries."
It has been has been estimated kangaroos cost agriculture more than $75 million a year.
Mr Tully said proper management of kangaroo populations through co-ordinated harvesting was also crucial to ensure acceptable biodiversity and animal welfare outcomes.
"Large numbers of kangaroos place immense pressure on pastures and the lack of associated ground cover due to overgrazing has a significant impact on smaller, ground dwelling species and endangered wallabies," he said.
"Furthermore, if plague numbers are allowed to continue we will be forced back into a situation like that was seen between 2001 and 2003 when 26 million kangaroos died due to starvation.
"Current populations are trending towards a similar number."
AgForce Queensland has held a number of discussions with both state and federal ministers on the issue and has recommended the State Government has an open review into the management of macropods and all systems and regulations associated.
"Not only will adequate kangaroo management provide income for the state of Queensland, it is also essential to ensuring a viable broadacre farming industry, ecosystem health and animal welfare," Mr Tully said.
"We look forward to continuing work with all levels of government and other key stakeholders to implement solutions that are beneficial to all involved."