Nutrition

News 119 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Aussies urged to rear kangaroos, not sheep

Australian farmers should rear kangaroos rather than sheep because they do less damage to the country's environment, according to University of Sydney ecologist Chris Dickman.

"I think it's a great alternative to start looking at in areas where over-grazing by sheep just hasn't worked and where incomes are coming down where it is not sustainable," Dickman said at a biodiversity conference in Sydney this week.

New markets
Dickman said overgrazing by sheep eroded topsoil, unlike kangaroos which were light on the environment. However Australians have long believed the country gained prosperity "on the sheep's back" and farmers indicated that kangaroo farming was impractical.
New South Wales Farmers Association vice-president Graham Morphett also said there was a lack of demand kangaroo meat. "Farmers are always looking for new ways and new markets. They would do it if it was a possible but I haven't heard of any people changing over," he told the ABC.

A lot of kangaroos
Australia has almost 60 million wild kangaroos that support a market in meat and other products worth about AUS$200 million (US$172 million a year) according to the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia's website.

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