Protesters dodge rain
A HANDFUL of animal rights activists dodged rain on Friday as they protested plans for a kangaroo pet meat processing plant.
Organisers Glynn Jarrett and Michelle Mead were joined by four other Plea for Kindness Rally protesters to wave posters in Wedderburn’s main street, including outside the shire offices, before travelling to the proposed plant site at
Police patrolled High Street Wedderburn during the protest and checked the residency of protesters.
Mr Jarrett, a City of Greater Bendigo officer and former Animal Justice Party state election candidate, claimed there would be a stigma attached to the region if the plant employing 10 people went ahead.
“I lot of people come here for nature-based tourism,” Mr Jarrett said.
He said that while Loddon communities might have a different culture to that of campaigners for kangaroos, he hoped people would listen to protester arguments.
However, Mr Jarrett said he was not trying to impose a different culture on local towns.
Ms Mead said she had grown up in Korong Vale before leaving for study and employment.
She said her love of wildlife, kangaroo numbers and the targeting of alpha male kangaroos were driving her opposition to the permit application by Campaspe Meats.
“The creation of 10 jobs (processing kangaroos) is short-sighted,” she said. “Inglewood is perfect for ecotourism and tourism creates jobs.”
“Does Inglewood want to be known as a slaughterhouse for kangaroo. There are other options out there instead of killing kangaroos.”
Ms Mead said she was also concerned about odours at the Inglewood site and spread of disease by kangaroos.
Ms Mead said she had not previously opposed meat processing at the Inglewood site, used as an abattoir until 2015.
Wendy James, a Ballarat animal activist, claimed the proposal would detract from town but “as a rule I directly don’t spend a lot of time around town”.
During their 30-minute protest at Wedderburn, only one car horn toot of support was heard.
And a group of locals in Inglewood, watching the main protest vehicle drive down Brooke Street to the abattoir at lunchtime, in chorus said the kangaroo meat processing plant would be good for the town.
READ MORE IN THIS WEEK'S LODDON HERALD