COMMERCIAL kangaroo harvesting could be introduced in the Upper Hunter next year in an effort to control the native animals more effectively.
The Department of Environment and Climate Change is considering a proposal to extend the state's harvesting area to take in parts of the Hunter.
Many property owners and the several rural lands protection boards have expressed support for the proposal.
The system would allow kangaroo carcasses to be processed for their meat and fur. Kangaroos killed under the present permit system must be left where they fall.
An aerial survey of Upper Hunter kangaroo populations is about to be done as part of the process of determining the viability of commercial harvesting.
New England Armoury store owner Chris French said most shooters supported the introduction of commercial culling.
"The place is littered with roos," he said.
"They are starving to death because there is not enough food for them.
"I've hit nine of them and had one car written off."
Recreational shooter James Fry said he was concerned that the introduction of commercial harvesting would prevent shooters like himself assisting farmers.
"I agree with what they are trying to achieve. It's just a shame they are going to stop us helping farmers," he said.
The Australian Society for Kangaroos is opposed to extending commercial culling.
"The kangaroo industry has access to 93 per cent of NSW, with just 7 per cent of NSW left as protected habitat for kangaroos," society co-ordinator Nikki Sutterby said.
"If you allow the kangaroo industry into these last protected areas they will wipe out your kangaroos and take away one of your biggest tourist drawcards."
A decision on the proposal is expected to be made this year.