Penrith Anglican College (PAC), together with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), are planning to cull 15 male kangaroos that are on the school property and bury them within the school grounds.
Animal Liberation NSW, the Animal Justice Party and World League for the Protection of Animals are deeply concerned about impact of this on native wildlife, children and staff.
As a school that teaches Christian values, PAC should be putting into practice the stewardship of the environment and co-existence with nature that it teaches students in its classrooms. Instead, they are preaching one thing and practicing mass slaughter a few meters away.
Kangaroos have increasingly less space in the Orchard Hills area, due to the rapid development and urbanisation of western Sydney. Humans have encroached onto their land, which is why they have been driven onto school property. The solution is NOT to kill the kangaroos.
Culling kangaroos, particularly with a focus on one gender, is detrimental to the local ecosystem and kangaroo colony, aside from the obvious cruelty involved in the cull. There is no evidence to suggest that they will pose a threat to the safety of the students, as they are peaceful animals that co-exist with humans in a variety of settings.
The impact on children will be traumatic and long lasting: knowing that animals that they have come to love have not only killed but buried nearby will be immensely distressing for children of all ages. Children do not develop the ability to put an upsetting thought to the back of their mind and concentrate on something important, such as their education, until there are almost adults. This will not result in merely a short-term distraction from learning for these students. The impact is likely to be ongoing with, from what is obvious from the attitude of the principal, little sympathy for or understanding of their needs. Staff will also find this a very upsetting thing to have happen in their workplace.
Culling kangaroos is the exact opposite of what a school should be teaching children about how to treat our native wildlife.
PAC has 18 hectares of land for students to use, bordering national parkland. Students have the benefit of interacting with nature in this idyllic setting and it is one of the advantages highlighted to prospective parents. By contrast, many western Sydney schools have only a small concrete outdoor area. One of the consequences of situating a school in this environment is that wildlife will wander on to school grounds and this should be seen as adding to the beauty of the experience, not as something to be destroyed.
We urge Penrith Anglican College to explore some of the many popular and well-established alternative options, ranging from educating students about how to co-exist with these animals to fencing off an area of the school’s extensive grounds to deterrents, reducing food and reducing access to water supplies.
Please sign this petition and support our campaign.
Director of Animal Liberation NSW and Animal Justice Party NSW Committee