Stop Kangaroo Killings in Australia
The Australian government recently signed off on a plan to shoot 2,000 kangaroos living in Canberra's parks and nature reserves. On July 3rd, it was announced that 1839 kangaroos had been culled throughout seven nature reserves. It is the second successive year Parks, Conservation and Lands has carried out the cull to bring the number of eastern grey kangaroos to sustainable levels in grass and woodlands. The agency will decide in the next six to eight months whether another kangaroo cull is needed next year.
Kangaroo culls are inhumane and barbaric. The National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies advises that babies found in a slain mother's pouch be decapitated with a sharp blade; clubbed with a metal pipe; or slammed against a firm object. Older joeys are bludgeoned or shot at point blank range. Hunters spotlight kangaroos in the outback at night. They aim for their brains, but often miss and leave kangaroos with gaping head and mouth wounds. Along with nearly four million kangaroos commercially killed each year, hundreds of thousands of joeys die hideously.
Please ask the Australian government to stop the kangaroo culls, and to actively research and provide alternative solutions.
- Minister Peter Garrett
- Chief Minister Jon Stanhope
- Canberra Tourism
- Australia Tourism
- Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia
- Wildlife Management
- Public Affairs
In May 2009, the Department of Defense began to gun down 7,000 kangaroos on its vast Majura military base in Canberra, ACT. By 5/14/09, with 3500 already dead, a court-issued injunction temporarily stopped the massacre. Now, marksmen are to shoot 2,000 kangaroos living in Australia's national capital of Canberra over the next six weeks. Where is the Australian government’s moral compass? Kangaroos have a right to live in the city and have been there long before human habitation. Instead, they are killed on roads, shot by sporting shooters, and the mob social structure destroyed by the commercial kangaroo kill. The continual indiscriminate slaughtering of healthy kangaroos is creating an 'ecological depression' which could push the kangaroo over the edge to extinction. In many areas of Australia kangaroos are already regionally extinct.
Has the government taken any measures to eliminate the need to cull kangaroos ? Does the government currently have any plans to eliminate the need for a cull ? The current management of kangaroos is flawed – a systematic slaughter of wildlife is not the solution. Australia’s assault on its national icon is disgraceful.
Kangaroos are native to Australia – they have evolved and existed in Australia for 16 million years and are in balance with the ecosystem. Their grazing impact is only a fraction of a sheep's and they have co-evolved to be perfectly adjusted to Australian native grasses and biodiversity. They are not an environmental threat. Kangaroos are not terrorizing wheat crops. Some justifications for the killing have been that kangaroos destroy wheat crops and compete with livestock for grazing. The largest study of kangaroos ever conducted, carried out by the University of New South Wales, found that the presence of kangaroos has no negative effects on sheep farms whatsoever. A study carried out by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation found that 95 per cent of wheat crops are never visited by kangaroos and furthermore, Gordon Grigg, one of the most avid supporters of kangaroo slaughter and author of Commercial Harvesting of Kangaroos in Australia, the kangaroo industry’s bible, has stated that kangaroos’ grazing requirements may have been over-estimated by as much as 500 per cent.
Kangaroo shootings can jeopardize public safety. Kangaroo culling typically take the form of rifle shootings of Kangaroos. If this is taking place in crowded local areas, it can potentially jeopardize the public safety. There is also concern among citizens of Australia that their pets will be put at risk, particularly as pets roam roads and lands, sometimes amidst kangaroos.
Kangaroo culling damages the tourism industry. People from all around the world associate Australia with kangaroos. Tourists come to Australia, in large part, to see the kangaroos. It is, subsequently, wrong to kill them. It would kill part of Australia's identity and culture. The international response to the proposal to cull kangaroo populations in Australia has been met by significant international revulsion. The culls damage the image of Australia.
Culling kangaroos is inhumane, especially when humane alternatives exist. An unsustainable population can be controlled by non lethal measures. It is possible for efforts to be taken to lower the breeding of kangaroos. In urban areas, non lethal fertility control techniques need to be developed to maintain the populations at an ecologically sustainable level that will not jeopardise the welfare of the animals. These include surgical sterilisation, steroidal contraceptives, immunosterilisation and immunocontraception. Sterilizing kangaroos is the most humane way to curb population growth.
Relocation of the kangaroos would resolve the issue of habitat and species destruction. If the overpopulation in specific areas strains the ecosystem, one solution would be to relocate them to areas with regionally low kangaroo populations that can easily acommodate them. Given the size of Australia and range of wildlife and habitats to choose from, translocation can be achieved relatively easily. The natural habitats and conditions for the varieties of kangaroos present in Australia are well documented, and so are the matching characteristics of habitats that don't currently have substantial kangaroo populations. Some argue that this would be inhumane because it would traumatize kangaroo. The ability of kangaroo to continue living is obviously better and more humane than merely traumatizing them.
I urge the officials to respect and accommodate indigenous wildlife with more national parks,
nature reserves, and protected land corridors for animals to get there. In Australia, the internationally beloved kangaroo has become an article of trade — to buy and sell by way of violent death. I respectfully ask the government to immediately stop the plans for killing of Canberra's kangaroos and to phase-out kangaroo culling in Australia. Plainly stated, Australia’s largest known slaughter of land wildlife is sickening.
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