You are here

Kangaroo Meat: Why it's Not Good Bush Tucker!

Editorial comment: Please continue discussion on "Kangaroo Meat - confessions of a serial wildlife killer" (see, also, below).

The kangaroo killing lobby portrays kangaroo meat eating as being romantic - a new gourmet taste sensation which helps the environment. In reality it is barbaric, potentially dangerous to health and environmentally irresponsible.

KANGAROO MEAT IS UNHEALTHY
Kangaroos are hung upside down with hooks through their hind legs for hours before being killed. This horrific suffering releases myopathy toxins. The bodies are driven around on a dusty unhygienic truck all night then placed in inadequately refrigerated ‘chillers’ for up to two weeks, leading to contamination with faeces, maggots, e.coli and more (see http://www.animal-lib.org.au/campaigns/kangaroo-campaign.htm).

Kangaroo meat can contain salmonella, staphylococcus and streptococcus. However no research into unusual parasites and pathogens such as nematodes that eat stomach and muscle tissue or Trichinella pseudospiralis has received government funding. Until public health risk assessments for known zoonoses have been carried out, the precautionary approach would be to take kangaroo meat off the market, since it is rarely adequately cooked.
Toxoplasmosis outbreaks related to kangaroo meat consumption are well known and have resulted in deaths and multiple illnesses. In 2008 three kangaroo processing plants closed down and Russia rejected imports due to e.coli contamination. Canada, among other countries, has banned the importation of kangaroo meat. Additionally, eating kangaroo meat can cause anaphylaxis (an allergic reaction) and also bowel cancer, as its iron content is twice that of beef (high dietary iron being a risk factor for bowel cancer).

Pets can die from eating kangaroo meat (pet mince) preserved with sulphur dioxide which can cause vitamin B deficiency. Dr Richard Malik, from Sydney University's Post Graduate Foundation in Veterinary Science, said pets affected by sulphur dioxide become wobbly on their legs, may develop a head tilt then progress to seizures, paralysis and death.

KANGAROO FARMS CANNOT REPLACE COWS, SHEEP
Kangaroos cannot be farmed. They cannot be herded or driven into yards or abattoirs because they get too stressed (capture myopathy) and the lactic acid builds up in their muscles causing the meat to go rancid and become inedible. Nor can they be transported live unless the appropriate techniques and medications are used.
Being slaughtered in the field presents health and financial problems. The farmer would need transportable chillers to send to the processors, plus the animals would need to be inspected in the field prior to slaughter to ensure the meat was healthy.
Kangaroos eat native vegetation (not wheat) and it would take many years to grow back native plants. They also need a lot of space to roam and cannot be confined in overcrowded areas. Kangaroo-proof fencing is very expensive (DPI recommends 12 wires alternately electrified, 2.13 metres high).
Then there is the question of ownership. Under the Constitution all wildlife is ‘owned’ by the Crown and therefore cannot be privately ‘owned,’ although farmers can own land and wildlife habitat. And even if they could be owned, tagging kangaroos would require expensive and risky tranquilisation. Branding them would kill many or cause myopathy, again making the meat inedible.
Kangaroos are small animals. An adult yields 6.9 kg of meat, only 3 kg of which would be human grade. Current annual kangaroo meat production is 57,000 tonnes compared to 1,7000,000 tonnes of beef. In order to produce enough meat to replace beef the entire kangaroo population would have to be killed hundreds of times over every year.
Kangaroos breed from 2-3 years of age and only produce one joey a year. Survival rate for joeys is low, especially during a drought. Sheep breed from 1 year of age and can produce twins. Joeys are dependent on their mothers for 14 months (sheep for only a few months) and so cannot be transported or sold as live young. Sheep produce meat, skin and wool - kangaroos produce only meat and skin. A 10 year old adult male red kangaroo weighing 60 kg can only produce 6 kg of prime cut meat. Lambs can be slaughtered at 3-6 months of age to produce 20 kg meat (Preuss, 1999) and a 2 year old cow can produce 200 kg of meat. Clearly kangaroo farming is not economically viable.

THE KANGAROO INDUSTRY IS UNSUSTAINABLE
The Department of the Environment talks about the ‘sustainable harvesting of renewable resources.’ However their figures show that in most of the states where kangaroos are hunted they are at ‘quasi-extinction’ levels, which, according to the Murray Darling Report, is defined as less than 5 kangaroos per square kilometre. Not only that, the kangaroo industry has killed off the biggest males leaving mainly juveniles. The average age of kangaroos shot is only 2-3 years i.e. barely at breeding age. In 2007 up to 80% of the kangaroos killed in NSW were females. All of these factors are a recipe for extinction. Why is the government failing to protect our wildlife?
According to government websites kangaroo populations have crashed up to 70% from 2001-2006, due mainly to the drought and unrelenting pressure from the kangaroo industry which continues to set unsustainably high quotas that are never met. In 2008 the quota is 3.7 million making this THE LARGEST SLAUGHTER OF LAND-BASED WILDLIFE ON THE PLANET.
We Australians should hang our heads in shame. At the rate we are killing kangaroos for meat and skins combined with the drought, bush fires, farmer kills, illegal killing, roadkill, habitat destruction for development, government ‘culling’ programs etc, it has been estimated that kangaroos could be extinct in the wild as soon as 2012 to 2020 (www.stopkangarookilling.org). Please sign the petition calling for a moratorium at www.gopetition.com/petitions/kangaroo-extinction.html

KANGAROO KILLING IS INHUMANE
We are assured that kangaroos are humanely killed according to ‘the code.’ However all the killing is performed from moving vehicles in the bush at night, unsupervised, by shooters whose proficiency is questionable. Many kangaroos are shot in the face or neck and left to die painfully of starvation and gangrene. Others are still conscious after being shot and while being disembowelled. The adult females that are killed often have an in-pouch joey and an at-foot joey. The in-pouch joey is either decapitated, stomped on or bashed to death against a tree or truck. The at-foot joey flees to die of starvation, hypothermia or predation. See this cruelty at www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcMkNYOBvW8 (Warning: graphic content, adults only).

WHY THE PUSH TO EAT ‘$KIPPY’??
It’s true that European farming of livestock has wreaked havoc on our environment. Livestock cause soil erosion and destroy soil ecosystems by compacting the soil with hard hooves, thereby causing deserts. They destroy forests and wildlife habitat because grazing land has to be continuously created. The methane and nitrous oxide from their belching/farting/manure (especially dairy cows) leads to the creation of massive amounts of greenhouse gas (more than the entire transport sector). Over half the water used for all purposes is required by the livestock industry. This is the worst drought in 100 years and water should be used for crops to feed people, not livestock. Cows poop 100 times more than people so their massive amounts of manure pollute water (ground and surface) and cause dead zones in the oceans. Since up to 80% of all grains in the world are used to fatten livestock instead of feeding hungry people, livestock farming contributes to world hunger. Therefore 20 million Australians eating cows and sheep is not sustainable or healthy for the planet. However eating kangaroos that do not produce methane or soil erosion, water pollution etc is NOT the solution! The solution to the environmental pollution caused by the livestock industry is staring us in the face. “NOTHING WILL BENEFIT HUMAN HEALTH OR INCREASE THE CHANCES FOR SURVIVAL ON EARTH AS WILL THE EVOLUTION TO A VEGETARIAN DIET.” ~ ALBERT EINSTEIN
A $200 million a year kangaroo industry is not going to shut down because people and pets are dying, Australia’s $85 billion tourist industry is being jeopardised or kangaroos are heading towards extinction. As long as there is money to be made and people to be paid off, this ugly business will continue. Read about the kangaroo industry at www.smuggled.com/vac.htm
Let’s support nature-based eco-tourism at http://www.rootourism.com.au
Don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg! The kangaroo is the spirit of Australia, and is our great national icon.

As Steve Irwin so wisely said "It's embarrassing for Australia that we eat our own wildlife...I'm here to tell you it's just not right. Simply do not buy, eat or use kangaroo products."

If you don't want to see kangaroos go the way of the passenger pigeon in North America sign this extremely important petition and spread the word: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/kangaroo-extinction.com

GoPetition

HELP US GET TO 10,000 SIGNATURES!

Editorial comment: Please continue on "Kangaroo Meat - confessions of a serial wildlife killer"

(As also posted on the second comments page) I am closing the comments on this article,

Please continue the discussions underneath Tigerquoll's article "Kangaroo Meat - confessions of a serial wildlife killer" of 31 Mar 10.

I am closing the comments on this article, because the bug in the installed version drupal comment moduke (see below) makes continued discussion here unwieldy,

Apologies for incorrect links to comments

Also, my apologies for the bug in the software that creates the links on the main page to these comments.

Links to the second page of comments should be, as an example:

http://candobetter.org/node/908&page=1#comment-4447

... rather than:

http://candobetter.org/node/908#comment-4447.

AttachmentSize
Image icon RooMeat250px.jpg49.44 KB
Image icon RooMeat180px.jpg41.72 KB

Comments

What a horribly inaccurate and pathetic article. You should be removed from the website for posting some of the most one-sided biased information I have ever heard in my life. For starters, Kangaroos are protected in Australia by law and culling licenses are given out to simply reduce their numbers which are estimated to be over 50 million nationwide, a number which continues to grow rapidly each year. In-humane treatment like what you described would result in criminal conviction if the people were caught, and not to mention a huge jail sentence and fines that would put human-human assault cases to shame.
I hope you never write another article again, as this is one of the most laughable pieces of trash that I have ever read.

Perhaps, Anonymous, you need to pull the wool away from your eyes. Indeed you and 20 million Australians have been so thoroughly brainwashed to believe the drivel pumped out by the Kangaroo Industry and their cohorts, the Australian government.

Please try to open your mind to the fact that all the information you have previously received MAY be wrong. Read www.stopkangarookilling.org where you will see that indeed kangaroo populations have crashed around Australia due to the drought and over killing. From 2001-2006 populations dropped up to 70% around the country yet still the massacre goes on. The largest slaughter of land-based wildlife in the country. For 2008 the quota was 3.8 million.

You claim that there are 50 million kangaroos. In fact it is estimated between 19 million and 50 million - which means they have no clue really. It is only a GUESS. Why do their populations need to be kept down? Kangaroos are becoming regionally extinct due to over shooting and many of them are only 2-3 years of age when shot for their meat. The biggest ones have been shot out leaving mainly mothers and juveniles. This is a fact - so please do due diligence and read the site which is backed up with irrefutable data from government departments.

Kangaroos are not in plague proportions. There are 5 times more sheep and more cows and people than kangaroo. Livestock are ferals and do much more damage to the land than any native animals. Humans are the most environmentally destructive - why don't we keep humans and livestock populations down? Kangaroos are beneficial to the land having lived in harmony here for 60 million years, regenerating and fertilising native grasses and shrubs, helping soil ecosystems. WE are the enemy, my friend, not kangaroos.

As for kangaroos being protected, that is a joke. There is no real protection for kangaroos in Australia. If they survive it is by sheer luck.

As for the killing being humane, who is enforcing the law in the bush at night while these cruel killings occur? According to the Humane Code of Practice it is LEGAL to bash joeys to death or leave them to die of starvation and hypothermia as orphans. Many adults that are not a head-shot run away with their face blown off to die in great pain of gangrene weeks later, uncounted in the obscene 'harvest.'

Wake up, anonymous, things are very dire for kangaroos so please stop defending the status quo before kangaroos become extinct.

"It’s embarrassing for Australia that we eat our own wildlife ....I’m here to tell you it’s just not right. Simply do not buy, use or eat kangaroo products”
~ Steve Irwin
Sign the most important petition ever created to help kangar

The kangaroo killing industry has a well-oiled publicity machine to continually justify their evil trade to the public. Even urban dwellers have swallowed their tirade, that kangaroos are a "pest"! They have been labelled a pest due to grazing pressure and competition with livestock, but science ruled this one out! Then kangaroos became a "renewable resource", or a "green" meat, using green-washing, but the meat is not clean nor humanely "harvested". Now, in Canberra, scientists have been paid to "prove" that kangaroos are an environmental threat! If this were so, Australia would be already wrecked before the First Fleet came here! The Kangaroo Advisory Committee is just a rubber stamp for the industry too. More kangaroos are killed here than the number of baby seals in Canada, but we in Australia are so apathetic and so easily swayed by the opinion of pastoralist rednecks who want to shoot any native animal that may come onto their property. The reality is that our Government wants kangaroos to be only in sanctuaries or zoos.

Kangaroos were here first. Killing them for commercial meat and destroying their remnant habitat is just a hangover from illegal colonist exploitation of Australia. Killing wildlife is poaching. Early colonists were rightly killed by local Aborigines for killing their wildlife, because the colonists were poaching. Poachers are today killed by indigenous locals in countries which have preserved and respected indigenous rights and laws.

For instance, "Two days after members of the remote Jarawa tribe attacked a group of poachers inside their reserve, killing one and wounding three, Survival today released exclusive footage of the Jarawa, taken during a recent investigation in India’s Andaman Islands."
SOURCE: http://www.survival-international.org/news/3950

Similiarly in Africa: GoTo www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2f0da-ZyYk

I am not opposed to killing poachers as long as it is done quickly and humanely.

Hi

I eat kangaroo because to eat those foreign animals such as sheep and cow just supports a heavily taxpayer subsidised industry that is doing terrible damage to our fragile land, mainly with their hard hooves that dig up our topsoil and vegetation.

If killing native wildlife is wrong, then eating it can only encourage supply of kangaroo meat, and perpetuate the wrong.

If introduced species like sheep and cattle are regarded as wrong because they do "terrible damage to our fragile land, mainly with their hard hooves that dig up our topsoil and vegetation" then by deduction eating lamb and beef is similiarly wrong, as it encourages the supply of sheep and cattle.

One option is to import all lamb and cattle, so leaving Australia's native landscapes to be naturally rehabilitated. This would not be practical, nor legally possible now. The solution lies in finding a viable balance that enables important values to be respected and protected. One of those important values is to sustain the the health of viable populations of native flora in their natural homes. Another important value is to produce enough meat for Australian's now and into the future without causing adverse impacts on the environment so that future generations of farmers are not forced off their lands due to land being overgrazed, saline, etc.

The ethics of which meat is acceptable for Australian husbandry should be examined. If it is ok to eat Kangaroo, what about wombat, Koala and Platypus and dog? Native animals in Australia were referred to as 'vermin' up until the 1960s and were shot for sport and as pests. Indeed, Aboriginal people were considered by the early colonists as savages. Many were also shot. Where does one's morals start and stop?

I agree, we should not eat our native animals AND feral livestock is wrecking our environment. According to the U.N. report 'Livestock's Long Shadow' the livestock industry is the most destructive industry, producing more greenhouse gases than the entire transport sector (cars, trucks, buses, trains, planes, ships).

Therefore the best solution is not to eat animals at all. We are designed to be 100% herbivore so by only eating plants (veges, grains, beans, fruit, nuts, seeds) we will be healthier and avoid diseases of civilisation. At the same time, we help the planet and the animals.

That is the best ethical solution I can see if only people would cut the umblical cord with the traditional meat/dairy diet.

"It’s embarrassing for Australia that we eat our own wildlife ....I’m here to tell you it’s just not right. Simply do not buy, use or eat kangaroo products”
~ Steve Irwin
Sign the most important petition ever created to help kangar

Extremely biased article from a do-gooder who does not understand the food chain. If what you say is true, why are all the major food retailers (Woolworths, Coles etc.), selling huge quantities of this meat to their customers. I do not think that the legal department of "Woolies" would open themselves up to a huge lawsuit from someone with an anaphylaxis reaction to their product. It is so rare that it makes your article laughable. The grocery stores still sell peanuts, do they not? It is up to the consumer to decide whether or not to buy kangaroo, and many of them have made their choice with their wallets. Some of the best chefs and restaurants in the world serve kangaroo, and I know many people who have consumed it to their utmost satisfaction. Maybe your article should be a bit more "balanced", and not based on pure emotion from what you may have seen on television.

People are capable of eating anything that is available. Most people eat for flavour and customs, and ignore the pain ethics. About 95% of pigs are raised in intensive conditions, and sows can be in sow stalls pinned for up to 16 weeks in the one tight metal stall. Piglets get little maternal care, and it is quite legal to de-tail them, castrate and extract their eye teeth without pain relief. They are "processed" at about 6 months without normal lives.

Factory farmed hens are de-beaked, and suffer in cramped cages. This is to stop the cannibalism caused by stress. There are no ethics, and all these abuses are "legal"! It is all sanitised by supermarkets and left to consumers to decide what is moral and ethical. If it produces money, it is saleable and people don't see, and often don't care, about the cruelty involved.

By kilo most kangaroo meat sold by Coles & Woolies is pet food selling retail under $4 a kilo. So it is a low margin product for the cheapest meat market around - domestic cats and dogs "not for human consumption". These are the "huge quantities of this meat to their customers". So are roo shooters proud of their work? Shooting wildlife for pet meat for pittance? Get a real job!

Check out a leading brand of roo pet meat at Coles:
Paws Fresh Pet Foods
PO Box 10562, Southport BC Qld 4215
http://www.pawsfresh.com.au/pet-food/default.asp

It is in these PAWS 1 kg plastic bags of mince that thousands of Australia's kangaroos end up. With Coles and Woolies having dominant market buying power with dominant market share of the shameful 'roo trade', they control and almost set kangaroo meat prices paid to wildlife poachers.

If PH had an argument with any merit, PH would supply referenced facts, rather than resort to argument ad hominem (shooting the messenger 'do gooder' while avoiding the 'do gooders' argument). How lame!

Consumers buy roo cat food because its cheap - simple as that! It's even cheaper than old mutton. It's like ripping out precious native forests in East Gippsland and WA so it can be woodchipped it on the cheap and flogged to Japanese pulp companies like Itochu for just $2.50 a tonne!

Just last month [21-Oct-09], Japan's Itochu Corporation announced that "it is expected to push for lower woodchip prices after terminating its purchase agreement with failed agribusiness group Great Southern."
Source: WA Business News

Go to Japan and see how the Japanese revere and protect their own forests like the famous Beech Tree Forest in Shirakami Sanchi.

"The hills and mountains of Japan cover 70 % of the land. Forests cover a total area of 62 million acres that is equal to 67 % of the land. But "even though two thirds of its land is covered by forests, Japan is one of the world largest timber importers. Foreign imported timber is cheaper than Japan's domestically grown timber, even after considering freight costs for importing timber."
SOURCE: http://www.saveamericasforests.org/JapansForests/Japansforests.htm

Australian immigrants and their descendants since their colonial exploitation culture are mugs for raping Australia's natural heritage and wildlife and flogging it for a song to foreign profiteers who make the real profit.

Perhaps PH can quote facts about the percentage gourmet roo meat that actually makes it to expensive restaurants and retail for $100+ a kilo at the table. If the roo 'industry' was smart and treated kangaroo as gourmet like abalone, despite still being immoral poaching of Australian wildlife, it would have a stronger case for itself as a viable and sustainable practice.
But pet food?

It's hell for leather out there in western Queensland with thousands shot and no controls on humane treatment or hygiene. Any hobo can register as a roo shooter and make a quick quid, but bugger all profit. The so-called 'industry' is basically a knackery supplier and has literally gone to the dogs.

Perhaps road kill ends up on the shelves as well - wombat, echidna, Tasy Devil, whatever, who'll notice? The cat?

Subject was "Menkit Prince joke". - JS

I had to check if it was April 1st after reading Menkit Prince's article. Do you really expect people to swallow that much mis-information in one go? This is the same tired old patchwork of rot, sticky taped together for another fear campaign by animal rights folk.

If your a vegetarian good for you, but dont dictate to others about what they should and shouln't eat, it makes you sound like a loonie.

The green on the carcass photo is fresh paunch material which when removed renders the meat quite safe to eat as I have done many times. Im sure your intention was to present a rotting carcass.

As for quantity of roos stop reading the crap that gets dished out as scientific fact and spend some time out bush.

Im truly amazed that you could glue together so many small bits of information and tar/feather the whole kangaroo industry. No cred for you.

So long as cowboy poachers in utes hoon around the scrub shooting wildlife for a pittance and seek to legitimise it by calling it a 'kangaroo industry', there ought to be calls to set up a Poacher Culling Industry.

What a load of C R A P, with an obvious bias to scare.

I am an active roo shooter, and all those killed are treated the same. A quick clean kill, with attention to any young, if nec.

Editorial comment: The personal attack in this post, which does not address the substance of the issue, has been removed. - JS

Unfortunately,

Much of what is in this article is either misinformed or the unfortunate 1% that affects any industry. I am not an active kangaroo shooter although I do live on a large property where their numbers are out of control.

I have been kangaroo shooting before and do give a selected few professional shooters the opportunity to make their living off my land.

Firstly I would like you to explain how the people catch the kangaroos to hung them upside down by the leg. The are a very fast and powerful animal I doubt that even Ben Johnson whilst on steroids could catch one.

The photo that your article shows is off a kangaroo with its stomach broken and its digested food (grass) smeared over its flesh. Not a kangaroo covered in gangrene as implied.

Next time you try to influence people to your way of thinking use hard facts, do not exaggerate and lie as it only discredits the whole argument.

I welcome genuine input from someone with experience in 'kangaroo poaching'.

The first question of fact and perception is when are kangaroos "out of control"? So please define your understanding. I would like to know what the typical natural mob of kangaroos number and the make up of bulls/females for each species (there are many) and what 'home range' they naturally require.

Then armed with the natural standard in mind, analyse the actual disturbed environment that rural graziers have created in a given area and review those numbers, the distrurbed environment (deforestation, land clearing, fencing, intrduction of introduced species like sheep and cattle a well as crops) and then re-evaluate the home range restrictions.

An Australian native fauna zoologist would be valuable in such an assessment. Has any Australian government done that?

What is the minimum definition of a "professional shooter"? Is it anyone licenced to shoot holding a long arm licence? In NSW, this can mean a supervised 12 year old. How are recreational shooters and farmers holding a shooters licence distinguished from professional marksman with a marksman rating? I don't think they are. Australian shooting associations are all amateur and voluntary and there is no official 'professional shooters licence' as much as many roo shooters would comfort from such legitimacy. A kangaroo's head at 300 metres at dawn or dusk when kangaroos are grazing and so typically shot by roo shooters. This marksman standard ought to be the Australian professional standard. But I reckon we'd find bugger all shooters competent to that accuracy. Hence, despite this being a typical scenario this is why the lack of independent monitoring and systemic cover up of body shots.

Why is there no independent government watchdog overseeing roo shooters in outback QLD, NSW, SA, WA? Is it because state governments could give a toss?

If kangaroo meat is justified by roo shooters as a lucrative prized meat worthy of fine restaurants and export to Russia, why is most of it sold as pet food?

These are legitimate debate questions and I welcome rational discussion without photos of gangrene.

I also suggest that rejected RSPCA dogs and cats be part of the options for pet food, to at least exclude roo meat as pet food. The ethics have more weight, if we can overcome the cultural taboo.

PS. If anyone wants to see a species out of control, take a pack lunch and drive out to Tuullamarine to the international arrivals gate and watch Rudd's 'big Australia that he makes no apology for', materialise before your eyes! I wish they would all go straight to the Lodge for initial screening.

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885
Australia

I'm sorry to tell you but i find this information just ridiculous
kangaroo meat has so many nutritional values: some more than other meats e.g.
Kangaroo meat has more protein (24%) than beef(22%)
Kangaroo meat has lower fat levels 1-3 compared to beef 2-5
Kangaroo meat has lower cholesterol levels 56 compared to beef 67
Kangaroo meat has more protein (24%) than pork (23%)
Kangaroo meat has more iron 2.6 compared to pork 1.0
It's a perfectly viable substitute to the red meats!!!
Its also cheaper, and from an environmental perspective eating kangaroo meat is much better than many other animals such as cows as they are not ‘hoofed’ animals and will not cause soil erosion, and will not produce methane like cows do.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with eating kangaroo meat!
p.s. how do you think we kill our chickens, cows, pigs, haven't you seen the animal cruelty adds? pretty much every animal that we buy from the supermarket has been unhumanly treated!
thankyou

The issue is not about what is in the meat! The issue is about protecting our wildlife.
Not everything in our planet is about US, humans, for our benefit! The kangaroo killing industry has a well-oiled publicity machine that has conned the public into thinking that eating it is "green"! Very clever but they ignore the facts.
Humans don't have to eat meat at all! All the nutrients are obtainable from non-animal sources, except for vitamin B12.

There are many impacts on our wildlife, including kangaroos. There is loss of habitat, climate change, genetic gene-pool depletion and the cruelty of it.

These animals are wildlife, and there is no way to ensure the health of the animals, or to avoid the cruelty to dependent joeys. That's why it is called "game" meat! Eat it at your own risk. That's why Russia stopped importing it. It would be logistically impossible to drive chillers to where the roos are killed. The costs would blow out.

There is no way to ensure a “sustainable” kangaroo meat supply. Already we have make some macropods extinct, and kangaroos are suffering from genetic pool limitations due to having the biggest and best ones destroyed.

Kangaroos can't be farmed as they suffer from stress if captured and contained.
All the regulations and quotas haven’t stopped the fishing industry from collapsing. With billions of people in China, they will soon eat through our iconic animals.

These are very challenging times for Australian wildlife. We are already the world's biggest wildlife exterminator, and this slaughter is the biggest terrestrial wildlife slaughter in the world.

Most kangaroo meat ends up as pet food in the local supermarket. Go ask Paws Fresh Pet Foods at info@pawsfresh.com.au

However, the misinformation on the website about the poaching being "monitored by the Australian Government" is crap.

Anyway, puppy meat is cheaper and readily available at RSPCA pounds. They use lethal injection which is far more humane than the body shooting roos contend with, dying slow deaths. Puppy meat is just as healthy and more tender.

If the Koreans eat it, why not?

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885
Australia

i would like to see you out on a property where the kangaroos are destroying your crops a nd taking valuable feed away from your cattle and in qld you have to do to tafe courses and a marksman test before you are allowed to harvest roos so before you sit there behind your desk listening to the news and reading the papers saying that it is wrong why dont you go out and see wat damage there really doing.

Cattle have a whopping 10 times the grazing pressure of a kangaroo. All the livestock are eating away at our pastures. They don't belong here. People eat too much meat, and about 60% is exported. It is big money, big industry! Kangaroos don't thrive very well on crops. They prefer native grasses. However , they must be desperate! 220 years since "white" invasion is destroying our once pristine land.

The damage is being done by over-population of people and livestock, and kangaroos, gentle and frugal native animals, are the scapegoats.

Kangaroos damaging Australia - now that's a good one!

The above comment by 'anonymous' scribbled... 'i would like to see you out' claims:

1. "Kangaroos are destroying...crops"
2. "Kangaroos are taking valuable feed away from cattle"

In respect to (1), how dare native kangaroos live in Australia and eat native grasses! What a cheek! Who brung them?

So where are these menacing roos destroying crops? Which crops? Have roos been found eating wheat, barley, rice, sorgum, maize, lucerne, oats, tobacco, sugar cane, rape seed, plantain, chickory, brassica, clover?
With all the carbohydrate and protein these roos must be massive and even bigger than the cattle!

Perhaps our roophobic commenter can attest to the specific crop being attacked by roos as if a locust swarm. Or did he hear about this myth at the local pub?

Then the other claim (2) about roos taking feed from cattle. Well, cattle feed when not exotic grass or native grass is typically hay, silage, grain (pellets),
lupins (legumes), molasses mixes, by-pass protein and cottonseed.

So where's the photo of a roo taking such feed from cattle?

Kangaroos would have problems with most of that given they only eat native grasses (naturally).

So, the big challenge to 'anonymous' and his story telling is to send in one of his many photos of roos eating cattle feed. This may make the front page of 'The Land'.

Otherwise start writing children's fairy stories.

Good one, but leave myths at the local pub.

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885
Australia

I've eaten pork, lamb, beef, chicken, duck, roo, camel, buffalo, crocodile, and snake but i will never eat a dog, as i have 6 of my own and they have a personality, are smart, cunning and resourceful and to top it off are my best mates, they are pig dogs and we are a pack, kangaroos are mindless, over populated pests that need to be controlled, or there would be no veggies or grain for the vegans and vegetarians. if you don't believe me that a kangaroo is mindless drive down a fence line that's made out of pig mesh, the kangaroo will jump in to in for kilometers I've seen it first hand by fellas at the mine i used to work at, a dog on the other hand you'll never even know its there, with a kangaroo the best trick for shooting them at night is to whistle they pick there heads up and look straight at you making life so much easier, and dog/dingo will never do this you whistle it will drop its head and turn away from you. i hate cats i think they should be wiped off the face of the earth but you wont see me eating the bloody things and if that's the way people go then i will make the choice not to eat them, i wont get on the net a whinge about something i have no idea about just because in my own little world its wrong. and if i was to have my say I'd get the facts together so that when in this case someone that lives and breaths roo shooting and pigging comes along and tells me the facts i don't feel like a dick. even if people start eating dogs in Australia which i highly doubt it i will be discussed in them, but i will just make the choice not to eat it not buy any products from it i wont be sitting here whinging about it people can make there own minds up and this will be my last post cause I'm sick of people that know nothing of what they ;like to whinge about.

Just about every large animal (including humans) have been successfully hunted or domesticated throughout history, I don't believe you can determine how intelligent an animal is simply by how easy it is to hunt. For example, If a wolf is being chased by a hunter in a helicopter why doesn't it run into the relative safety of a group of trees instead of staying out in the open? Why do kangaroos lift their heads and look into the spotlight when you whistle? The obvious answer is that these animals have evolved in the absence of these hunting methods. If a kangaroo finds itself looking straight into the spotlight of a shooter its safe to assume it is going to die and not learn from the experience. How then does the kangaroo learn to avoid this situation? I can't see how you draw a comparison between this and the reactions of your dogs when they are used to the noise and carnage associated with kangaroo/pig shooting. Can you call a dog mindless when it chases a kangaroo into a dam only to be drowned when the kangaroo turns around and pushes its head underwater?

It's easier to hunt in packs, that's what dogs have learnt. It's even easier to hunt when every individual wears a huge leather collar to minimise the risk of neck injuries and when one of these pack members is armed with a rifle you've got a lethal combination indeed. It does not surprise me at all that you don't eat dog meat.

Like Barry Cohen's recent article criticising the current campaign to ban kangaroo products into the EU you have not mentioned the fate of joeys in the kangaroo industry. It's an issue that is routinely avoided by anyone that is involved in or supports the kangaroo industry. Claims that kangaroos are pests only adds insult to injury. I personally do not have any problems with professional kangaroo shooters, they are simply earning a living that is open to them due to Australian laws currently in place. If it was legal to shoot koalas again for the fur trade there would be plenty of takers no doubt.

ok its easy to shoot a roo with a joey and not even know it has one due to long grass, dips in the land, etc. the reason most roo shooters wont talk about it is because of the reaction you get from people. i feel no feeling of remorse or anything for a joey when i shoot the doe, i just do what i have to do i kill it and be done with it. you have to be cruel to be kind they wont survive with out there mother, pinky's that is, if they have a joey at foot ya just let em go. its easy to tell if the joey will live or die if you dont kill it. so you make the choice weather to or not. it's an easy choice just like weather or not to get a large macca's meal or a small. the part about the pigging bit i've never used a rifle yet whilst pig hunting to big of a risk of the pig moving and a dog getting shot, i hunt pigs old school 8 inch bowie knife, 2 finder/bailers, 3 holders and a lugger, the lugger stays with me at all time when we catch up to the rest of the pack the others let go and the lugger grabs the pig, quick stab to the heart and the lugger does his job holding the pig while it bleeds out. and yes all of my dogs are protected with more than just a huge collar they have full breast neck and rib plates custom made to eliminate any chance of a dog getting injuried. around dalby and most parts of queensland kangaroos are in plague proportions and are a major pest to cattle farmers and crop farmers, they way i see it i'm doing them a favour making good coin off roos and pigs that cost decent honest farmers money threw lose of crops/ feed and constant fence problems.

i have hunted everything in australia that you can legally hunt, by nearly every means and never have i been able to shoot a dog or dingo from a helicopter, dogs and dingos head straight for the trees rock out crops or cover of any kind the second they feel in danger, a roo on the other hand you can shoot them by any means, during the day if your good enough you can nearly walk right up and hit em in the head with a hammer, a dog has problem solving skill like no other animal, people love to hunt deer for the thrilll of stalking them been there done that and the only animal that actually is a challenge to hunt is a dingo or feral dog, you have to out smart them in every way. and its a challenge. it is rare but i have seen it a dingo get drowned by a roo in a dam but only to see the roo drowned seconds later because of there in ability to swim so in all honesty the roo even in this case still has no problem solving skill it would have been better off fighting in the open and possibly living to tell the tale. kangaroos will never evolve they will always be mindless grass stripping pests.

So Chris Palmer from Dalby has joined the frame.
Pity he can't answer any of the questions or issues in this article and subsequent comments, like:

1. Killing kangaroos for commercial meat and destroying their remnant habitat is just a hangover from illegal colonist exploitation of Australia. Killing wildlife is poaching.

2. Killing native wildlife is wrong. Eating it only encourages supply of kangaroo meat, and perpetuate the wrong.

3. Most kangaroo meat is sold as pet food, "not for human consumption". The pets (mainly cats and dogs) are introduced animals. Not only are colonists killing wildlife, they feed it to their pets.

4. If as roo poachers claim, that it is ok to eat Kangaroo, what about wombat, Koala and Platypus and dog?

5. "People are capable of eating anything that is available." So why is cat and dog not included? They are introduced animals. Thousadns remain unwanted in RSPAC depots and lethal injection is a humane way of killing them. The Koreans eat dog so why not Austalians?

6. Rood poaching ignores the ecological cost. If the roos shooters had to pay per carcass for the loss of the wildlife, their commercial exploitation would not be profitable. I can't see that with roo meat selling for under $4 a kilo how it is profitable anyway. Shooting wildlife for pet meat for pittance? Get a real job!
Check out a leading brand of roo pet meat at Coles:
Paws Fresh Pet Foods
PO Box 10562, Southport BC Qld 4215
http://www.pawsfresh.com.au/pet-food/default.asp

7. If PH had an argument with any merit, PH would supply referenced facts, rather than resort to argument ad hominem (shooting the messenger 'do gooder' while avoiding the 'do gooders' argument). How lame!

8. So long as cowboy poachers in utes hoon around the scrub shooting wildlife for a pittance and seek to legitimise it by calling it a 'kangaroo industry', there ought to be calls to set up a Poacher Culling Industry.

9. So where are kangaroos "out of control"? Why were theyr not out of control pre-white fella?

10. What is the minimum definition of a "professional shooter"? Is it anyone licenced to shoot holding a long arm licence? In NSW, this can mean a supervised 12 year old. How are recreational shooters and farmers holding a shooters licence distinguished from professional marksman with a marksman rating? I don't think they are. Australian shooting associations are all amateur and voluntary and there is no official 'professional shooters licence' as much as many roo shooters would comfort from such legitimacy.

11. A kangaroo's head at 300 metres at dawn or dusk when kangaroos are grazing and so typically shot by roo shooters. This marksman standard ought to be the Australian professional standard. But I reckon we'd find bugger all shooters competent to that accuracy. Hence, despite this being a typical scenario this is why the lack of independent monitoring and systemic cover up of body shots.

12. Why is there no independent government watchdog overseeing roo shooters in outback QLD, NSW, SA, WA? Is it because state governments couldn't give a toss?

13. "Kangaroos are destroying...crops" Where?

13. "Kangaroos are taking valuable feed away from cattle" Where?

Answer those.

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885
Australia

1. its only poaching if the animal is protected form all licensed shooting example koalas, wombats platypus.

2. why is it wrong explain that no one can cause there is no right or wrong just different points of view.

3. 71% of roos shot in Australia are exported to Russia for human consumption, 25% for pet food and 4% are shot only for there skins. but i guess someone that isn't in the industry wouldn't have a clue about wat the meat is really used for, i shoot only for human consumption.

4. wombats, koalas and platypus are protected by law roo's arent protected if you have a marco pods harvesting licence and mate i dare you to eat a dogs liver and see if you live to tell the tail.

5. cause were Australian not Korean, dog is a delicacy to Koreans as is kangaroo to most of the world.

6.so should people that own cats then have to pay for all the wildlife they kill. all we do is make a good living of an over populated community of animals keep the numbers down for everyone. and i can get a different job when ever i want i'm a mechanical fitter/welder by trade but i choose to do what i love.

7. if you knew the facts and were aware of what really happens you'd be arguing the point not the emotional crap

8. i agree cause 98% of the cowboys hooning around the bush culling roo's aren't accredited and there shooting roos that i can make good money off. poacher's should have the book thrown at them they dont treat the animals the way professional's do.

9. if you knew anything about the Australian bush you'd know not much can actually live of the native grasses so when white fellas came and introduces good feed the roos got outta control. put a gold fish in a small tank it grows to the size that suit it's environment.... put the same gold fish in a big tanks and it will grow bigger to suit that environment if there is sufficient food.

10. you have to hold a special license to harvest kangaroos in Australia, issues after an accuracy test and 2 tafe courses are passed and your vehicle is up to spec and registered threw the states macro-pod harvesting agency the license is issued by the state you live in, the shooters association of Australia has nothing to do with it except issuing me with a gun license saying i can legally own a firearm,you must have a qld macro-pod harvesting registration number to btw and there is a special license, if anyone with out this license is caught shooting roo's it is classed as poaching and they get the book thrown at them with a jail term in toe.

11. the government states an accuracy test must be past at 100 yard, 5 out of 5 shots in an inch and a half circle at 100 yards it like the size of a coke lid at that distance, and on a typical night i will take shots in excess of 450yards with a ruger mark2 m77 varmint rifle .223 caliber and hit it in the eye 9 out of 10 time, the other time it goes up its nasal cavity, roo shooters can out shot any long distance sportsman shooter by a long shot we depend on it for a living and shooting targets is a waste of time unless your siteing in your new rifle.

12. Queensland macro-pod harvesting branch is located in charleville, and each shooter has to purchase tags with the numbers on it so a table to field trace can be establish and all carcasses are inspected by a government vet b4 the go for human consumption, or dog meat. yet again your not in the industry so i wouldn't expect you to actually know the facts only the emotional stuff.

13. go talk to any wheat. lucerne, oat, or any veggie farmer and they will give you the honest truth and you have to actually leave the city to see where the kangaroos are doing the damage, go to any country town sit at the bar at the local pub and ask the old fellas or any locals from the area and you'll be told what you need to be told.

14. the macro-pod harvesting license is issued by the EPA (environmental protection agency) just to add insult to injury. check out www.rooshooter.com.au for a little heads up

15. its not a pittance of a wage mate since the chiller box re-opened on the 15/1/2010 till this morning 29/3/2010 i placed my 5204th tag on the last roo i shot last night. and that's just for this year so far..... at an average weight of 28kg's going off my records that's right every roo has to be recorded when, where, weight etc..... so far this year that's a grand total of $98876 b4 taxes.... so if i actually shot for the entire year i will have shot 20816 roos for the year there lucky i take 3 months off over winter aren't they.... and that's just me 1 of over 1500 registered roo shooters in Queensland alone. And yet most of us full timers shoot an average of 20,000 roo's a year and somehow we keep doing this year in and year out and the numbers aren't dropping there's still in excess of 60 million roo's in Australia according to last years study done by the EPA so really we need more roo shooter's.

well you all have a good day I'm going to bed got a long night ahead of me making my pittance of a wage. oh and tiger quoll maybe some time you should come out roo shooting with me so you can see what its all about. sorry but i can't let you shoot any cause well that would be poaching but you'll still see them in plague proportion and actually know how it really is and see first hand the damage they do. well y'all have fun working the jobs that you hate while i sleep the day away after a profitable night 1100 buck for one night at work who woulda guessed you could make this kinda money and actually enjoy your job.

I wasn't inferring that you hunt wolves from a helicopter, you would need to go somewhere like Alaska to do that. I was just trying to make the point that an important part in the evolution of any species is defence from predators and white settlement in Australia (and America) has presented endemic species like kangaroos with the deadliest predator of them all. The chances of kangaroos developing any behavioural defences from shooters such as avoiding the spotlight are practically zero as they don't live to tell the tale. Their defence against dingoes and domestic dogs is something they have learned over thousands of years. I would suggest that the kangaroos you have seen drowning in dams have become stuck in mud, not every tactic is perfect. For the record most kangaroos can swim and have been observed doing this both inland and in the ocean, usually to get to islands. In Perth we have put some western greys on Herrison Island (in the CBD area) and they occasionally swim the width of the Swan River to get to the "mainland", fortunately they always decide they prefer the island and swim back.

I would also suggest that making the choice as to whether a joey will live or die should be a bit more challenging than deciding on the size of your McDonalds meal. For a start any joey that is still in the pouch whether its a pinky or not is not going to survive without its mother. Further the majority of joeys at foot that may or may not be near their mother when she is shot will also not survive in her absence. As you have probably noticed even an inpouch joey can bolt from the pouch when its mother is shot and take off into the darkness. A joey's ability to avoid the hunter is not an indication that it can survive without its mother, it is completely irrelevant. I know roo shooters normally use the logic that if it can get away it can fend for itself but this type of thinking is just burying your head in the sand. There is a moral argument here concerning the cruelty directed towards a sentient being, not a mindless, grass stripping pest.

hi all look i'm a chick and go out every now and then shooting with chris and yes he told me he said about our son going along look its something that as an animal lover i see your point of view on the situation , i used to hate it until i started going out shooting with him and there is actually nothing morally wrong with it at all, chris kills every animal with the utmost respect and never hurts or injuries any joeys they get a quick and painless death like the rest of the roos in his sites, in the last 6 years we've been together i think i've only seen him misses 10 times and that wasn't a complete miss that was a neck shot instead of a head shot, he truely is a master at what he does, and plus the look on his face when he teaches his son and spends time with him out there is worth any amount of roo's lives, i have a photo of chris with our son and the first pig he shot the smile on chris's face i've only seen a few time , when we got married and when our son was born. it's like any thing if you love it you excell at it and do it right. look what happens out there is up to the individual dont judge all roo shooters on the ones you see in the papers giving them a bad name they arent doing anything wrong, there making a living of the land and helping out the local farmers. if cattle were australian wildlife would you all be lobbing to stop them being farmed???? or trying to make life harder for the beef industry i think not.

to chris yes it is as easy as choosing a small or large macca's meal, he doesnt even bat an eye lid at them when i first went out shooting with him i grabbed one of the joeys and tried to take it home with us, chris went off and killed it i felt bad but i understand why he lives by the you gotta be cruel to be kind theory cause well its true it's a sad fact but it has to be done. it's not cruel or inhumane the way he does it, he does it by the book. if he can he tries to avoid shooting doe's for the fact that well i dont think he actually likes to kill the joey's, he might not flinch or have any compassion for the joey if he does shoot a doe's that has a joey but he doesnt smile for a while after. so i think it does in a way affect him when he has to kill a joey just he's not the type to show it. he's gunna be pissed at me for saying that but well he isn't a cold heartless killer like most of you may think.

Kangaroos are NOT mindless and they are NOT parasites. They have managed to live here 16 million years in perfect harmony with their environment. It is called evolution and adaption to the environment.

Kangaroos have evolved perfectly to live in Australian conditions and to add value to their land. They do not need fossil fuels, they do not cut down trees, they do not emit methane gases, they use a frugal amount of water, they fertilise soils with their excrement, they help prevent bushfires by chopping down tall grasses, are well-adapted to drought, and do not destroy the root systems of native grasses like livestock.

A 2002 report studying the grazing pressure caused by kangaroos indicated that scientific evidence is lacking that kangaroos reduce wool production or sheep carrying capacity.
Kangaroos are being used as scapegoats for the damage done by humans and their livestock.

Kangaroos are genuine indigenous and rightful inhabitants of our land, and should be protected from opposing commercial interests - the meat industry and "plague" mentality created by graziers and farmers who don't want to learn to live within environmental limitations.

The damage done by humans in 220 years needs a lot of explaining to justify that we ourselves are not the mindless parasites you describe.


Editorial comment: Please continue discusion on "Kangaroo Meat - confessions of a serial wildlife killer"

(As also posted on the second comments page) I am closing the comments on this article,

Please continue the discussions underneath Tigerquoll's article "Kangaroo Meat - confessions of a serial wildlife killer" of 31 Mar 10.

I am closing the comments on this article, because the bug in the installed version drupal comment moduke (see below) makes continued discussion here unwieldy,

Apologies for incorrect links to comments

Also, my apologies for the bug in the software that creates the links on the main page to these comments.

Links to the second page of comments should be, as an example:

http://candobetter.org/node/908&page=1#comment-4447

... rather than:

http://candobetter.org/node/908#comment-4447.

Pages