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Native animals have intrinsic value Minister Walsh - Maryland Wilson

As human overpopulation in Victoria Australia fuels new sprawling suburbs, kangaroos are being continually deprived of habitat and pushed out into roads. There is an ongoing pantomime to pretend that it is not the human population, but the kangaroo population that is making new impositions on the environment. Culls are called for and, not unexpectedly, country MPs are trying to win votes from the fringes by calling for a commercial kangaroo meat processing industry. Maryland Wilson, President of the Australian Wildlife Protection Counsel, has leapt into the breach to defend kangaroos. Among other things she has said that it is inappropriate for the Minister for Agriculture to make decisions affecting wildlife. She has also repeated her call for wildlife corridors.

Nationals MP Mr O'Brien has asked Minister Peter Walsh (Agriculture and Food Security) to consider a proposal to use kangaroo meat commercially from 'culls' in Victoria. Victoria is currently undergoing government engineered human population growth to such an extent that kangaroos are being pushed out of their habitats by new suburbs and onto new roads. Victorians often find this shocking and would protest so the government tries to get rid of the kangaroos with so-called humane culls before their dreadful plight becomes obvious to those moving into the new suburbs. The human population pressure is mostly caused by mass immigration, which now accounts for well over half of all population growth in Australia.

"This is 2013, not 1788," says AWPC's Maryland Wilson

On 23 February, Maryland Wilson, President of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council, said that Mr O'Brien was behaving as if it was 1788 (the year of Australia's settlement by the British) rather than 2013. She implied that in Victoria there is an attitude of "If it moves SHOOT it and if it doesn’t chop it down."

"This is 2013 Sir, not 1788 and we must establish interconnecting linking wildlife corridors for remaining native species to survive," said President Wilson.

She added that, "Alarmingly, no one knows how many kangaroos there are in Victoria- NO ONE!" And she asked, "Should that not be a starting point before [the Minister allowed or condoned] any industry or farmers to profit from their demise?"

She said, "Farmers must act responsibly, as must Councils/Shires like the South Grampians Shire who for years have been pushing this barrow [of commercial harvesting of kangaroos].

Kangaroos are not an agricultural product; they are wildlife with intrinsic value

She pointed to issues of cruelty and of gene pool depletion. She also warned that there was a "lack of meat hygiene as kangaroos are killed in the outback NOT abattoirs."

Finally, she asked why the Minister for Agriculture would be making such decisions when kangaroos are not an agricultural product. Her implication was, of course, that a department with responsibilities for wildlife should involved here.

The Greens are expected to oppose any move to lift commercial bans, with Victorian Leader Greg Barber stating that it wouldn't work in practice. "It's cruel, it's wasteful, and it wouldn't pass the food safety rules other farmers have to comply with," Mr Barber has said.

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A South Australian kangaroo meat processor has exported its first products to Russia since a trade ban was lifted. Nine other Australian suppliers are still waiting to resume their trade. More meat would be exported, leading to the hiring of more workers in South Australia.

It's assumed that kangaroos will always be plentiful, are indestructible, and never be extinct. Their reproduction rates are so prolific that their numbers can be killed, but they will recuperate. They are nothing more than weeds, natural resources for human consumption and economic value. The orphaned joeys can be bashed to death, or left to die slowly, such is the brutality of this industry.

Australia remains silent on Japan's abusive and illegal whale slaughter in a whale sanctuary, but with the kangaroo industry re-emerging, they can't be hypocritical. Avoiding an "diplomatic incident" with Japan is our government's primary concern, and economic growth!

"Hoo-roo? Kangaroo survey bucks data" asks if kangaroos will go the same way as koalas?
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/animals/hooroo-kangaroo-survey-bucks-data-20130224-2ezps.html
While roos are often described as existing in ''plague proportions'', some ecologists say the national icon is in dangerous decline and should be listed as an endangered species in parts of the state.

The ecologist who wrote the submission to the Office of Environment and Heritage, Ray Mjadwesch, spent years gathering information at a national level regarding the commercial harvesting of the animals, with the situation on the ground.

He was shocked! ''There are huge areas where, according to the data, there should have been thousands of kangaroos, but the landscape was just empty.''

His findings, which have the support of some animal welfare groups, suggest critical declines in roo numbers are not being picked up by aerial surveys.

Mr Mjadwesch said roo numbers are continuing a long-term decline of 90 to 98 per cent in many districts since European settlement, under pressure from development, land clearing and commercial shooting.

Despite 16 million years of adaption and evolution in their land, the explosion of human numbers, severe changes to our landscapes, competition for resources and livestock, kangaroos are meant to have the magical qualities of not only surviving, but profligately be a "plague"!

The reintroduction of the kangaroo meat industry means that if Russia and China acquire a taste for this meat, thousands and thousands of consumers could be added to the threats to kangaroos, in a land already famous for extinctions.

Humans are generally blind to their own devastating growth of numbers, but usually they are also blind to the finite-ness of natural resources, and the intrinsic value of non-human species.