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Belconnen Kangaroo massacre

(Original much larger photo by Ray Drew)

These healthy kangaroos, relaxed, uncrowded, in lush surroundings are all dead - order of ACT Australian government.

Housing estates due to go up around the area. (Does anyone know which developers?) The human species here is simply blind, absurd, and ridiculous to pretend that kangaroos are overpopulating when they are trapped and surrounded by expanding human populations, brought in to fill housing estates. Developers and government should be put on trial for causing enormous and needless suffering. They make Australians ashamed.

[Photograph by Marcus Fillinger, marcus[at]emulsion[dot]com[au].]

Some animals saved, after being ear-tagged, for fertility experiments and sterilisation.This animal is ‘darted’ with anaesthetic, then collared, and blindfolded to minimise stimulation, prior to contraceptive implant or sterilisation. Wildlife experts say it was all unnecessary.

Read on:

Much of the detail in the next nine paragraphs below comes from www.kangaroolives.com
In May 2007 the media exposed a covert plan by the Department of Defence and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government to shoot to kill up to 3,200 Kangaroos at two Defence sites in the ACT.

The reasons given at the time: to ‘save’ the kangaroos from starving and to prevent them from competing with certain endangered grassland species reported to be on these sites: the golden sun moth, a legless lizard, and the earless dragon.

Around 500 of these kangaroos are trapped by a 2.5 metre high fence on a 116 hectare parcel of land at the former Belconnen Naval Transmission Station (BNTS). Of these, the plan was for 400 to be killed and have the remaining kangaroos forcefully sterilised. Somewhat extreme and barbaric measures to protect a moth, and unlikely to be the real reason why the ACT Government is so keen to clear this site, as the area around it is earmarked for housing development.

Following an immediate public outcry and subsequent consultations between Defence and a range of interest groups, Defence agreed to consult more widely. Members of Wildcare, a local volunteer wildlife rescue organisation with over 15 years of hands-on experience rescuing and rehabilitating kangaroos, submitted a proposal to Defence recommending a whole-of-ecosystem approach to the kangaroo issue. This preliminary proposal also detailed a workable strategy for the translocation of kangaroos.

Finally in September 2007, after consultations with Wildcare and a panel of experts, Defence announced that it would implement a kangaroo management plan in the ACT designed to promote sound ecological management and a responsible approach to animal welfare. The plan was to use a mix of translocation, fertility control and – “only where necessary" – euthanasia to bring the kangaroo population into balance with the ecosystem at the BNTS site. The contract to the successful to implement this strategy was awarded in early 2008.

Suddenly on 29 February, the ACT Government announced that it would block any application for a permit to allow the ‘export’ of kangaroos from the BNTS site. Not coincidentally, the ACT’s official kangaroo ‘culling season’ (killing season) recommenced the very next day.

Defence went back on their word, and the slaughter of these kangaroos on the site began on 19 May 2008. It was to continue over the next few days, with a target of over 400 animals.

These kangaroos were healthy and there was currently ample grass on the site following good rains over summer, and higher than average rain predicted over the coming months. There was no need for this slaughter to proceed.

Viable alternatives were available, including translocation, but Defence has ruled this out as being too expensive. A number of suitable properties in NSW were proposed. The ACT Government chose instead to order the killing of the kangaroos. Kangaroos are Australia’s most important native species.

Photos of the cull can be viewed at www.kangaroolives.comand a video news report can be viewed here.

Although many animals have been killed, there is still a petition to sign. There are many signatures but more may help, even after the fact.

According to the writer at www.canberraroos.com/p8.html, there was a promise "that there would be an official count of kangaroo numbers at the BNTS site before any animal was harmed," but that this did not happen.

Some unofficial observers think that the full ‘quota’ may not have been met and wonder if the total number or roos in the Belconnen area had been exaggerated, since there don’t seem to be many left. IF the numbers were exaggerated then this would COMPLETELY undermine the rationale for killing them. It would show severely inaccurate counting, destroy the argument of overcrowding based on estimated numbers, and bolster the argument that these animals could not be overcrowded since they were in beautiful condition and appeared relaxed and comfortable.

www.canberraroos.com write: “Forget the attempts by Jon Stanhope, Maxine Cooper and their heavily funded experts to convince you this is the only humane option. Forget the words they use like ‘culling’ and ‘euthanasia’, these are only an attempt to trick the public into thinking that this whole operation is ‘humane’. These kangaroos will be herded into a pen and slaughtered, then tossed into a pit and buried.”

Background information and more about the kangaroos

“Australia: a culture of violence toward its native animals.” (written by Ray Drew and published with photographs.) “The government has claimed that moving the animals is too expensive. It has also claimed (reasons vary from month to month) they overcrowd the site, that they are endangering vulnerable species, or they are starving and they must be killed for ‘humane’ reasons! The protesters say all these accusations are false, and the real reason is that the animals must be got rid of to make way for urban development. It is a fact that the local government intends to build housing on the grasslands outside the base fence, and probably inside as well when they take possession of the base within 18 months. No mention has been made of danger to rare species in the grasslands that extend outside the base fence. Do vulnerable species cease to exist a metre from the boundary wire? Astoundingly, the government allows cattle to graze there. The truth is that the ACT government has a policy of never translocating kangaroos ― killing is its traditional solution to animals that get in the way of development or sheep or cattle farmers. Within Australia, kangaroo lives are almost valueless, other than as a source of meat or hide. Comparatively few Australians admire their beauty and sensitivity - those that do love them do so with great passion. Otherwise, the gentle animals appear to arouse an unreasoning hatred among sectors of the population. Whenever the government announces a ‘cull’ (kill) thousands do NOT flock to protest the slaughter. In contrast, visitors to the country adore them and cannot understand the mass slaughter, which amounts to 3.6 million or more a year. That amounts to 10,000 killed every night.”

If you are disgusted by the way these animals are being treated, please contact those below to make your feelings known. Australia is not a real democracy, but we might get it back if we all react strongly enough and keep exposing this kind of behaviour.

See also: Australian Political Hypocrites Order "Final Solution" on Kangaroos on 20 May 08 by Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Kangaroo cull: necessary evil and the greater good of 27 May 08 by Adam Henry on Online Opinion with comments.

The Hon Kevin Rudd
Tel: 6277 7700
Fax: 6273 4100
Queensland numbers (His office is at Morningside):
Tel: 07 3899 4031
Fax: 07 3899 5755

The Hon Joel Fitzgibbon
Tel: 02 6277 7800
Fax: 6273 4118

The Hon Peter Garrett
Tel: 02 6277 7640
Fax: 02 6273 6101

The Hon Julia Gillard – as Minister for Education – what message are we giving our children about values and ethics?
Tel: 02 6277 7320
Fax: 02 6273 4115

The Hon Dr Michael Kelly AM - Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support
Tel: 02 6277 4840
Fax: 02 6277 8556

Jon Stanhope Chief Minister ACT
Tel: 02 6205 0104
Fax: 02 6205 0433

RSPCA ACT
Cruelty complaints: 1(300)477722
Injured wildlife 02 6287 8113
Fax: 02 6288 3184

Sources: The material above was based on information exchanged between activists, but most was adapted or taken directly from:
Brett Clifton’s petition preamble at www.canberraroos.com
and Ray Drew’s work at www.kangaroolives.com
The photographs were by Ray Drew. The video was from www.canberraroos.com.

Comments

This slaughter is unneccessary, these animals should be relocated. It is after all their country... We are the intruders not them...After we have saved these animals it is time to address the senseless slaughter of our wildlife on our roads...It gives tourists a great lasting impression of Australia....dead wildlife everywhere.. Did you all know Australia leads the world in extinction of our native animals... Gee we should be proud of that.... At least I suppose its some consolation to know we can be world leaders in something at least... How much better would we all be if we lead the world in care and conservation instead?

Australia may lead the world in extermination native animals, but California is not far behind. Read this article: California's status as 'wildlife state' threatened by growing population of 30 March 08.

California is the "wildlife state." It boasts more species than any other, as well as the greatest number of endemics, those species found nowhere else. This extraordinary biodiversity is already stressed by the state's enormous human population and further threatened by continuing rapid population growth and development.

Unfortunately, California also claims the dubious distinction as the state with the most imperiled wildlife. When overpopulation and biodiversity collide, biodiversity invariably suffers. More than 800 species in the state are now at risk - including half of all mammals and

Kangaroos should be taken off our Coat of Arms and their symbolic use as emblems of Australia for sporting clubs and businesses should be banned. They are considered by our government and land-owners as a pest to be wiped out. Canberra's mascots were systematically executed by bureaucratic "experts" as a form of population control. They are constantly blamed for the damage actually done by livestock industries and feral animals. They are being vilified and hated by so many otherwise patriotic and kind-hearted Australians. They have been hounded and relentlessly hunted for their meagre amount of flesh, and for their skins, for over 170 years.

Over 3.5 million are ambushed and shot each year across Australia in a so-called humane and sustainable industry, and overall their numbers are crashing. The killed ones are getting younger as prime males are being eradicated and now are more likely to be females. These gentle, proud and fascinating animals are being treated as a plague, and disease, to be hunted out of existence due to the pure hatred aimed at them! Joeys are just bashed until dead, or left to die slowly.

Kangaroos are ancient animals that actually help soils and grasses, and they have learned to live in perfect harmony on frugal and seasonal food and water supplies. If they are dying of starvation in their own habitat then it speaks volumes of the damage we humans have inflicted on our country since Colonial times!

Instead of believing this industry's claims and at the same time condemning Japan for atrocities against whales, we should stop our hypocrisy and fix up the mess in our own back-yards! Our ancient and iconic animals are unwelcome and unwanted in their own land! We have betrayed them and so morally we should not use their profile to represent Australia.

This is very brutal act to animals. This should stop, some people aren't concern of the effect on the nature especially on us.

Security Systems

If they are dying of starvation in their own habitat then it speaks volumes of the damage we humans have inflicted on our country since Colonial times! assignment help

Subject was "What?" - JS

Oh boy, some more extremist fools!

I have to laugh at the bit about 'Australia not being a democracy'...why? because most people of Australia won't bow to your minority extreme view?

Has it ever occurred to you that more people are ok with the culling of the Kangaroo population? I have no problem with it.

The comparison of killing Kangaroos, who are no where near endangered, to the killing of whales that are endangered is another ridiculous line of reasoning.

Kangaroos are so damn plentiful, you see them everywhere!

Come on you minority group of extremists, give the majority of Australian's a break from your ludicrous analogies. Most of us can see the necessity of keeping these pests under control.

"Most people" in Australia are environmentally illiterate! They have their heads in the sand and are basically ignorant. "Most people" at the time of Tasmania's colonisation supported the annihilation of the Tasmanian Tiger as a "pest" species. The same is happening to the koala - due to development-driven population growth.

Extinction is forever! The future of our native species, due to climate change and habitat deterioration, it bleak.

"Most people" are mob or herd species and see little worth outside their own interests, or outside their own herd. This is an evolutionary flaw!

Lucky there are some "extremists" who can see the bigger picture, some holistic values on our planet, and appreciate the vast variety of species we are lucky to have inherited from its pristine origins. The "pests" species are not the indigenous animals!

Most Australians would realise kangaroos are Australian wildlife. That they are in such large numbers in some areas is likely either because that is their natural population for that area, or they have been fenced in and had most of their natural habitat destroyed by land clearing and farming.

The reasons why kangaroo numbers are high in certain locations should be investigated by expert zoologists and a report made public. Understanding the populations will be start to picking apart the standard justification by poachers that because there are many, it's ok to kill Australian wildlife. Then poachers claim, well because its now dead let's sell as pet meat for profit or get Anna Bligh to market it overseas to Russians.

Australians are mugs for disrespecting what is Australian and exploiting it for a quick buck. It's like us letting the Chinese buy up Australian iron ore resources so they can refine it and sell the steel back to us for a profit. Perhaps the kangaroo poachers will end up selling big chunks of western Queensland and NSW to the Russians for pittance so the Russians can control their kangaroo supply.

Perhaps our 'Hulk' does not realise kangaroos are Australian wildlife. Perhaps our hulk is Korean. Hey Koreans traditionally eat dogs. There are many lost dogs in RSPCA centres around Australia. Now there's a captive market! Hulk could set up with the RSPCA export dog meat back to the Koreans. At least the RSPCA kills humanely with lethal injection. There should be a good supply next month as many dog Christmas presents get abandonned and end up at RSPCA centres.

Now that's not such an extremist idea - making good profit from unwanted feral pests.
But Hulk's argument that because kangaroos are so damn plentiful, they should be kept under control, sounds extremist. This argument is no different to the human population. Humans are so damn plentiful, you see them everywhere. Perhaps they too and anything of high number should be kept under control? So who is the extremist?

One could justify keeping such extremist pests and their dogs under control, except hulks are few and far between.
and life will only get tougher for them out back. That they have desperately turned to profit from wildlife means there must be little else viable out there. Perhaps their unviable farm has already been sold.