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.

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

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.

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 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 ( Please sign the petition calling for a moratorium at

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 (Warning: graphic content, adults only).

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
Let’s support nature-based eco-tourism at
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:



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:

... rather than:

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


lol just fueled me ute up at the bp in dalby with a 32 roos and 8 pigs on the back, there were a bus load of city slickers there lol, never seen so many peeps near threw up and crying lmao why do people react to it like that if you dont like wat we do in the bush stay in the city. might have been cause watto and i were eating kfc while we were fueling up dont know. you all need to harden up. its the easiest thing a person can do for a living. yet again your all just turning the situation back around to emotional crap the roo's dont feel a thing they dont even know wats happened to em. And yeha roo's may have been here for thousands of years but i can tell ya this i'll be shooting them till the day i die and i wont even make an impact on there numbers in australia, my son is an up and coming roo shooter to at the age of 4 he can skin and gut a roo nearly as quick as me and over the last 4 weekends he has shoot over 50 roos with only 8 misses they still didnt get away tho like always dad was there to clean up the mess. my advice is roo shooters are here to stay deal with it weather it's leagally or illegally roos will be shoot till the end of time or at least untill they learn to shoot back. if you dont like it dont purchase any of the products and you'll be rite out of site out of mind.

Yeah those city slickers will do that, maybe they were eating KFC as well. I remember when I used to live in Roebourne, WA the kids used to be very good at skinning and gutting kangaroos. These were mainly indigenous kids though and the roo was roasted that night and eaten by all, no waste. I don't recall kids shooting the kangaroos even back then.

I took your advice and had a look at and the first thing I saw was the claim that :

Kangaroo shooting is done by qualified professional shooters who are registered with and closely monitored by the various Australian State Government nature conservation departments and the Federal Government meat authority.

This was then backed up by one of your earlier posts:

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.

Call me a nitpicker but does your 4 year old son have these qualifications? 50 roos with 8 misses that still didn't get away, good thing dad was there to clean up the mess......

there's a loop hole in the claws that people shooting with an accredited shooter, can if deemed competent by the accredited person to assist in them in there duties it doesn't actually state that they can't shoot the roo's while under the supervision of an a credited shooter, i was just getting my point across to tiger quoll that it's not poaching in any way shape or form if you have the correct license's. i honestly think that any one and every one should be aloud to shoot roo's with no limitations, its plain and simple there's to many of them i boxed 114 of them last night and could have easily shot more, but the night isn't long enough, also got 26 pigs there worth more but harder to find even tho there in plague proportion to unlike a roo a pig has a mind and thinks as soon as a pig see's you, your dog, a spotlight ect they do the bolt. and this instinct isn't from being in a spot light before cause like a roo they'd be dead, nothing roo, goat, pig, deer, cat, rabbit, fox or dingo lives to tell the tale when i get my sights on it. a few of my cousins came up to my place last weekend and where trying to challenge me to see wat i could and couldnt do with my .223, there was a hare about 600 to 650 yards away and they put money on it that i couldnt hit it, more fool them, took its head clean off and just to show them it wasnt a fluke i placed the other 4 rounds in to the carcass. look nothing that get shoot by a professional feels a like, it's oh look a light and there dead before they even hear the shot. now any other animal would be long gone after the first shot. but no a mob of roo's are the stupidest mob of animals in the world they jump 15-20 meters away and stop look back then start eating again if the paddock is big enough you can take out a mob of 20 within half and hour, and you only have to move your ute about 20meters in a circle. if they had any kind of smarts they would dissappear after the first shot, still doesnt help tho there just as perdictable on the hop as standing still just sit there and wait watch them threw the scope get the highest point while on the hop line it up and let her rip in the 6 years i've been shooting i've only missed maybe 10 roos that are on the hop and they were clean misses i dint nick the animal

Chris Palmer I have to say you come across as being a bit of a mindless Imbecile...Why dont you go out and get a real job,
you Moron..You sound like the kind of bloke that goes down to the local on a Saturday night and picks fights with blokes smaller than yourself,because you are a coward.You can go out and shoot defensless animals but I bet you couldnt go out and pick on someone your own size...I would love to meet you person to person,then we would see how hard you really are..You braindead Moron..

like i said previously in this thread i'm a mechanical fitter and welder by trade i could go back to that any time i wanted. its a choice and a real job, and yeah mate i do go to the local on a Friday night actually but my gun license means more to me than getting in a blue with some idiot, at times i feel like sorting out the idiots at the pub but it's just not worth it. let me guess your some vegan greenie, that thinks we all should devote our lives to some rock moss that in danger from horse piss. yeah there defensless animals but big whoop mate, who cares. and mate i know who would come off second best. the only thing stopping me from getting in to the army as a sniper to put my skills to use for this country is the fact that you have to lick arse to get any where in the army. I'd love to see you out there getting your hands bloody, gutting roo's lifting them on to the rack. mate i've lived in the bush all my life i'm as hard as they come. suppose thats why i dont understand why all the soft city people have a cry a bout a few roo's getting shoot, look until ya's actually get out there and see australia and the damage they do and actually go roo shooting, stop having a fucken whinge about something you know nothing about put the emotional crap aside and there nothing wrong with controlling numbers of an over populated group of animals,

Yes your English is very hard to make any sense of,but hey never mind..Im a mechanical fitter also working in the offshore oil/gas industry,and most of the fitters I work with are quite intelligent people.You certainly dont come across as being very intelligent,so I dont know what kind of fitter you are..You also come across as a very agressive type of a person with a filthy mouth...Are you bringing up your Son to be like you,a shining example of a kind,respectable Human Being,doesnt sound like it...Oh and Chris a little bit of information for you...Dont think you realise this,but the biggest pest and environmental vandals on this earth is in fact Human beings.Would you say kangaroos are more of an environmental pest than Human Beings,and if so why..and please dont start bleating on about farmers,as all they do is whinge,its either too dry,then its too wet.I have not a jot of sympathy for farmers,as they are one of the biggest environmental vandals on earth.Hope to get an intelligent sounding answer from you....

rich b yes humans are the biggest environmental hazard but if we were still living like the aboriginals or any native tribe there would still be the need to harvest animals for furs and meat and farm ect. and the reason that i don't come across as intelligent is because i'm dislexic. i've never been to bright with the book work but with my hands i can do just bout anything. i've been thinking about going back to mechanical fitting but i'll still roo shoot 2 nights a week and weekends. the best thing about this forum is that its got spell check lol. and you dont actually see how bad my dislexica is.


Firstly, I fully share your revulsion at the deeds of which the serial wildlife killer, now amongst us, openly boasts.

Whilst the environmental consciousness of some farmers is appalling, we should still acknowledge that many others do want to do the right thing.

Furthermore, most human economic activity has environmental impacts as bad, if not worse than farming and, to be honest, that would have to include your own, which depends upon the extraction of humankind's once off endowment of non-renewable fossilised fuels. The rate of extraction will guanrantee their will be nothing left for future generations, that is if thy can survive threatened runaway global warming and atmospheric, marine and terrestrial pollution.

For us to maintain a civilised and humane society, we will need to retain an agricutural system, but, obviously one that is more sustainable than our current system.

my missus said that she comment on this topic to?????? but they havent come up?? is this because she didnt put in an email address???

The only way that people can kill an animal or justify the killing of an animal is to ignore the fact that it has feelings and does not want to die. If you could put yourself in the animals' place and ask yourself 'how would I feel if I was this animal right now' you wouldn't be able to hurt a single creature.

Only a hardened heart can not care about others and a hardened heart is not a happy heart.

Kangaroos are incredibly gentle and beautiful animals. It's time we let them just be and stop blaming them for problems we in fact created (soil erosion, deforestation, biodiversity loss, drought, bush fires, water/soil/air pollution). All they want is a bit of wild grass and some peace. Is that asking too much?

It is anthropocentric of us to think of animals being here for us to use. Because of this extreme view we are causing the 6th Mass Extinction of Species.

Subject was: oi menkit prince get your facts straight. - JS

dear menkit prince,
i am an a-credited roo shooter and mate i don't know where you got your info from. but let me tell you this, in that you tube video the reason the roos are still moving is because of there nerves. the kangaroos are not hung from the side of the ute all the time, only to bleed out in the paddock, then they are hung from the rack over the tray. the vehicle is never moving and if it is they arent in it for the money or the humane killing of the roos, and yes i do shoot the roos in the face, but mate a .223 Remington with a 55grain projectile leave's practically nothing left of a roos head, the hygiene standards on our vehicles are threw the roof, most of our vehicles are cleaner than any kitchen, fridge/freezer, or restaurant. you need to learn to get the facts before running your mouth my bet is that your a city fellas that's never even seen a roo in his life or ever even been roo shooting. we cop this shit all the time and its only because of your ignorance that it keeps happening. and as for the bit about steve irwin every culture threw out history has eaten the animals of there country, i cant exactly see the aboriginals back in the day going "oh we cant eat that its australian we better ask the kiwis for some sheep", come on mate if ya gunna have a whinge about something make sure its something that you actually know a bit about, yeah you may have used some fancy word on the different types of bacteria that you can get in any meat not just roos.

Editorial comment: Personal attack removed. Please just stick to arguing your case in future, - JS.

See also A roo shooter's response to Tigerquoll

hi tiger quoll it is a real job mate i bet your not making 120 thousand a years and actually enjoying your job i only work 3 to 4 nights a week. none of you have a clue about the roo shooting industry and to menkit prince humans are omnivores not herbivores again you have not got your facts straight. and yes mate menkit prince's article is most definately laughable lmao. and there are 2 differant types of chiller boxes 1 is for human comsuption and the other is for pet food and we dont make a pettiance of a living off it either. well said "sambar hunter" i agree totally with you on this one. tiger quoll, this is my input as an active acredited roo shooter none of you except sambar hunter, ill billy and tassie pete actually have a clue on what is happening, as sambar hunter suggested go spend some time in the bush around dalby qld where i live and shoot on a regular basis, you cant drive to kogan or chinchilla at night with out hitting or almost hitting a kangaroo there every where. people need to go out and look for them selves and stop listening to what other people say and post on these site seeing is believeing, and until i see wat you people keep saying i wont believe it, i see it everynight i go out shooitng there are more and more roos every year i know how they are treated and none of them are treat the way you discribe i'm not say there aren't some hunters that go out and shoot everything that moves and enjoy watching the animals suffer but in my experience they arent the ones doing it for a living there the city foke that think there all that because they go shooting. no country shooter the ones doing it for a living will treat the animals like the way you have discribed. the only part that is atleast a miniscule true is the part about pouch young as in section 5 of the humane shooting of kangaroos and wallabies for commerical purposes..... i will quote to you all what it says and post a link to. section 5.1 the following conditions apply (i) where euthanasia is carried out using a blow to the head, the blow must be delivered with sufficient force to crush the skull and destroy the brain. the blow should be delivered with a suitably hard and heavy blunt instrument. the shooter must confirm that there has been lethal damage to the brain and that the animal is dead. the Code of Conduct is a 245k PDF document to be found here.
most roo shooter live by this as we do not enjoy watching animals suffer and it is our job and like any job you have t follow the rules or suffer the consequences sorry about the long post but i'm just sick of seeing miss leading post like this on the net about my profession.

See also A roo shooter's response to Menkit Prince

tiger quoll and menkit prince you still arent looking at any facts or actually looking into anything if a roo is shot 3 inches below the head you cant sell it the chiller boxes wont even take it for dog food, and if the animal is shot anywhere else in the body anywhere other than the head and you take it to a chiller box within a month you can expect a letter in the mail revoking your roo shooting accreditation and an accuracy test has to be passed and they do an inquire in to why the animal was shot any where but in the head, the only time that a roo can be shot else where than in the head by law is to destroy an injured animal but the meat can not be sold. no one on this site that's fighting against roo shooting has a clue as to what there talking bout get your facts together than maybe, MAYBE you will have a decent argument, and the animals are inspected if there is any major bruising on the animals an inquiry is done as to why the animal was bruised

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.

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:

... rather than: