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.
Much of the detail in the next nine paragraphs below comes from
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 and a video news report can be viewed
Although many animals have been killed, there is still . There are many signatures but more may help, even after the fact.
According to the writer at , 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.
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 .) “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: on 20 May 08 by Captain Paul Watson of the , of 27 May 08 by on Online Opinion with .
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
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
and Ray Drew’s work at
The photographs were by Ray Drew. The video was from .