- Contact Maryland Wilson by emailing kangaroo|AT|peninsula hotkey net au
- Join the Australian Wildlife Protection Association at www.awpc.org.au/newsite/join.php
- Set up an account on this site, if you do not already have one, by visiting /user/registerso that you can contribute your knowledge and ideas. (You may still post comments anonymously but you may have to await the approval of the site administrator, before they are published.)
Save the kangaroo
Victorian Kangaroos need your signature on this petition! They have been decimated by bushfires and the Victorian Government estimates of numbers are way out. The Mornington Peninsula contains a landlocked group of grey kangaroos that are menaced by several processes, including increased development, traffic, fencing, shooting, and the so-called Kangaroo Harvest Program (KHP). These animals need our help and protection. The petition calls upon the Victorian Government to suspend its 'harvest' program. See below.
Legislative Council E-Petitions https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/council/petitions/electronic-petitions/view-e-petitions/details/12/320
Click here to sign
The Petition of certain citizens of the State of Victoria draws to the attention of the Legislative Council that kangaroos culled through the Kangaroo Harvest Program (KHP) and the Authority to Control Wildlife (ATCW) has been a contentious issue for a long time in the Mornington Peninsula community. The Victorian Government appear to be over-inflating kangaroo numbers as their count excludes large parts of the state’s landscapes, meaning that kangaroo numbers could be grossly overestimated.
During the black summer bushfires of 2020, approximately 3 billion wildlife were killed, injured or displaced. The Victorian Government estimated that in 2020, the kangaroo population increased by 40 per cent, which macropod experts claim is not scientifically possible. Kangaroo numbers based on ATCW permits highlight that the counting of kangaroos for the KHP is not based on science. Kangaroos in the Mornington Peninsula are under threat from increased development, traffic, fencing, shooting and now from the KHP.
The Mornington Peninsula is an isolated and landlocked area and is home to the Eastern Grey Kangaroo population. Threatened species were once common and perceived as pests and we hope to ensure that kangaroos in Victoria, especially in the Mornington Peninsula, do not become threatened.
The petitioners therefore request that the Legislative Council call on the Government to suspend the 2021 Kangaroo Harvest Program (KHP), apply improved and accurate methods of counting kangaroos and move the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council out of the KHP Gippsland zone and place it in the Metropolitan Melbourne zone.
Update: Subsequent to the bush fires, both the South Australian and Victorian governments have suspended kangaroo harvest in their respective states. That's what it took to get their attention. Here is a letter from past president of Australian Wildlife Protection Council requesting this. To: [email protected]
I would like to wish you a happy new year to you, your family and staff.
Like all Australian's and people around the world my heart goes out (and made a number of small donations) to those effected by these unprecedented fires burning across the country for months now.
In the past week more information is coming out about the plight of our wildlife with an estimated 450,000 plus wildlife effected. As a wildlife rescuer I understand that the priority is for recovery, treatment and food drops for wildlife is essential at this point in time, with the knowledge that these fires are still continuing.
As the state government has rightly so taking actions to support people and rebuild communities effected, I would like to know what actions the government is taking to access the damage to wildlife species recovery and protection to ensure their survival in the future.
In particular will the government put an immediate suspension on the kangaroo pet food harvest industry in fire effected regions as well as not having a duck hunting season not only due to these fires but ongoing drought conditions?
Wildlife Carer, Victoria
This is exciting and heartwarming footage to counter the general plague of kangaroo hating. Police rush into the surf to rescue a small kangaroo, who is later visited in its cell by Animalia staff, who are currently taking care of him elsewhere.
Rosebud police were on hand at Safety Beach on Saturday afternoon to give a lost kangaroo a second chance. They responded to numerous calls that a kangaroo was in the water just off Marine Drive about 5pm yesterday.
The kangaroo had made it back to the beach upon their arrival and had been covered in a blanket by a member of the public. Police were monitoring it but it decided to turn around and hop back into the surf.
It began to swim but got into difficulty in the swell and breaking waves and went under water a couple of times.
A Sergeant and a Senior Sergeant noticed the animal in distress and immediately jumped into the water.
They managed to carry the kangaroo, which was unconscious, to a grassed area where they successfully resuscitated it.
The roo was wrapped in blankets and taken to Rosebud Police Station where it was assessed by Animalia Wildlife Shelter and taken to receive treatment. The roo is currently being cared for but is said to be lucky to be alive given the amount of salt water he inhaled.
Please follow Animalia to keep updated about his recovery.
Thanks to the quick thinking actions of the public and the police officers this fella didnt lose his life.
If you would like to support Animalia so they can continue to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife you can attend their fundraising night: https://www.facebook.com/events/1698923100230514/
Or donate here: https://www.facebook.com/donate/314782549111876/
The issues facing kangaroos on the Peninsula, state and countrywide are serious and it is vital we get the word out to the public. We can offer a few ways for concerned citizens to get involved and express their opinions to be a voice for wildlife.
Firstly, the Authority to Control Wildlife (cull) permit system is currently under review. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) have opened up submissions to the public, submissions close on June 29th 2018. The review discussion paper (https://engage.vic.gov.au/download_file/8625/1422 and https://engage.vic.gov.au/application/files/8315/2481/0498/ATCW_Review_Discussion_Paper-FINAL.pdf) is over 30 pages and may be overwhelming to some, especially if people feel they don't have sufficient background knowledge. The Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC) and other wildlife interest groups have been working on 'cheat sheets', background information and a media release to help members of the public with their individual submissions and getting the word out about the review and other worrying proposals. The AWPC will have a finalised information document by Monday 11th June 2018, please contact the AWPC for a copy, it will help with your submissions.
1. We encourage everyone who cares about the plight of wildlife to make an individual submission. Submissions are made online here: https://engage.vic.gov.au/atcwreview
DELWP's 'Idea' to ban the rescue and rehab of 'over abundant species'
On page 31 of the ATCW review discussion paper it states the following regarding an idea 'someone in the community' had about banning the rescue and rehabilitation of 'over abundant' species:
'Not allowing the rehabilitation of Eastern Grey Kangaroos or other overabundant species.
Wildlife shelters and foster carers invest significant time and resources rehabilitating sick, injured and orphaned Eastern Grey Kangaroos. Given that the species is overabundant in many areas and is the species that the majority of ATCWs are issued for, some members of the community have suggested that the species should not be able to be rehabilitated under the wildlife shelter system. A restriction on rehabilitating Eastern Grey Kangaroos has been in place in the ACT for many years, as the species is overabundant in the territory and is subject to significant control activities to protect property and biodiversity values. While this is outside the scope of the ATCW review, it may be considered in future reviews of the wildlife shelter system, as it may save significant shelter resources and reduce the impact of the species on landholders. In this context, it may also be appropriate to consider whether the rehabilitation of unprotected wildlife, such as wombats, cockatoos or possums, should be disallowed or restricted to areas where such wildlife is not over-abundant (e.g. wombats found outside the parishes where the unprotection order applies)'
Whilst DELWP have distanced themselves from admitting they are seriously considering such a ban, they did publish the 'idea' on the discussion paper, they have mentioned such plans to wildlife shelters in the past and so it is very important that we express our strong outrage at such a prospect.
2. Wildlife groups have put together a press release to get the word out about the 'ban idea' in the media (attached), please feel free to use it and write letters to the editors, contact your local MPs, papers and make posts on social media.
The Truth about Funding
Not only is it untrue to say the money could be better spent elsewhere, it is misleading and suggests that wildlife rescue and rehab is funded by the state government. Wildlife shelters across the state share a measly $170,000 in grant funding in 2018. If wildlife shelter applicants are successful the grant is capped at $2000 per shelter per year, including a maximum of $1000 on food. So that is just $2000 per year to rescue, rehab and raise sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. The state government gives NO other funding to wildlife or wildlife volunteers. This includes looking after burnt animals from prescribed burns!
The grant program closed in Feb 2018 and we only heard back today (June 2018) whether we were successful or not. Not all shelters are given a yearly grant. Those who miss out continue to fully self fund or fundraise for their wildlife shelters.
This woefully inadequate amount of funding is further put into perspective when you consider the recent CSIRO research paper (attached) which estimates the true cost of rescue and rehab of wildlife to be $6 billion nationally. Also considering the Daniel Andrew's government is set to give the AFL $225 million to upgrade a football stadium, it is ridiculous to suggest that $170k shared to a lucky few statewide be better spent elsewhere!
Numbers of Kangaroos and 'Over abundant' Species
DELWP state that some species are 'over abundant' but have no real data on numbers. For e.g the yearly kangaroo count contracted out by DELWP ran for only 2 weeks and didn't count in all regions e.g. some areas of East Gippsland were not counted. They counted mainly from the air. We have attached an interesting article written by Peter Hylands (Creative Cowboy) that tells the truth about the government numbers.
It is also worth noting that the number of animals culled every year is published by DELWP (attached) the list of species and numbers are quite shocking. DELWP admit that they don't require ATCW (cull) permit holders to submit returns of the numbers of animals that are culled. We know that this means the actual numbers of wildlife being culled is probably many more than they are permitted to kill. So it begs the question of how accurate DELWP's 'data' is on numbers culled and whether this department is at all concerned about the accuracy of the data they publish. Why should be trust the kangaroo numbers from a 2 week aerial survey are correct when we know they publish incorrect cull numbers for the public to see?
3. Please share this information far and wide and feel free to contact the AWPC or other wildlife groups for more information. Contact the minister (lily.d’[email protected]) and the secretary of DELWP ([email protected]) and express your concerns, tell your friends and family, get it out to the media, discuss it with your local vet and get them on board.
Please have a voice on these important issues. If we don't protect habitat and wildlife we will damage the environment for the generations to come.
Eve Kelly, Secretary
Australian Wildlife Protection Council Inc.
Greensbush Association is screening the new international film about Kangaroos in Australia at 5.30pm May 25th at Main Ridge Community Hall, Main Creek Road, Main Ridge, (Mornington Peninsular) Victoria. This film has been screened and reviewed widely around the world to stunned reviews and I have not found any negative ones. It is not so well known in Australia, of course, because it challenges what governments and corporate press have to say about kangaroos. The Association screening this film is named after Greensbush Mornington Peninsular National Park, which is one of few places where kangaroos might now dwell in comparative safety, were it not for people on neighboring properties who treat them like pests and the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning which encourages this redneck approach to wildlife. Victorians will be concerned to hear that this film tells how the West Australian Commercial Kangaroo Meat industry is running out of kangaroos and planning to open up in Victoria. Of course the grubby Victorian Government is looking for any excuse to get rid of our wildlife. Turn up to this film-screening and maybe you can network with fellow wildlife warriors. The kangaroos need all the help they can get. If you doubt this, check the film out. Donations to cover the cost of the film and venue hire. All welcome! Map to venue at end of article. You can hire this film, host a screening, from kangaroothemovie.com.
"Essentially, the film examines how the roo industry - both for meat and skin - has stealthily and very profitably capitalised on two words - “pest” and “plague” - to run itself in a chaotic, slipshod, unhygienic, inhumane and seriously under-regulated fashion. We are introduced to whistle-blowers, activists and politicians who are advocating not so much for revolution as transparency, while farmers and industry reps are also given their say.
The film does have a point of view, though, and a strong one, and will doubtless cause some consternation among those who don’t want their ways challenged. The thing that shines through, however, is the integrity of the McIntyres: they didn’t set out to challenge an industry, they simply learned about it, and what they learned, we all, as Australians who love Skippy, need to know." ("Nightlife," http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/nightlife/cj/9546930)
"To avoid a nonstop focus on bloodshed, “Kangaroo” occasionally offers up images of the outback and drone footage of wild animals in their habitats. Those can be breathtaking. Yet the filmmakers, to their credit, don’t flinch from stomach-turning sights. This film isn’t always pretty, but its message is necessary." (New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/18/movies/kangaroo-a-love-hate-story-review.html)
"Bush heritage makes some rather big assertions about the impact of kangaroos at their Scottdale reserve and the impacts this wildlife species is having on the biodiversity there. If Bush Heritage is serious about their claims then they need to be a little more transparent," writes Craig Thomson, President of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council.
"Bush Heritage Australia has forfeited the inheritance of a 350-acre property near Bega and lost numerous donors as they face backlash from a planned kangaroo cull at Scottsdale Reserve, south of Canberra. Regular supporters of the non-profit organisation have pulled donations following reports of a cull, with one referring to the organisation as "hopeless frauds". Bush Heritage aims to "conserve biodiversity" at properties either purchased or donated across Australia." http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/bush-heritage-australia-faces-backlash-after-kangaroo-culling-claims-20160708-gq1fpa.html
They can start by answering and providing information to the following questions
- When do they class a wildlife species as being over abundant?
- What is a sustainable kangaroo population at Scottdale Reserve?
- What is the roos' population current range in and around their reserve?
- Are there any neighbouring or local land uses or management practices that would see kangaroos returning to Scottdale reserve more often and in greater number?
- How many kangaroos are on the reserve day in and out?
- Has there been any scientific data of kangaroo starvation cases at Scottdale reserve or regionally before?
- While it is hard to watch an animal starve to death, it is a common condition of the natural world, in particular with drought and over abundant populations. So why do Bush Heritage feel the need to interject in a natural process, which in itself could have far bigger ecological problems?
- What is the science and guidelines being implemented by Bush heritage?
- Who are the independent experts being engaged by Bush Heritage?
- What humane methods are being developed?
- What scientific evidence can Bush Heritage provide that kangaroos are having a detrimental effect on other species?
- Has all weed habitat changing plants like serrated tussock grass been removed from Scottdale reserve and regionally?
- Do Bush heritage conduct any fuel reduction burns at Scottdale reserve?
- Is Scottdale reserve free of pest animals such as rabbits?
We hear explanations of why there are too many and debate what control measures should be taken. What is very rarely discussed is what is a sustainable population size, the roos ecological benefits and social structure. In a race to demonise our national icon for commercial vested interest or in this case a so called natural balance. The critical point missed is the roo social structure. Large alpha males control breeding within the mobs. When shooting takes place which animals are shot first? Well you can very confidently say it would be the roos who control the social structures within the mobs.
So the question about controlling kangaroos should be whether or not a bias against kangaroos prevents us from understanding their biology, ecology and social structures? Has this led to poor management practices, where the preferential killing of large males has possibly caused early breeding of youngsters, increasing numbers in some cases? (See Sheila Newman, "Roo scientists admit industry stimulates roo population growth whilst calling roos pests".)
Kangaroos won! Please share. Thanks to everyone who emailed Californian Senators. You joined up to 100,000 people around the world who signed petitions and contacted the Senators directly. The main use - or abuse - of wild kangaroos in California is for the manufacture of soccer cleats!
Keep an eye on the Kangroos at risk website www.kangaroosatrisk.org for more pages going up soon about ecology, surveys and the industry.
Thanks to Jennifer Fearing
Brilliant work by the amazing Californian lobbyist Jennifer Fearing, Kangaroos at Risk partner US team Humane Society US and CA, and the wonderful Australian organisations who co-signed letters to Californian senators and put out the call via their networks. It’s been an inspiring win.
Kangaroos: World's Largest Wildlife Slaughter
By Maria Leonila Masculino, Sep 09, 2015 11:14 PM EDT
In 2007, the California government has exempted the bill prohibiting the sale of kangaroo products imported from Australia. As the extended exemption ends on December 31st, lobbyists and lawmakers hired by the Australian government and manufacturers are calling to extend or repeal the prohibition.
California is currently the world's largest market for soccer cleats - with many of these made with kangaroo leather. The growing sale of kangaroo skin as shoes didn't happen if it weren't for the aggressive lobbying of Adidas, the Australian government and the kangaroo meat and skin industry in 2007 and 2010 - repealing for the prohibition which was upheld by the California Supreme Court in 1970.
California assemblyman Mike Gipson of Los Angeles has recently proposed a last-minute bill known as "gut and amend" to step-aside from the wildlife protection law. This came after the freshman lawmaker was courted by Australians.
"The Australian government have, as well as other people, approached me around this particular measure," Gipson said. "We have seen members of the Australian Consulate lobbying alongside these paid lobbyists in the building last week. People should be concerned about a foreign government's influence here that's not being disclosed to their people or ours."
According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), kangaroos are "the world's largest wildlife slaughter" - threatening the population of the said species.
The Dodo reports that in the Australian states of Queensland and Western Australia, 2014 surveys show massive declines in the kangaroo population of up to 50%. Hunters have killed over 130,000 female kangaroos last year. As a result, tens of thousands of joeys have been abandoned and killed.
"I think everything about this stinks," said Jennifer Fearing of the HSUS. "I think it's all meant to be cloaked in secrecy and obfuscate a real conversation."
The Australian government reportedly paid $143,000 to lobbyists and lawmakers to activate the debate including $1,000 to Gipson.
Over the last few months there has been an alarming increase in the numbers of juvenile Eastern Grey Kangaroo's being found either dead or in a very lethargic state and near death in parts of the ACT and adjacent New South Wales. Rosemary and Steve Garlic, who are wildlife carers in the area, were initially contacted by a few Wildcare carers and the issue then seemed to be centred around the Wamboin/Norton Road area. This article was developed from an internal note to members of Wildcare, of which Steve and Rosemary Garlic are members and Helen Stevens is the coordinator.
The situation now seems to be far more widespread as Wildcare have now received sick animals from Queanbeyan NSW, Jerrabomberra NSW, the ACT, Sutton NSW, and this week Burra, near Queenbeyan. Between Rosemary/Steve and myself we have dealt with or known of 60 suspected cases and it is very distressing.
The animals affected appear to be last years offspring ranging from 8kgs to 18kgs. They are either being found dead, with no appearance of injury, in paddocks etc or are showing signs of weight loss, lethargy allowing them to be rescued easily and are hypothermic.
All that have come into care have died, usually between 1 and 24 hours later despite all our efforts as well as medical attention. Contrary to what some believe, it is not starvation due to over population as they are usually still eating and passing normal faeces and post mortem has shown digested food in the stomach and formed pellets in the intestine.
Wildcare are working closely with NPWS, DPI, Australian Registry for Wildlife Health and some of our local vets to try to identify the cause of this unusual occurance and the situation has been escalated to an alert as some national parks in the ACT are recording very high numbers too.
A number of deceased animals have been transported to Sydney for further examination and testing but at the moment results have been unable to identify what is causing the fatal decline in these joeys.
Upon post mortem the 5 animals that have been examined by our local wildlife vet Dr Howard Ralph, and the vets at DPI and the Taronga Conservation Society have all shown fluid in the peritoneal cavity (ascites) and some showing fluid around other major organs.
The majority seem to have a very high number of nematodes (worms) in the intestine but the question is still "why" as parasites will increase if an animal's immune system is compromised.
We are not seeing young in pouch joeys, who would be receiving antibodies via their mothers milk, or adults, who have developed immune systems, affected.
Investigations are looking at possible virus, parasite/protozoa infestation, transmission by ticks (as in Babesia), plant poisoning etc. So far post mortem results have been negative for Babesia and Phyllaris grass poisoning (hundreds of kangaroos are dying from this in Victoria around Bendigo, Kilmore and Broadford) but more testing is needed to compare cases and to continue to try to find a common cause which will hopefully lead to a treatment path if the animal is viable.
What can you do to help?
Not only do we need to document any possible cases but we require more testing to be carried out by the NPWS suggested agencies.
Please let Wildcare know asap if
a) you come across an animal that appears to be affected - they will usually be alone, appear underweight, may have aeroplane (floppy) ears and do not try to escape/move off if approached;
b) you find a fresh deceased juvenile kangaroo that appears to have no external injury;
c) your friends/neighbours mention finding a number of young kangaroo bodies over the last few months.
If I receive any news regarding possible diagnosis I will send out an update as I know many are very worried about this.
Source: Helen Stevens, Wildcare Macropod Co-ordinator, Oolandra Wildlife Sanctuary, 02 62991966
Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee is one of fifty well-known authors and scientists who have signed this open letter to the Canberra public protesting the mass killing of kangaroos which has been taking place annually for some time in Canberra. For those interested in the history of this annual slaughter, Candobetter.net has published at length on this subject here: http://candobetter.net/SaveTheKangaroo. It is wonderful that a number of influential people have now put their names on the line to defend kangaroos from slaughter and kangaroo science from ideology. Many more people are also against this absurd and cruel practice. [Candobetter.net Editor: Republished from http://www.beautifulwild.com/. Also available here: http://www.arcohab.org/#!letter/c1yzj. Also the subject of an article in the Canberra Times.]
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PUBLIC OF CANBERRA
We the undersigned believe the need for a mass killing of kangaroos by the ACT Government is ill thought out and cannot be substantiated. The analysis in support of such a program fails the tests of good science, conservation, animal welfare, economy and humanity.
We understand that: no causal evidence of any rigorous kind has been provided that directly links kangaroo grazing on Canberra nature reserves with the demise of other small threatened species. No assessment of the subjective lives of native animals in Canberra’s nature reserves is provided as a clue to their survival. No commonly used non-lethal management tools have been advocated by those who believe in the negative impact of the current kangaroo population on the rest of the environment, despite considerable evidence over many years and in many places that they are effective.
The decision to proceed with the killing disregards the extreme brutality of the killing process. There has been no assessment of the impact of mass native animal killings on the local economy and society and our view is that these costs are substantial.
The scientifically substantiated appreciation of other animals’ cognitive, emotional and psychological capacities requires that we break the cycle of violence of conventional management methods. Abandoning such measures offers a unique opportunity to find innovative solutions which promote sustainability and reflect the desire of communities for peaceful coexistence with other creatures on the planet.
We therefore call for an immediate cessation of the mass killing of these native animals, and for a full and truly independent examination of the above-listed and other relevant matters by respected professionals.
Pam Ahern, Edgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary, Victoria
Dr Rosemary Austen, kangaroo rehabilitation and translocation expert, medical practitioner, ACT
Dr Jonathan Balcombe, biologist, author, Animal Studies Dept (Chair) Humane Society University, Washington D.C. (USA)
Marc Bekoff, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder (USA)
Dr Dror Ben-Ami, Co-founder and lead researcher, Centre of Compassionate Conservation, University of Technology Sydney.
Dr Jeffrey Borchers, ecologist, the Kerulos Center, USA
Dr Melissa Boyde, Australasian Animal Studies Association; Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Law Humanities and the Arts, University of Wollongong
Gay Bradshaw, PhD (ecology), PhD (psychology), CEO The Kerulos Center (USA)
David Brooks, author, editor, Hon A/Prof, University of Sydney
J M Coetzee, writer
Claire Colebrook, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Literature, Pennsylvania State University (USA)
Dr Margo DeMello, PhD, Animals & Society Institute (USA)
Carolyn Drew, MAdEd, Executive Director of Regions, Institute for Critical Animal Studies
Lara Drew, Ph D candidate, Education, University of Canberra
Ray Drew, MA Communication Grad Cert Psychoanalytic Studies, Wildlife Photographer
Katrina Fox, journalist and author
Professor Steve Garlick, PhD, University of Technology, Sydney
Stephen Graham LLB, Virtual Lawyers and Mediators Pty Ltd.
Dr Jason Grossman, philosopher of science
Naomi Henry, Voiceless Council
Melanie Joy, PhD, Professor, University of Massachusetts, Boston; President, Beyond Carnism; Author
Professor Vrasidas Karalis, Modern Greek Studies, University of Sydney
John Kinsella, author, Professorial Research Fellow, UWA; Professor of Sustainability and Literature, Curtin University.
Lawyers for Animals
David Malouf, writer
Clare Mann, psychologist, author and Managing Director of Communicate31
Jeffrey Masson, Ph.D., Author
Alex Miller, writer
Raymond Mjadwesch, ecologist
Alison Moore, Ph.D., Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts, University of Wollongong
Nic Nassuet, singer/songwriter (USA)
Mark Pearson, member NSW Legislative Council
Teja Brooks Pribac, The Kerulos Center; PhD Candidate University of Sydney
Daniel Ramp, Ph.D., Director, Centre for Compassionate Conservation, University of Technology, Sydney
Tracy Ryan, author
Stephen Sewell, playwright
Lynda Stoner, Animal Liberation NSW
Bill Taylor Ph.D., retired CSIRO plant scientist
Maria Taylor Ph.D., science communication, author, newspaper publisher
Associate Professor Nik Taylor, School of Social and Policy Studies, Flinders University, South Australia
Marianne Thieme, Leader & Chair, Party for the Animals, The Netherlands
Dr Christine Townend, author, founder Animal Liberation, NSW, co-founder Animals Australia
Dr Richard Twine, Co-Director, Centre for Human-Animal Studies, Edge Hill University (UK)
Dinesh Joseph Wadiwel, Ph.D., Socio-Legal Studies and Human Rights, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Sydney
Brenda Walker, writer, Winthrop Professor of English and Cultural Studies, University of Western Australia
Bren Weatherstone, M.Env Sci., teacher (ACT)
Elizabeth Webby, Professor Emerita, Australian Literature, University of Sydney
Dr Richard J. White, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, Sheffield Hallam University (UK)
Professor Stuart White, Director, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney
Phil Wollen, OAM Founder of Winsome Constance Kindness Trust
Gypsy Wulff, Teacher, Author, Publisher, Founder of Spirit Wings Humane Education Inc.
If you would like to help the campaign to stop the A.C.T. Government kill of kangaroos, please sign the Animals Australia petition: http://www.animalsaustralia.org/take_action/stop-kangaroo-slaughter-ACT
Petition to Shane Rattenbury, MLA, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, A.C.T. : https://www.change.org/p/shane-rattenbury-end-the-cruel-slaughter-of-kangaroos-on-public-reserves
Link to The Alliance for Respectful Co-habitation: www.arcohab.org
Taking action! If you live in or near the Australian Capital Territory, and would like to help out in the field by helping to monitor the reserves, please email Carolyn Drew at [email protected]
Candobetter.net: Thank you to Brett Clifton for his wonderful site with photographs of many kangaroos at http://www.brettclifton.com/Welcome.html from which I have sourced the photographs in this article.
For other candobetter.net about kangaroo culls, especially in the ACT see this tag.
"ACT government senior ecologist Dr Donald Fletcher [see more below] defended the research behind the cull, as a hearing before the full bench of ACAT entered its third day on Thursday [5 June 2014]. [...] At one point [Animal Liberation's lawyers] argued a graph, which contained data used to justify the shootings at one reserve, was "pretty useless", although Dr Fletcher stood by most of the figures in the report.
Dr Fletcher admitted he hadn't made adjustments to the population figures throughout the year, and didn't take into account fluctuations due to the time of year the kangaroo populations were counted. He said that meant the government was likely to be ''under-culling'' this year. ''One of the flaws is I haven't allowed for that spring increment,'' he said. Dr Fletcher said several times he couldn't remember how he had calculated certain figures in the population growth estimates. When questioned by lawyers, Dr Fletcher said one of the figures in the data did not demonstrate good science.
[...] On Wednesday, former CSIRO plant scientist Dr William Taylor told the hearing there were "significant deficiencies" in the data the ACT government used for the cull.
The tribunal allowed last year's cull to go ahead following a similar legal challenge brought by animal welfare groups, and a decision was made to target fewer animals.
More than 1500 kangaroos were shot dead in last year's cull, including 355 [in pouch joeys]." Source: http://www.theage.com.au/act-news/act-government-ecologist-defends-kangaroo-cull-figures-at-hearing-20140605-zrz34.html
For the first time the 'science' behind the annual Kangaroo cull has been called into question and we have to thank everyone who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to create such a strong case against the Government. Thank you also to those who attended the hearing, your presence was extremely supportive. And a huge thank you to the ADO team who without their knowledge, professionalism and what became hundreds of hours of work, we would not have had a case.
Animal Liberation ACT’s lawyers, the Animal Defenders Office, persuaded a judge to grant a stay against the kangaroo cull on the basis that the government has failed in its duty to prove the kangaroo cull had improved biodiversity over the past six years.
“They have not collected any baseline data or monitoring data on the conditions of other species on the reserves they say they are saving,” says legislative drafter Ward, who moonlights as a volunteer with the Animal Defenders Office. “If the government wants to go and kill more than 1,600 healthy wild animals, we have to be clear that the science is impeccable before we let them do that.”
Dr Fletcher’s Phd thesis oddly at odds with Canberra culls
(For full article about previous culls see "ACT Roo killings: Who profits? Behind the Earless Dragon mask")
One scientist who was closely associated with the Belconnen cull and the Majura cull, was Don Fletcher. Fletcher is the Senior Ecologist in Research and Monitoring in Parks, Conservation and Lands, Department of Territory and Municipal Services, ACT. His involvement in the Belconnen Roo cull seems to have been officially limited to capturing then releasing female survivors after inserting contraceptives in them. He was one of the writers of the public consultation document leading up to the Majura cull.
He defended these culls and has defended the assessments leading up to the Majura culls in a public consultation document. Yet his own thesis on the “Population Dynamics of Eastern Grey Kangaroos in Temperate Grasslands,” seemed to discredit claims at the basis of these culls, which were too high population density and a need to manage it down to one kangaroo per hectare. For instance, he wrote on page 237 of his study that :
“The study did not provide evidence that high densities of kangaroos reduce groundcover to the levels where erosion can accelerate. Unmanaged kangaroo populations did not necessarily result in low levels of ground cover. Groundcover had a positive but not significant relationship to kangaroo density, with the highest cover at the wettest site where kangaroo density was highest. Weather has an important influence on groundcover.”
He also wrote that some of the populations he was studying were at the highest density recorded. They ranged between 4.5 and 5.1 kangaroos per hectare. The density in the studies below was expressed in square kilometers. To get density per hectare, divide by 100.  Fletcher wrote:
“The kangaroo density estimates reported in Chapter 7 for the three study sites (mean eastern grey kangaroo densities of 450, 480 and 510 km2) are the highest kangaroo densities reported. For comparison, the maximum density of combined red kangaroos and western grey kangaroos in the Kinchega study was less than 56 km2 (Bayliss 1987) and the density of eastern grey kangaroos at Wallaby Creek (Southwell 1987b) was 41 to 50 km2. The next highest kangaroo density outside the vicinity of my study sites appears to be that of Coulson et al. (1999a) for eastern grey kangaroos at Yan Yean Reservoir near Melbourne, which was 220 km2.”
Coulson’s study of kangaroos at 2.2 per ha was published in 1999 as Coulson G, Alviano P, Ramp P, Way S “The kangaroos of Yan Yean: history of a problem population”.  Graham Coulson’s Yan Yean article is frequently cited by kangaroo population students and he seems to be thought of as the originator of the “one kangaroo per kilometer” ‘rule’.
I did contact Dr Fletcher by email, and he was initially quite friendly, but when I attempted to ask him questions about his thesis responses to my emails ceased, even though I re-sent the emails.
 Don Fletcher, “Population Dynamics of Eastern Grey Kangaroos in Temperate Grasslands,” was on line as a pdf, which is the form I downloaded it as. Now apparently only available from University of Canberra Library, reference: http://nla.gov.au/anbd.bib-an42269526. A book by the same title and author has also been published.
 There are 100 ha in one square km. So if density varied between 450 and 510 kangs per square km, then that is 4.5 p ha or 5.10 per ha. With 220 per square km 2.2 per ha.
 Coulson G, Alviano P, Ramp P, Way S (1999). “The kangaroos of Yan Yean: history of a problem population”, Proc R Soc Vic 111: 121–130.
Alphadog AnimalArmy Inc (http://animalarmy.org/) need to meet a target goal of up to $9000 right now for urgent ACT licenced Ecological studies to expose ACT Government manufactured science and provide a new habitat to release translocated kangaroos.
After many months of dedicated and tireless research and project development, the Alphadog AnimalArmy Inc ACT Kangaroo Translocation project trial proposal is under consideration by the ACT Government. For the past 5 months, Charity Director, Marcus Fillinger has poured his time, money, blood, sweat and tears into the 81 page document submission that will challenge and expose every aspect of the ACT Government’s current questionable, flawed and unsubstantiated approach to kangaroo management.
As it is inevitable that the ACT TAMS Minister will announce another unnecessary kill of ACT kangaroos, your chance to make a real difference is needed right now. As part of Alphadog AnimalArmy’s negotiations with Government about our project submission, we have provided the Government with a variety of potential release sites for translocated kangaroos. These sites need to be Ecologically assessed by a licensed ACT Ecologist – and to that end we need up to $9000 URGENTLY. $3000 will cover a preliminary assessment with another $6000 needed for a comprehensive assessment report.
This must be completed before the TAMS Minister announces a cull – because by then it will be too late.
The TAMS Minister has provided a potential option to have their own Government Ecologists or Government-funded contractor to assess these sites. As we see it, the only logical option is that we provide our own independent licensed assessment. As you can imagine, having the ACT Government do an assessment or commission their own contractor to undertake an assessment is as flawed as their need to kill annually – moreover as they are adamant there is no where for kangaroos to live in the ACT – and that statement came from the office of the ACT Greens Minister!
Your time to help is right now!! We need your donations to make change for kangaroos now and into the future with non-lethal wildlife management in this ever shrinking world. With a variety of other modular components to non-lethal wildlife management to come, Alphadog AnimalArmy have created a mechanism and real world, practical and logical solution that will bring permanent change. After all, this is what we do on a nearly daily basis across the boarder in NSW!
The need for donations also extends to the need for Alphadog AnimalArmy to purchase a rescue vehicle that will provide ease of transport for up to 4 kangaroos at a time.
Your time to act is now, and is simple as donating some money to make sure you can help us provide a future for ACT kangaroos. This year, if kangaroos are being killed in the dead of night in the middle of winter with family units being brutally torn apart and joeys fleeing into the dead of night to die of exposure or predation – remember that you had a chance to do something about it.
Image removed by sender.With logic and ethics on our side, we are presenting translocation as an evidence-based, humane and non-lethal option that will become the future of native wildlife management within the ACT and around the world.
Without your support, kangaroos will continue to face violent and unnecessary deaths at the hands of the ACT Government.
To underline the magnitude of work we are doing for non-lethal wildlife management around the world, we're currently lobbying the Canadian (Ontario) Government to adopt translocation of black bears as opposed to the proposed implementation of a bi-annual cull. Further north, we are assisting with further development of monitoring and relocation practices of polar bears in conjunction with a three-part North Pole expedition series. The expedition series will be undertaken by charity Director Marcus Fillinger and will bring international awareness to the relentless demonization and brutal slaughter of Australia's iconic kangaroos.
Image removed by sender.With ever-shrinking habitats due to the impact of human population and development, native animals around the world will benefit from translocation as the future of responsible, ethical and sustainable wildlife management - ACT kangaroos are no exception.The ACT Kangaroos need your urgent help. Every dollar will count.
Support to other Groups
For those groups or individuals who may be challenging the ACT Government in the court system who may require our specialist knowledge and expertise, we are happy to assist with your arguments pertaining to non-lethal management.
Please donate and forward this email throughout your networks and share via Facebook and Twitter using the links below.
We wonder if Bob Carr, Australia's Foreign Minister, has any idea of the utter distress he has given to wildlife carers all over Australia in his endorsement of the kangaroo-meat industry for export? It has reduced to despair mature activists who normally soldier on impressively (where the rest of us dare not even look) despite constant exposure to brutality, cruelty and a useless legal system in their daily rounds. Carr's position is even odder in view of his patron status with Voiceless, the vegan fund for animals.
Bob Carr, despite being a patron of Voiceless, the Fund for Animals, which has a vegan policy, is using his position as Foreign Affairs Minister of Australia to aggressively market kangaroo meat. [http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/forever-young-boomers-refuse-to-act-their-age-20130118-2cysa.html] and http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2012/06/14/Finding-Bob-Carrs-Twitter-voice.aspx and http://www.dfat.gov.au/facts/kangaroos.htmlThis will give the impression to China and Russia and indeed the world, that that kangaroo meat is safe to eat and that all Australians are just fine about reducing this unique social creature to a gimmicky gourmet item.
This behaviour which strikes animal activists as bizarre is not the only behaviour that has caused environmentalists to question Bob Carr's environmental and humanitarian credentials. Carr is also one of the patrons of Sustainable Population Australia, yet since his rise to the position of foreign minister, he seems to be completely silent about Australia's overpopulation.
Carr's fans faith much tested
There is some division of opinion within environmentalists as to whether Carr is sincere or not. Some hope that if he becomes prime minister, he will stand up for the environment and make policies to halt population growth. Those who hope that Carr really is an environmentalist suggest that he must be pragmatic until he rises to true federal power. Others point to his long history on privatisation in NSW and to opportunities missed to save green spaces and veto backward energy policies.
Is Carr among the many who sincerely subscribe to the official kangaroo count and the widespread official message that there are 'too many kangaroos'?
A strange country unlike the official Australia
It seems that it is only when you come up against real families of kangaroos and watch them starve slowly over a few years, trapped in new suburban wastelands amid filthy suburban factories in Thomastown and Plenty"Urgent need for wildlife corridors in Australia"; or see how kangaroos have been genetically engineered to midget status in Queensland by gunfire selecting out larger animals, that you start to doubt the official messages.
There are no effective laws to protect wildlife in Australia and no effective wildlife organisations with status to complain under the laws that exist.
The government departments which are supposed to enforce the law are more interested in granting culling licenses. 'Experts' who supply weighty evidence for culls seem actually to operate in contradiction to their own knowledge. See http://candobetter.net/node/1274
The only way to fight the cruelty and stupidity is by political activism.
No-one cares about the evidence that wildlife carers and activists can supply, even if they can produce the bodies. See http://candobetter.net/node/2918 As near powerless as they are, the wildlife activists are the only effective protection for our native animals.
Welcome to a new and strange country that bears no ressemblance to the official Australia.
Petition against Kangaemu burgers
Source of top half of picture was http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/food/kangemu-burger-some-just-love-the-taste-but-others-go-hopping-mad/story-fneuz8zj-1226556148786Source of bottom half was Friends of Animal Army.
Wildlife Victoria has created a petition to Grill'd, the Australian fast food chain that is promoting a novelty kangaemu Coat of Arms burger for 2 weeks to cash in on Australia Day. Many wildlife activists want to stop Grill'd from making this a regular menu choice and to use this opportunity to send a clear message that kangaroo meat is not green, clean or humane.
If you also think eating kangaroos is in bad taste and cruel, you can SIGN and SHARE this petition:
Why isn't using kangaroos for meat sustainable?
Many Australians, vegan and meat-eaters, have quite valid concerns that the numbers of several kangaroo species, currently treated as highly numerous, may suddenly drop close to extinction. This is in part because of the ongoing effect of killing off the large males and females and thus permitting young and inexperienced males to approach females who would otherwise be off limits. Thus baby kangaroos come into the world in a declining social environment where the extended family and clan has broken down and young parents are not able to protect them. Furthermore, their environments are filled with many new dangers for which evolution cannot prepare them. As well as hunters and increasing rates of gratuitous cruelty from rising numbers of human beings, new roads appear daily where for hundreds of thousands of years there was only grassland. Housing estates go up on traditional kangaroo grazing and social areas, leaving mobs to starve. Many of these gentle and intelligent creatures finish up dying painfully by the side of roads, chased out of their habitats by greedy aspirational humans and then fatally injured by cars. Kangaroos caught in traffic are often a source of callous mirth and entertainment for morning radio presenters in Melbourne as every week or so an unfortunate animal is reported to be running the gamut of morning peak hour traffic with probably no hope of surviving the ordeal.
It thus seems obscene for our foreign minister to promote further cruelty for the sake of an industry that is neither clean nor green, nor even lucrative. The kangaroo industry exists on the disadvantaged fringes of Australian society, where farmers have been priced out of sustainable farming, and where a generation of farm workers now seeks unreliable work on the city fringes.
Pat O'Brien, President of the Wildlife Protection Association of Australia which includes the The Kangaroo Protection Coalition has a very long experience of critical analysis of kangaroo counts and kangaroo policies. He also knows all about the meat trade because he was once a butcher. The late high profile environmentalists, Steve Irwin, had such respect for him that he gave him a house and funded his protection of kangaroos for life. Irwin contacted O'Brien many years ago because O'Brien was the only wildlife association representative person to speak up effectively for kangaroos in Queensland. You can listen to nine short interviews with Pat O'Brien about these matters on you-tube. He is particularly good on kangaroo censuses and on the wildlife meat-export trade and his knowledge is enriched by history.
He writes on the Commercial Kangaroo Kill:
"Probably the single most urgent wildlife campaign is to close down the commercial kangaroo kill. Kangaroo populations have crashed over the last few years due to heavy commercial shooting, compounded by drought, Climate Change, and loss of habitat. Regional extinction is common in many areas of Australia, in every State, and we are being left with small genetically impoverished family groups. Sometimes these 'mobs' are as low as six or eight kangaroos, trapped by suburban sprawl, and unable to escape and mingle with other small mobs."
Remember that the Thylacine was hunted to extinction in Tasmania and only a few short decades before the haunting footage of the last animal was filmed, the species was thought to be numerous. Now the only experience for most Australians of this unique Australian animal is on the label of a well known brand of beer. Is that all we will know of the kangaroo 50 years from now?
 See S.M.Newman, Demography, Territory & Law: Rules of animal and human populationsChapters Two and three. Some specific criticism of predator-prey theory applied to kangaroos (endnote) and review of other population theories, pp 79-85.
As one who was involved early on in reporting on the 2008 incident that sparked off this book, and then in some proof-reading, I can personally say that I think this book is a triumph in embodying the goodness of children and their love of nature. This is a book that I will buy for children I know.
Menkit Prince, 2013, Chloe and Joey meet a very wise Kiwi. Illustrated by Kathleen McLaren.
This delightful novel by Menkit Prince features a real little Australian girl called Chloe. The story, which is charming, logical and satisfying, as well as exotic and adventurous, begins with the actual experiences of a primary school class in Epping, Victoria. The teacher in charge of the class observed her pupils' distress at seeing many injured kangaroos displaced by new suburbs. She helped them write to the then Minister for the Environment, Gavin Jennings (depicted here with his heart missing).
The outcome was even more distressing. The children's letters got scant attention. The kangaroos continued to be deprived of their habitat, and the teacher seemed to receive a firm message not to encourage this kind of political engagement with truth.
Of course we think this is just the kind of engagement with nature and population that children should engage in with courage but lots of support. The absence of support from the official channels struck us as a tragic sign of the times.
Menkit Prince's book empowers Chloe, a character inspired by one of the children in the class, to act to save kangaroos by elevating their status in the hearts and minds of Australians, taking advice from a New Zealand kiwi bird.
It is a lovely and important story and a superior children's novel.
In fact I know it very well because I was originally contacted to do the illustrations, but the author finished up choosing another artist who did an excellent job. I worked with Menkit, however, by helping her to proof-read. I do quite a lot of proof-reading but can truthfully say that it was some of the most pleasurable proof-reading I have ever done.
I love this book!
The book took a long time to get to publication, which is the nature of publishing.
I really want to recommend it to parents and their children. I think it should be destined to be a classic and also think that it will help the plight of kangaroos and the plight of children, from whom the experience of magical nature is being stripped.
Editor and Evolutionary Sociologist
Policy Advisor for the AWPC
 Click here for the original 2008 article, "Children in Epping tread where adults and politicians fear to go"
These photographs of a mass-burial pit in Canberra for kangaroos gunned down by the government was sent to me by 'Friends of AnimalArmy' with the message, "We cannot find an investigative journalist anywhere who will expose the corruption and the lies." I cannot understand why not. Don't we want to know the truth?
Do we want to know the truth?
I think that Australians do want to know the truth, but it seems that the mass media is letting us all down.
This infinitely sad photograph of the dead kangaroo with bent head and hand placed around the body of a hairless joey might remind some of you of pictures of Mary and the infant Jesus, and others of bodies in a pit in Auchwitz. The point is that the photograph documents a deeply tragic mistake on the part of the ACT government, that taints it as brutal and dishonest. This is one of several remarkable photographs that came to me via "Friends of AnimalArmy," with the message,
"We cannot find an investigative journalist anywhere who will expose the corruption and the lies."
"They are shooting 20 metres off major 4 laned highways during peak hour in full view of all traffic, being the ACT Govt they are untouchable and do not answer to anyone."
In the early hours of Sunday morning 3 June 2012, activists uncovered a large mass burial pit at the Kama nature reserve. It contained up to an estimated 300+ slain kangaroo bodies. Evidence was discovered amidst a slurry of mud and blood illustrating unethical and illegal practices including throat shots, partially severed joeys and mature kangaroos with smashed heads. The large kangaroo among the small and tiny ones is a big mature male.
These images were taken of an unearthed pit where hundreds of kangaroos have been buried during this 2012 cull. The images are graphic and may be distressing but think how the kangaroos felt. Can any of us imagine? It is most important to share these truths around to friends, families, colleagues, media, and politicians. Blow the lid off the dodgy 'wildlife management' that goes on in the ACT and blow the lid off the mainstream media conspiracy to hide the facts from Australians.
Click here on Animal Liberation ACT’s new website for further information on what you can do to help!
When I received these pictures from friends of 'AnimalArmy', I wondered where to begin to describe what I can see is happening. Leisa's poem (above) sums it up. Leisa has said to me that the longer she knows kangaroos, and she has worked intimately with them for 25 years, the more impressed she is by their intelligence and their capacity to love - "not just their own species, but humans as well." She also says, "When I look into a kangaroo's eyes I see a capacity to analyse."
In contrast to the Canberra male half-buried in mud, the picture at the bottom of this article is of a healthy South Australian animal interacting with a friendly photographer.
 This poem by Leisa Moore, a kangaroo rescuer in South Australia was originally written in memory of 453 Belconnen Kangaroos Killed by the A.C.T. Government in a Kangaroo Management Cull, 2009. Leisa called it, "Message from a Belconnen Kangaroo, 'Reflection In My Eyes'.
The ACT government is driving a terrible animal Holocaust involving thousands of kangaroos. This is becoming close an annual event. To wildlife carers, the official rationale seems about as sane as Hitler's reasoning for driving whole sections of society into concentration camps. The ACT government wants more people in Canberra because the growth lobby wants to sell more land and house packages. The violence and dodgy science used to excuse this behaviour, supposedly to protect native grasses, would be funny if we were not actually expected to take it seriously and if hundreds of kangaroos were not currently lying slaughtered in pits for no good reason.
For pictures of the slaughter so far see Article with photos of dead
According to the Australian Society for Kangaroos (ASK) one of the parks where yet more kangaroos are to be killed is where the ABC did a documentary on Canberra’s Kangaroos which went to air earlier this year. The main scientist featured in that documentary admitted that the mortality rate of joeys (baby kangaroos) is 70%.
Picture of what ASK believe to be death pits at Mugga Lane where the ACT government will dispose of the cull victims.
Comment from Sheila Newman: At this rate they will wipe out Canberra kangaroos completely. It has been estimated that a female kangaroo only replaces herself in a lifetime due to the low survival rate of baby roos. This is especially true in wildlife-hostile modern Australia, where the mobs and clans that provide social support for kangaroo families are dispersed and fragmented, leading to short-term population booms, as kinship rules are lost, and long-term population busts, as the supportive network of mobs across established territories is destroyed by human infrastructure expansion and activity.
The Australian Society for Kangaroos (ASK) has said that animal activists have located what is believed to be fresh graves at Mugga Lane where 2000 of Canberra's iconic kangaroos will be buried during this year's slaughter, including the stars of the recent ABC documentary "Kangaroo Mob".
The Canberra government today announced it will shoot another 2000 kangaroos in Canberra nature parks only months after bringing in cattle to control the overgrowth of grasses.
Sadly this years cull will target Wanniassa Hills Nature Park where Madge and her joey Sonny, much loved stars of the recent documentary “Kangaroo Mob”, reside.
The announcement of yet another massive kill has shocked animal advocates who are still reeling from the government's massacre of 75% of the kangaroo population in ACT nature parks last year. Despite claims by the ACT government that their killing program is about protecting threatened species, they have failed to provide any credible evidence to support this claim. (See ACT Roo killings: Who profits? Behind the Earless Dragon mask," for a comprehensive analysis of the 'science' behind the ACT rationales for massive culls.
ASK says that the ACT government has also refused recent Freedom of Information requests from the Australian Society for Kangaroos relating to questions about recent culls in ACT nature parks.
They allege that the Canberra government has breached multiple FOI laws by failing to respond to ASK's request about their kangaroo culls within the legal time frame. They say that four months after the request was lodged, the ACT government refused to provide any of the documents requested. ASK say they will be appealing this decision with the ombudsmen and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Protesters from across Australia wanting to defend Madge Sonny and their fellow kind are gearing up to descend on Canberra ready for a fiery front line battle with park authorities.
For those wanting to protest this massacre please contact:
Katy Gallagher ACT Chief Minister
Shane Rattenbury ACT GREENS
PM Julia Gillard
Lee Rhiannon GREENS ANIMAL WELFARE
 Source: "Action Alert: Canberra plots death of tv heroes Madge and Sonny," from the Australian Society for Kangaroos
 For a critical analysis of population dynamic theory for humans and other species, read, Sheila Newman, The Urge to Disperse, Candobetter Press, 2012
"The car was so fantastic as a rescue vehicle and I am feeling saddened that because of someone hating me so much for helping wildlife that they damaged my car, forcing me to park it elsewhere, this has happened. I recently broke my ankle whilst out checking on animals and relied on my car so much. I cannot continue in the short time doing what I love most, helping the Kangaroos." If you would like to help Leisa to buy another car, or maybe in some other way, we include an address for contact and contributions at the end of this article.
Today Leisa Moore, who looks after the kangaroos in the Adelaide hills, has no wheels. She is still alive, but worries about the kangaroos out there.
On Saturday morning, 2nd June, 2012, Leisa Moore's car was crushed by a tree.
Leisa has been looking after kangaroos for 25 years here. She says that at first it was a fantastic area, but over time mindless hostility towards kangaroos has accompanied population pressure and clearing for development. Kangaroos and kangaroo rescuers are unpopular with people who want to clear land for housing. This has made the kangaroos and her life hell. Although some people appreciate what she does, there is a cowardly group of people who want her to move on and stop helping kangaroos. Leisa is so dedicated - to truth and kangaroos - however, that she refuses to move and continues to go out rescuing in the constantly deteriorating conditions.
Wildlife carers' lives are difficult
This is the lot of so many of Australia's wildlife carers and the public should know. When something goes wrong on top of the general difficulties, it can be very hard to go on. All our wildlife carers need more support and appreciation. Most also need money, but they don't know how to ask for it, even if they had the time.
"I don't know what I am going to do now. I saved so hard to get it and really looked after my car. It was old and I won't be able to get anything as good with what the insurance will pay me as 'market value'. I waited a long time to get a good car as it needs to be reliable in the area I live. I drive in remote areas sometimes to rescue animals. I am already worried about what I cannot do tonight."
Leisa's practice has been to park her car in a particular area near council land and to go on foot to check fences and other hazards where wildlife, especially kangaroos, come to grief. She spends about four hours driving and walking areas each day.
My day starts as soon as it is light to check the roads for injured Kangas and return at dusk after peak hour till dark to make sure there are no Kangas suffering from vehicle collisions. I walk several kilometres checking the vast amount of fencing which is deadly to Kangas of all ages.
During those twenty-five years, but most especially over the past five years, for her troubles, she has been abused, stalked, and had damage done to her car.
In the past few weeks her car tyres have been let down twice whilst she was in the bush checking wildlife.
"Someone stabbed one of the back tyres and did a slow puncture of the other. Before this I found a broken bottle placed under a tyre. Last week I had to buy two new tyres."
Because of the attacks on her car, she accepted when recently a neighbour offered to let her park her car outside his house on the footpath in the same area to make it less obviously a target for the person who had been damaging it. She took up the neighbour's offer on three occasions, most recently Saturday morning.
The Friday evening before Leisa had searched until dark for the mother of a joey she found by itself in the bush. She was unable to find the mother kangaroo and went back home to bed, but she was too worried about the fate of mother and joey to sleep. As soon as it was light she set off to look again for the mother, who she feared was injured and stuck somewhere, unable to attend to her joey. She left her car outside the neighbour's house again, expecting it would be safe.
She says that she got out of the car carrying her 'usual gear' of mobile phone, binoculars, and emergency first aid kit, ready to help any injured animal.
" I had only taken about five steps towards the area I wanted to check, when I heard an amazing noise, one that I know well, the sound of a tree about to crash. I turned and just stared at my car as, with a crash, a huge tree limb thundered down and crushed it. It took all of five seconds. If I had still been getting out of the car, I would almost certainly have been very badly injured or killed."
The SES chain-sawed the limb and removed if from her car, but the tow-truck driver described it as a write-off.
"The car was so fantastic as a rescue vehicle and I am feeling saddened that because of someone hating me so much for helping wildlife that they damaged my car, forcing me to park it elsewhere, this has happened. I would not have parked in this area under the tree were it not for the recent attacks on my car. I have been parking in the other spot for 25 years, where at least no tree fell on my car.
Now, I am sorry to say, there will probably be many people happy that I cannot continue in the short time doing what I love most, helping the Kangaroos. I recently broke my ankle whilst out checking on animals and relied on my car so much. My ankle will take many months to heal apparently as I have done considerable ligament damage but ... I will keep checking and that is that. I just love Kangaroos so much. I will keep going. I am still a bit shaken over the incident."
Leisa is on a low income and uses her own money to help kangaroos in an area where they are persecuted. She could use financial help to buy a decent car and to help with the expense of caring for the kangaroos.
Candobetter.net would like to make it possible to help her through writing this article and telling you about her good work and hard times. If you would like to help, you could send money or contact her at:
If you want to help Leisa, send money or write:
National Australia Bank.
Acct No 62-224-2063.
Or write to:
PO Box 203, Mylor. SA. 5153.
"Canberra's Nature parks will be closed tomorrow for a "cull" of Eastern Grey Kangaroos. About 2000 are to be slaughtered for a "sustainable" number, to protect the flora and fauna. Polls of about 600 residents reveal that 79% of the city want the killings to go ahead. It's ironical that 9 "Nature" parks will be closed, under that assumption that kangaroos are not part of Nature and a threat to conservation efforts and sustainability.
Endangered flora and fauna are being threatened by "over-abundant eastern grey kangaroos". Just how does Daniel Iglesias, the public servant responsible for the decision, actually evaluate what is "abundant" or "sustainable"?
There are never any government polls or public debate on what is a sustainable human population, for Canberra or any city. Kangaroos are native animals, living in harmony with the environment, and softy-treading animals on the Earth. Humans, on the other hand, drive cars, use energy-consuming technology, change irrevocably the landscape, emit greenhouse gases and pollution, but there's no discussion on human "carrying capacity" or sustainable numbers, only for kangaroos!!
Animal activists have located what is believed to be fresh graves at Mugga Lane where 2000 of Canberra's iconic kangaroos will be buried during this year's slaughter, including the stars of the recent ABC documentary "Kangaroo Mob". Despite claims by the ACT government that their killing program is about protecting threatened species, they have failed to provide any credible evidence to support this claim.
The ACT government has also refused recent Freedom of Information requests from the Australian Society for Kangaroos relating to questions about recent culls in ACT nature parks. The Canberra government has breached multiple FOI laws by failing to respond to our request about their kangaroo culls within the legal time frame.
Thanks to the Australian Society for Kangaroos for the photo:
One of the intended burial sites for the kangaroos was switched to another location yesterday after the activists stumbled upon the proposed burial ground in south Canberra.
Parks and Gardens Conservation services director, Mr Iglesias, said the culling was necessary to keep the number of kangaroos at sustainable levels that did not have a detrimental impact on other animals and plants. Just how is "sustainable", a vague and ambiguous word at the least, measured? Grasslands were used by pastoralists for many years causing species extinctions and land degradation. Nature should be allowed to find a natural balance to restore ecological systems, and this includes kangaroos.
The ABC is to screen a documentary about kangaroos. It is scheduled for television on ABC1 channel will this coming Tuesday evening 21st February 2012 at 8:30pm
It is set in Canberra, Australian Capital Territroy, alias the 'Taijin' of kangaroo slaughter.
The programme is entitled #10;">'Kangaroo Mob'
But the prior promotional trailer includes snippets of interviews with those seeking to sell their sick desire for mass slaughter of Australia's native kangaroos.
Is this documentary really disguised propaganda by a locally struggling trade in Australian wildlife?
The ABC is to screen a documentary about kangaroos. It is scheduled for television on ABC1 channel will this coming Tuesday evening 21st February 2012 at 8:30pm
It is set in Canberra, Australian Capital Territroy, alias the 'Taijin' of kangaroo slaughter.
The programme is entitled #10;">Kangaroo Mob'
The ABC promotional trailer reads:
'In the second of our new strand of Wild Ones natural history documentaries, we meet the mob of 'street smart' kangaroos moving into Australia's capital city and the ecologists following their every move.
Over the course of one drought-stricken year we follow mob leader Black Spot and kangaroo mum Madge with her two young joeys - mischievous Sonny and tiny pouch-bound Alice.
Learning to be an urban 'roo is tough for little Sonny, who must negotiate busy roads, and avoid cars and dogs in order to find food. When the city announces a kangaroo cull, his life is in serious danger.
Thanks to the latest scientific technology we uncover surprising new animal behaviour whilst delving into the controversial issues that arise when sharing your backyard with a large wild creature
Kangaroo Mob is a warm and entertaining look at what happens when human development encroaches on wildlife habitat and two very different species are forced to co-exist.'
The ABC promotional trailer also disturbingly includes snippets of an interview with those seeking to sell their sick desire for mass slaughter of Australia's native kangaroos.
Is this documentary really disguised propaganda by a locally struggling trade in Australian wildlife?
We shall be watching the programme with animal rights scrutiny.
This programme is recommended viewing for anyone concerned about the plight of wildlife everywhere.
Six years ago, when we moved here, my partner found a joey on our property. I was absolutely thrilled when the rescuer asked me if I would like to learn how to care for him.
Denise McLean writes:
Six years ago, when we moved here, my partner found a joey on our property. I was absolutely thrilled when the rescuer asked me if I would like to learn how to care for him. I have successfully raised and released many joeys since then.
I have also had my fair share of sadness when the little ones didn't survive. Joeys often sustain fatal injuries when mum is killed and you wouldn't believe the health problems that can occur.
Human expansion and population growth place wildlife at risk
I live 10 kms from town on 10 acres in a small coastal town of 700. There are 2 estates just out of town comprising of 10 to 40 acre blocks. It is not very populated and the local wildlife could co exist with humans. Unfortunately most humans do not seem to be able to accept this.
Most joeys come into care due to mum being hit by a car or by being killed by a domestic dog. Many people don't know this, but even if the dog doesn't actually kill the kangaroo, the exertion from the chase and the stress will often leave the kangaroo with myopathy and it will die.
More and more people are moving to this area and unfortunately, because the councils, builders and the owners don't care, too many trees will be cut down and the wildlife here will eventually loose their ability to survive. It is really tragic as we are a huge tourist destination for many overseas visitors and the main reason they come here is because you can get to see kangaroos in the "wild".
An important message
If you hit a kangaroo, please stop and check to see if there is a joey in the pouch. There is always someone you could contact in the local area, but be aware that not all vets are confident about treating injured joeys and some may euthanase them because of this. On the other hand, some vets are wonderful with wildlife and very sympathetic and helpful to wildlife carers.
I cop a lot of flack from the public for being a carer.
"Why would you bother when there are already thousands out there" is the usual response.
"Do you think you have the power to decide who should live and who should not, because I don't feel I have, and every animal deserves the right to life the way it was meant to," is my response.
Kangaroo mothers would not be dead and joeys would not be orphaned and in need of my care, if it wasn't for the greed of humans, the lack of respect for others and roaming dogs (which actually is a lack of respect for others).
Animal carer, Denise McLean, talks about how she became a wildlife carer, and her night and day-shift nurse routine taking care of Raini, a very young baby kangaroo, and other macropod charges. Raini the pinkie joey's mother was a car accident victim. Raini was found in his dead mother's pouch by a woman as she was shifting the mother off the road. Fortunately for him, the woman called an animal rescue line.
Bringing Raini home
Raini was accidentally found as a tiny joey by a woman out walking one morning. His mother had been hit by a car. As she approached Raini's mother to move her off the road, the woman was shocked to see a movement in the dead kangaroo's pouch. Luckily the woman had her mobile with her. She rang her husband and he rang the rescue number.
I was the person on the other end of the animal rescue-line.
At only 270 grams, furless with eyes closed, the pinkie-Raini needed someone experienced and dedicated to care for him. I turned on the electric blanket and went out to bring my little Raini home.
The success rate with pinkies is not very high. They are very premature compared with a human baby. Joeys, normally brought up in their mother's pouch, are unable to thermoregulate until their fur grows (called "furring".) Until then they need to be kept at a temperature of between 33 and 34 degrees celsius.
Various methods are used to control temperature. Humidicribs would be the most ideal (but they are very expensive). I use an electric blanket that has been sewn into a pouch. I then suspend the pouch with the pinkie inside and put a temperature probe underneath the joey to monitor the temperature.
Here is a typical 24 hours in my life
At the moment I have Raini (whippy 1.2 kg) with his brain injury and now broken foot. Mickey (whippy 4 kg), Buddy (grey 4.5 kg), Rosie (grey 6 kg) + 2 others that still come home morning and night for bottles. With my injured shoulder and all the other day to day things, I just don't think I could take on another task at the moment.
Kangaroos are early risers and, baby kangaroos, like most babies, expect to be fed at all hours.
6am Alarm goes off. Get up, boil kettle for bottles and coffee. Feed Buddy (1.5 kg grey male kangaroo), then Raini. Must have drunk my coffee, cup is empty. Clean up bottles etc.
7am Might have another cuppa. Boil kettle. Max and Molly (15 kg grey male and 20 kg grey female) are here for their morning bottle. Feed Max & Molly, spend some special time with them. They have their morning pieces of sweet potato (hand fed of course), pats and tick search. Coffee is cold now, only drank about ¼ cup. Oh well.
7.40am Have shower and get dressed.
8am Spend 10 minutes in sun with Raini (he needs his vitamin D for his fast growing bones). Rub paw paw ointment on tail. Moisturise rest of body.
8.20am Put on load of washing, wash Raini’s liners, make bed.
8.45am Boil kettle for Raini’s syringes etc. Prepare bottles and medicine, feed Raini. Moisturise and attend to tail. Clean up bottles etc.
9.30am Hang out washing. Check emails (nothing important so they can wait).
10am Feed Buddy, take him for a walk. Clean up bottles
10.40am Must go to town and get some supplies.
11.15am Get home from town, have a cuppa and something to eat (haven’t had a chance yet). Make some coleslaw for lunch. Garry is coming home from work so am making some nice salads (mostly from the vege garden).
11.45am Boil kettle for Raini’s syringes etc. Feed him and attend to moisturizing. Clean up bottles etc.
12.40pm Have lunch and rest. I should clean up the kitchen but it can wait. Rest interrupted by 2 phone calls.
1.50pm Boil kettle for Buddy’s 2pm bottle. Feed Buddy, take him for walk. Clean up bottles etc.
2.30pm Clean kitchen (see, I did get to it). Boil kettle for Raini’s 3pm bottle. Max and Molly have turned up. Have weaned them off their daytime bottles but they still come home to see if one is on offer. Gave them some mixture (chaff and steamed flaked oats) and shut door so they couldn’t come inside.
3.10pm Feed Raini, sit outside in sun for 10 minutes with him. Clean up bottles/syringes, put everything on to boil (to sterilize joey equipment). Boil water to make up formula later. Check on Buddy. Take him outside for a while to get some sun. Pick some grass for him and put him back in his pouch.
4pm Take washing off line, fold and put away. Let chooks out, clean and refill water, collect eggs.
4.30pm Now I am going to sit down and rest for half and hour.
5pm Make up 24 hours worth of bottles for Raini and Buddy. Put dishes away. Clean up bottle making equipment. Prepare veges for tea.
5.30pm Max and Molly have come in to see about a bottle. Haven’t got any formula made up. Make formula and prepare bottles. Feed Max and Molly, give them some chaff. Clean up again.
6pm Get everything ready to feed Buddy and Raini. Feed Buddy, Garry will have to take him for a nurse and a walk as I am now late feeding Raini. Feed Raini, have cuddles and moisturize tail Clean up bottles etc.
7pm Cook tea and eat.
7.45pm That’s it, I have to have a lie down for a bit. Was going to give Raini some lectade but will do it later.
8.40pm Boil kettle for Raini’s bottle etc. At least I got nearly 1 full hour of rest.
9pm Feed Raini, attend to tail. Clean bottles etc.
9.45pm Boil kettle for Buddys bottle.
10pm Feed Buddy. Clean bottles.
10.20pm What to do now. Need to go to bed, am so, so tired but, Raini needs his 2nd lectade. Washing up not done from tea.
10.30pm OK, do washing up. Attend to Raini’s bed, temperature is rising.
10.45pm Boil kettle for Raini’s lectade. Feed Raini, clean up.
11pm Go to bed.
Baby kangaroos require night feeds
Midnight Alarm goes off. Get up, feed Raini, wash bottles.
12.40am Go back to bed.
2.15am Alarm goes off. Get up, feed Buddy, feed Raini, wash bottles.
3am Go back to bed.
6am Alarm goes off and so starts another day, another milestone for Raini.
Denise McLean, an Australian animal carer writes about local council indifference to the effects of car collisions and dog attacks on kangaroos and her concerns about the government's positions on live export. (1 July 2011)
Huge dog problems
Huge dog problems in my neighbourhood, local council are useless. (I don't think they will be happy until every last kangaroo in our area is either killed by a car or mauled to death by a dog). Anyway, had to take measures into my own hands, kept a watch each night and over the course of 1 week, I caught 3 dogs roaming onto my property. One of my released grey kangaroos hadn't been home for 3 days and I was so worried about him but I think he must have gone further away to get away from the dogs. Good news, he has come home and hasn't left for the past 4 days.
Brain injured joey
My little whiptail joey (1.2 kgs) - I have raised him from eyes closed pinkie of 270 grams - is having problems. He had a brain injury and wasn't sending the right signals to his legs so he couldn't stand up. After many weeks of physio and exercise, I am happy to say he is hopping. 2 days ago however, he had a big tumble and has broken a bone near his foot. Really hard trying to keep him off his feet so he can recover. The vet doesn't want to splint it as a bandage on his leg may hinder his brain signals to his foot if it is compromised, so this makes his recovery just a little more difficult.
I had a bad fall a few weeks ago and have torn tendons in my shoulder. Have been in absolute agony but with everything that has been happening, I haven't been able to rest my shoulder so it is not getting any better. My partner has been absolutely great but as you all probably know, men aren't the best nurturers.
Enough of my problems, in the scheme of the world, they are pretty insignificant.
Live Exports - Am very concerned regarding the propaganda the cattle people are sending out. It is changing peoples opinions. My mother in law has changed her mind regarding the live trade. After hearing stories that the cattle are starving at the ports, she told me yesterday that it would be better for them to be sent to Indonesia (I finished her sentence with "to be tortured"). I am afraid this is the general feeling out there amongst the general public.
Does anyone have further information regarding a rumour that the Indonesians not requiring our cattle after 2014 as they should be producing enough of their own cattle? If this is indeed true, then the Australian cattle exporters must have a contingency plan, otherwise they would have to stop breeding now for the live export in 2014. So why can't they fast-track this alternative plan? Or is this just more propaganda floating around.
We all must stay diligent regarding this issue. I have heard Nick Xenophon speaking on this issue numerous times and he seems like he genuinely feels disgust at the Australians who have let this atrocity take place for 18 years. Lets hope he can be a loud voice for this cause.
KANGAROOS in the Wagga district were given a temporary reprieve by a council standing committee after it voted against commercial culling.
The Hume Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) is hoping to expand the area in which kangaroos can be commercially killed to include land surrounding the city of Wagga.
The pest authority had asked Wagga City Council for in- principle support for the expansion when it makes its submission to the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water. However Greens Councillor Ray Goodlass, the chair of the standing committee, spoke strongly against the concept and got plenty of support when it was put to a vote.
Wonderful! Finally a council speaks out on behalf of our maligned national icon.
Cr Goodlass said:
"I'm not in favour of this, I don't see how it is necessary. However accurate a marksman is, I think shooting a kangaroo in the head is inhumane."
The simple truth of this is lost on most people. Of course it's not humane! That animal wanted to live just like you and I want to live. Most likely it had family that it loved who were impoverished by its demise.
The sad truth is that 30% of kangaroos are left in the field* because if they are not clean headshots they are not accepted by the industry which prides itself on being 'humane'. That means the animals died in agony. Some kangaroos are shot in the face, not in the brain. In those cases they hop away to die in agony of gangrene and starvation, uncounted in the annual kill statistics.
Not only is shooting a kangaroo in the head inhumane, the way their joeys are killed is even more inhumane. In-pouch joeys are bashed to death against a truck, decapitated with a knife or stomped to death. The at-foot joeys fare no better and die of starvation, predation, stress or hypothermia. Since 80% of the kangaroos killed are females*, the number of joeys killed each year is estimated at minimum 1 million.
To see footage of kangaroo slaughter go to http://youtube.com/watch?v=zcMkNYOBvW8
How can we keep doing this to such beautiful animals?
Deputy Mayor Lindsay Vidler, who argued for the case of the Hume LHPA, said kangaroos were a huge problem for road users in the district. He claimed they were "out of control, causing car accidents." He said he preferred controlled killing to indiscriminate shooting but when it came to a vote, he was on his own in support of commercial culling.
Solution to Killing Kangaroos
Perhaps Cr Vidler could check the work of Pip Chalk who is writing a thesis on human-kangaroo interface based on a research project she did in the Hawkesbury district where she concluded that in spite of the fact that conflicts existed between the two species, the locals were willing to learn to peacefully co-exist because they didn't want to see them gone. http://www.awms.org.nz/Files/newsletters/v22i2.pdf (p.4)
More Money to be Made in Nature-Based Tourism than Kangaroo Killing
And perhaps also Wagga council could encourage residents to appreciate kangaroos? Would farmers be willing to have home-stay programs for international tourists who would love to see kangaroos? According to Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC) 18.3% of our international tourists are attracted to Australia singularly because of its wildlife with 67.5% of all international tourists wanting to see our native animals. A $25.2 billion dollar expenditure by these same travellers equates to between $2.7 billion and $5.5 billion of value from tourism with wildlife, especially kangaroos as the most popular fauna. Since commercial kangaroo industry is valued at only $250 million, this means that kangaroos are worth more alive than dead.
Watchable Wildlife Inc. (USA) and the Tourism Research Australia as well as the Australian Bureau of Statistics, backed up by The Australia Institute and the STCRC, support the sustainable economic value of wildlife viewing. Wildlife tourists consume goods, services, guide books, binoculars, video cameras, telescopes, equipment and outdoor clothing. Food and accommodation alone employ over 410,589 persons. Then there is petrol, diesel for bus operators, employment to wildlife managers, guides, and general or specialist tourism operators. All are at the high end of the tourist spending pattern. http://www.rootourism.com/fback10.htm
Steve McLeod (2004) found that Australian wildlife created more than 14,000 jobs in the tourist industry and estimated that the ‘costs’ associated with kangaroos, such as loss of production, vehicle damage, research etc. amounted to only $76 million.
Perhaps kangaroos are the goose that lays the golden egg of tourism to ailing rural economies?
As for reducing the likelihood of roadkill, Wagga council could
1. Recommend drivers install a device that emits a high pitch that only animals can hear to alert them of the approach of a car http://www.shuroo.com.au
2. Erect more road signs alerting drivers to slow down especially around dawn and dusk
3. Enlist farmers, graziers and landholders to give part of their land as a wildlife corridor so that kangaroos are not forced to graze by the side of the road where they often run in front of cars when frightened. If there were enough wildlife corridors, kangaroos could traverse to other areas safely without having to venture near cars, to the detriment of both themselves and the drivers.
Although the standing committee's refusal to endorse Hume LHPA's proposal will no doubt be a blow to the pest authority's submission to the Department of Environment, it is still possible that it will be approved and commercial culling will become a reality in the district.
Hopefully other councils will follow Wagga Wagga council's shining example and do everything in their power to save our national icon. ( http://www.stopkangarookilling.org )
Note: Australian Wildlife Protection Council ( http://www.awpc.org ) has sent a Certificate of Recognition to Wagga Council for their outstanding accomplishment in being the first Australian council in history to stand up for kangaroo protection.
70-80% kangaroos shot female - http://animal-lib.org.au/campaigns/120-kangaroo-campaign.html
In terms of environmental management Australia is just a collection of colonies not unlike the days of very early settlement. Policies that govern the control of feral animals and natives that are perceived as pests differ from state to state (and territory).
In Western Australia, it is legal for pastoralists to make a living from the keeping of feral goat herds. Ooops! Did I say feral goats….. they are now called rangeland goats. Will Scott is a pastoralist that keeps a “rangeland goat” herd of approximately 40,000 goats on his 400,000 hectare property near Mt Magnet in WA. This huge collection of one of the most environmentally destructive feral animals is maintained on a property with no fencing whatsoever.
Killing dingoes to protect goats?
You would be excused for thinking that Will Scott’s choice of livestock is a throw back to the 19th century however he does not stop there. In recent times he has called on the state government to increase their efforts in controlling wild dog numbers as they have reduced his “rangeland goat” herd by one half in a matter of 18 months. At this point it should be pointed out that the use of the term “wild dog” is thrown around by landholders freely and collectively describes dingoes, domestic dogs and hybrids. This particular part of Western Australia contains predominantly dingoes but that of course depends on who you are listening to. In a recent article in “The West Australian” a farmer with a property closer to the coast estimated the proportion of dingoes to be 65%, the remainder being either feral domestic dogs or hybrids. A dingo conservationist would more than likely increase that number.
Nevertheless, the removal of our native mammalian top-order predator from pastoral areas is an obsession of landholders Australia wide. Will Scott would have us believe that increasing 1080 baiting programmes as well as increasing government funded doggers is necessary for the sake of his goat herd. Unfortunately our state government has obliged and now pays the salary of 8 fulltime doggers to bait and lay steel traps. The images of dingoes hanging from trees and fences reminds me of similar images depicting wedge tailed eagles or Tasmanian tigers that suffered a similar fate in days gone by. Both of these misunderstood animals were demonised by the pastoral industry of the time making it easier for the general public to accept their wholesale slaughter. Personally I find it offensive that we are slaughtering our native predators to protect the herds of feral animals that provide the income for so few.
There is no mistaking the fact that dingoes and sheep do not mix. Dingoes are notorious for killing more sheep than they can possibly eat and this doesn’t win them any friends amongst landholders. More enlightened pastoralists are looking at alternative methods to shooting, trapping and baiting such as employing the services of guard dogs or donkeys. This appears to be a very effective method in reducing stock losses and surely represents the way forward for this industry.
The dingo's role in Australian ecosystems
It has been demonstrated time and time again that dingoes are an essential ecosystem component on mainland Australia. Where there are dingoes there is biodiversity, where there are dingoes there are relatively few small predators such as cats or foxes. There are also reduced numbers of other feral animals including rabbits and pigs. Last year University of Sydney scientist Dr Mike Letnic published a study outlining the crucial role dingoes play in Australian ecosystems. The presence of dingoes in an area is associated with an increase in the numbers of small native mammals and a decrease in fox and cat numbers. Dingoes are also a key regulator of goat numbers as Will Scott has already pointed out however this is an environmental benefit and therefore has no short term economic value to pastoralists like Will Scott or the government of the day. Unfortunately our government of the day is run by Colin Barnett who also happens to be a farmer of the less enlightened kind himself and as such does not rate environmental issues at the top of his list. One only needs to look at Barnett's track record of staff and ministerial appointments to indicate how environmental issues are dealt with in WA. His appointment of Donna Faragher as environment minister clearly represents a conflict of interests due to her husband working for LNG giant Woodside Petroleum in government relations. Faragher's defence of Woodside's seismic blasting in waters containing pregnant humpback whales clearly demonstrates how obscene the current situation is. In addition, Barnett appointed a Woodside executive as his chief of staff, our mining minister has interests in BHP Billiton and Woodside AND Barnett's daughter in law is a senior executive at Woodside.
Dingo predation of kangaroos
The issue of dingo predation on kangaroos seems to generate differing opinions amongst landholders and those who oppose the kangaroo industry. The science however continually demonstrates that dingoes are in fact a significant predator of kangaroos particularly at the juvenile level. There have been some arguments put forward that dingoes have had little impact on kangaroo numbers however I would suggest this is not the case. It is extremely unlikely that a “herbivore utopia” existed in Australia prior to white settlement. Kangaroos like any other herbivore are subject to predation by a top order predator, this relationship is vital to the survival of both species as it is in any prey/predator relationship throughout the world. Dingoes are also capable of taking down the oldest and sickest individuals particularly when they are hunting in packs. Dingo predation of kangaroo populations at the juvenile and very old level is a natural way of maintaining a healthy population of both dingoes and kangaroos. Contrast this with the kangaroo industry picking off individuals in their prime or just after the juvenile stage and you have a disaster just waiting to happen.
Kangaroo meat advocates will not mention the dingo
Advocates of the kangaroo industry will seldom acknowledge the role the dingo plays (or should play) in the Australian environment. The consumption of kangaroo meat as a green alternative to traditional livestock is trumpeted as a key step towards improving Australia’s degraded rangelands however the dingo doesn’t rate a mention in the rhetoric spouted by scientists such as Professor Mike Archer. He is more interested in resurrecting the Tasmanian tiger using cloning tools similar to those portrayed in the film “Jurassic Park”. Surely we should be more interested in saving a top order native predator such as the dingo who is still amongst us but suffers an image problem due the rantings of goat farmers and the like who would have us all believe the dingo is all but bred out due to wild feral dogs. Public sympathy appears to be low for the plight of the dingo due to the acceptance of barbaric methods still practised when killing these animals. Newspaper articles depicting steel-jaw traps and dingoes hanging from trees do not generate the outrage you would expect for a native animal but then again the public has been conditioned to not really see dingoes as true native animals.
The introduction of the dingo
After all, they are just another dog that can interbreed with our more familiar domestic dogs and they were introduced to this continent approximately 5000 years ago. The important factor here is the role that they have played in Australia’s ecosystems over the last 5000 or so years. It is generally accepted that the arrival of the dingo onto Australian shores and its subsequent invasion of every habitat resulted in the extinction of the Tasmanian tiger on the mainland. The dingo was a more efficient predator and some suggest the tiger itself formed part of the dingoes diet which in itself is extremely varied and can include anything from grasshoppers to the biggest red kangaroo. The newest addition to Australia’s native fauna then proceeded to settle in for several millennia before the arrival of the white man. The dingo wasn’t a marsupial like its predecessor but it wasn’t the first placental mammal to set foot on Australian shores. By this time several species of bats and water rats had already made Australia their home and of course the first Australians: the Aboriginals had been here for a very, very long time.
5000 years is a long time for a species to settle in, the rich biodiversity of the Australian continent as witnessed by the first white settlers is proof the dingo is a true native animal and is more than capable of playing its important predatory role in the Australian environment. The fact that it is a dog is irrelevant. Some scientists argue that even hybrid dingoes can fill that role as long as they share the same behavioural traits that are unique to Australian dingoes.
Using dingoes to improve biodiversity
With this in mind, why are dingoes not included in biodiversity programmes such as the ACT kangaroo management plan? The reason given is that the reintroduction of native predators is not “socially acceptable” however this is not applied to the brutal slaughtering of thousands of kangaroos via the gun. Is herding hundreds of kangaroos including joeys into a pen and then killing them via lethal injection “socially acceptable”?
I have heard that the kangaroo and the emu are included on the Australian coat of arms because neither can take a backward step. If our motto is to only move forward why can’t we apply this thinking when it comes to the treatment of our native animals and environment. From the very first day white people arrived in Australia we have shot, poisoned and trapped any animal that has stood in our way. Today we continue these barbaric actions on an even greater scale in our endless quest to “tame” what is left of our wilderness. As long as state governments continue to tow the line with cattle, sheep and goat farmers and their representative bodies such as Agforce our wildlife is doomed. As long as state governments such as the current government in Western Australia resemble mining company boardrooms the environment will always finish last.
Last year Russia banned the import of kangaroo meat because of health concerns. The European Union President is also advocating a ban on kangaroo meat, but for wildlife preservation and cruelty reasons. Australian AgForce and the Australia-Russia Business Council have got together with the Queensland government to try to reverse this situation and they have been strongly courting the Russian meat trade again. In early June the Russian Trade Minister Yuri Aleshin was toured around Western Queensland with this trade in mind. Ironically he was recorded on an ABC radio broadcast posing the question regarding the kangaroos..."but where are they?" Obviously he had not seen the 'hordes' that are so often said to exist.
Last year I visited a kangaroo rehabilitation center in Queensland where orphans are raised by the remarkable Anne Maree Dineen. I was struck by how small the kangaroos there were compared to those I see on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. Anne-Maree told me that the average life-span of a kangaroo in Queensland is about 2 years, since so many are shot. The big ones are shot first, then the trade goes after the little ones. Their normal life-expectancy can be 20 years plus under other conditions. I also noticed the extreme nervousness and vigilance of these small kangaroos there, which was also in contrast to those in relatively safe conditions in Victoria - albeit the Victorian ones are being starved out by development, harassed by farmers and killed on roads there, as safe havens go under tarmac.
What immoral hypocrisy we have in Australian Government when one department legitimises mass kangaroo slaughter as a 'kangaroo industry' and promotes 'kangaroo harvesting', while another department promotes the kangaroo as its 'hopping icon.'
Tourism Australia's latest marketing campaign claims to be based on the '#FF0000">core truth'.
Well how can it be truthful? Tourism Australia needs to drop the kangaroo logo from its advertising while the slaughter continues or else drop its core truth campaign.
Kangaroos are indeed what is 'unique and special' about Australia. It is immoral to slaughter wildlife. It is hypocritical to promote wildlife values while also promoting its slaughter.
One arm of Australian Government condones kangaroo mass slaughter
What immoral hypocrisy when one arm of the Australian Government (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) legitimises kangaroos wildlife slaughter as a 'kangaroo industry' and promotes 'kangaroo harvesting' on the backward colonial excuse that it 'provides jobs'. The Department claims this wildlife trade provides "over 4000 jobs mostly in rural and remote areas."
It claims "of the kangaroos that it allows to be slaughtered 60% of kangaroos are sold as pet meat "mostly for the domestic market." The remainder is exported for human consumption earning $27 million and 30% of kangaroo skins are used domestically with the rest exported as hide, skin and leather worth around $22 million."
The Australian Department of Foreign and Affairs and Trade) likewise advocates kangaroo commercial slaughter, which it euphemistically labels as 'harvesting.' It immorally tries to justify this wildlife slaughter as "due to the introduction of European farming methods." It boasts that "today kangaroo meat and skins are exported all over the world"..the meat exported "to more than 55 countries." - mainly the European Union and Russian markets. As for Kangaroo skins it argues ..."it is ideal for use in the manufacture of high-quality leather goods, including footwear. Because of kangaroo leather’s high tensile strength, it is also suitable for the manufacture of sporting footwear.
Another arm of Australian Government promotes the kangaroo as its 'hopping icon'
Meanwhile, another arm of our Federal Government (Tourism Australia) has the tenacity to adopt the kangaroo as its logo for its national tourism campaign and refer to the kangaroo as 'a hopping icon'?
Tourism Australia's corporate marketing brochure boasts the new campaign is "based on the '#FF0000">core truth' ...that people travel to experience difference" and so the campaign’s advertising is focused on what is unique and special about Australia.
The campaign research found that the Australian tourism industry said to "show the icons, show the animals, make it fun and friendly."
Australia's tourism industry said 'show the animals, make it fun and friendly'
'Core Truth' campaign under scrutiny
But how can we show Australian animals and at the same time condone killing them by the thousands?
How can the kangaroo be an icon for Tourism Australia when 100 of them were slaughtered under approval by the Department of Environment and Conservation on 5th May 2010 at Preston Beach Golf Club near Mandurah, Western Australia to make way for a golf course development?
A kangaroo joey decapitated by authorities to make way for Prestons Golf Club, Perth
How can the kangaroo be an icon for Tourism Australia when 4000 of them were slaughtered at Belconnen and Majura, near Canberra in 2009 to make way or housing development?
Part of the Fitzgibbon Massacre at Majura and Belconnen outside Canberra 19th May 2009
Australian Tourism can't have its icon and eat it!...not if it is beholden to the '#FF0000">core truth'.
Snowy River 3885
Kangaroos grazing at Majura outside Canberra before the mass slaughter
The 5th of may, 2010 will go down as another dark day in the history of Preston Beach and their love/hate relationship with the local kangaroos. On that day I attended a protest against the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) sanctioned cull of 100 kangaroos on the local golf course and many passionate wildlife supporters were present. There had been no shooting of kangaroos until that point even though the cull officially started several days earlier. Rumours circulated that the cull had been called off due to the negative media attention the Shire of Waroona and the Preston Beach Golf Club were receiving in the local and mainstream media. Upon returning home however I received a call confirming that the shooting had started immediately after the protesters had dispersed.
The Day After
Early morning walkers in Preston Beach the following day were horrified to find blood stained walkways within the “sanctuary” of nature reserves and Yalgorup National Park. A decapitated female juvenile kangaroo was found within the reserve along with an ex-pouch joey with broken limbs. In the week leading up to the killing it was evident that many female Western Greys were accompanied by dependant ex-pouch joeys. When their mothers are shot they will flee in terror and all too often injure themselves in the process. Unfortunately this surviving ex-joey of the previous nights slaughter had to be euthanised as its injuries were too severe.
After arriving in Preston Beach the next day it became obvious that the kangaroo shooters had not restricted their kill to the golf course. There were fresh tyre tracks snaking all the way through the neighbouring reserve and National Park accompanied by pools of blood and bone.
By mid afternoon I had covered much of the golf course and was about to leave when an RSPCA van arrived. The inspector introduced himself and asked a few questions regarding the cull. He had a genuine sense of outrage as to what had occurred the previous night and was very keen to obtain evidence and speak to witnesses. As he was the first (and only) person from the RSPCA to investigate this incident I pointed him in the right direction and gave him a local’s phone number to call. Of major concern was the fact that nobody from the DEC was present during the shooting. Any kangaroo cull literally within metres of a National Park and residents homes should surely require a representative of the DEC to be present. Yes? Well no actually.
The RSPCA official response
In the local media a couple of weeks later the headline read No Cruelty in Roo Cull. The article stated that
”chief inspector Christine Jones visited the area the morning after the Shire of Waroona’s controversial cull at its nine-hole golf course”
Well I can tell you that his name was not Christine Jones and he didn’t turn up until mid afternoon. When presented with the photographic evidence of a decapitated juvenile kangaroo the RSPCA’s chief inspector then goes on to say that they ”could have been taken anywhere”. A valid point maybe in a courtroom but as these photographs were taken by local residents the following morning next to the golf course you would think the RSPCA would investigate this incident a lot more thoroughly. Having seen the sequence of photographs taken that morning it is clear that the photographer is in the area between the golf courses 5th and 6th hole fairways and Lake Preston. This area forms a nature reserve and Yalgorup National Park. The kangaroo in the photograph is too large to be killed by decapitation according to the “Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos” so why wouldn’t the RSPCA investigate this? A spokesman for the RSPCA stated that
”decapitation was sometimes the most humane way to end suffering for joeys wounded during culls”
Either he has not bothered to look at the photographs or he is completely unaware that decapitation is not an appropriate form of euthanising an animal this size. In any case why is he commenting on something he obviously knows nothing about? How is it that the RSPCA supposedly representing “All Creatures Great and Small” and empowered to enforce the Animal Welfare Act can be so flippant about the fate of our Preston Beach kangaroos? Why also are the RSPCA lying about how and who performed their so-called investigation?
The bargain basement Preston Beach Golf Club
The Preston Beach golf course is surrounded by Yalgorup National Park. It is unfenced, not reticulated, seeded or rolled and only mowed a couple of times a year. The fairways consist of native grasses and a huge variety of weeds, a natural food source for the native animals such as kangaroos and emus. The golf club itself uses an image of kangaroos playing golf for its logo and promotes the presence of kangaroos on its course in advertisements. Permission to cull kangaroos was sought by the Shire of Waroona (the landowner) from the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) in the following submission
That Council make application to the DEC issue of the appropriate licences to allow the humane destruction of 100 kangaroos causing damage to the Preston Beach Golf Course and to also allow the destruction of dangerous animals where they pose a threat to club patrons and members of the public” [23.06.2009 Council Meeting]
Hopefully DEC staff were scratching their heads upon reading references to dangerous kangaroos and their justified destruction. What constitutes a dangerous kangaroo anyway? Not a single person in Preston Beach has made a report to Waroona Police or the DEC regarding a dangerous kangaroo. Indeed the minutes of the golf club meeting dated the 10th of May, 2009 (when the decision was made to propose the cull) contain no reference to any real or perceived attack / threat to a member of the public or the golf club by a kangaroo.
The DEC have recommended that the shire commission an ecologist to undertake an independent survey since 2006 to ascertain the current kangaroo population and determine what, if any damage is being done by the endemic wildlife. This survey however was not deemed important enough by the DEC to get in the way of 2 culls it has rubber stamped since making this recommendation. Anyone visiting the Preston Beach Golf Club at night will quickly notice the large numbers of rabbits that dig up the roots of any grasses on the fairways.
Erect a Fence Mr Curley!
The club estimates it would cost the Shire of Waroona approximately $75,000 to fence the course off and therefore exclude kangaroos from the fairways. A modest expense you would think however Waroona Shire Chief Executive Ian Curley disagrees with both the price and its practicality:
”It would keep them off the golf course, but you would have more of them running around the streets”
You would also lose your only drawcard to the Preston Beach golf course, it is after all the only hook they use when promoting the course to outsiders. Believe me there is no other redeeming feature of this course and its got nothing to do with the resident kangaroos. The lack of fencing has a much bigger drawback for the club and that is the ease of access for any idiot in a 4 wheel drive and a belly full of beer. The fairways are notorious for hoons and the evidence is everywhere. Even on the night of the cull the golf course appears to have invaded by idiots. Following vehicle tracks on the 5th and 6th fairways (a few metres from the National Park) the day after the cull were the obvious signs of burn outs from the night before. This was also the area where I found the most blood. The thought of a roo shooting vehicle doing “donuts” on the fairway did cross my mind briefly however I will give them the benefit of the doubt. I would hope that a kangaroo shooter would not want to attract that sort of attention.
In a 12 month period in 2006/2007 Preston Beach recorded the following kangaroo cruelty incidents
- June 2006: Youths in a four wheel drive were seen chasing kangaroos on Preston Beach golf course and trying to run them down
- October 2006: Youths ran over 2 kangaroos
- March 2007: Five kangaroos were run over and deliberately killed
- June, 2007: Witnesses see a four wheel drive running over 3 kangaroos and reversing back over them. A fourth kangaroo was found later with a jaw that had been smashed using a hand held implement. Local Police Superintendent David Parkinson had to shoot the female kangaroo ……10 hours after she had sustained her injury
Of the latter incident, Supt Parkinson had the following to say:
”Some of these people defy comprehension because they are not doing what a normal person does or even a hardened criminal does……. (the kangaroos) are tame, they trust the community, they come up on their lawn and the next minute you get these people who are deliberately killing them”
So where to these sadistic people get their ideas from?
A popular walking trail that follows the boundary of the golf course and the National Park is used by local families, pensioners and tourists. Users of the trail the day after the shooting were horrified to see trails and pools of blood during their walk with some individuals finding dead and injured joeys. There can be no doubt that these culls cheapen the lives of kangaroos and their dependant young in the eyes of some individuals, particularly certain young males. Little wonder that youths in four wheel drives are all too often responsible for sadistic acts against kangaroos anywhere in Australia. Government sanctioned culls only reinforce this behaviour instead of teaching respect for wildlife and the environment.
Combining these sanctioned culls with the RSPCA seal of approval sends a very strong message to the community. Little wonder acts of kangaroo cruelty occur on a regular basis. Only last year the RSPCA prosecuted 2 young males for the mutilation and beheading of a kangaroo. When confronted with a similar incident in Preston Beach they dismiss the evidence and label the act “humane”. The only difference between these 2 incidents is the permission granted by the DEC to the Shire of Waroona. The RSPCA’s interests are not served by openly criticising the DEC or the Shire of Waroona as is evident in the Preston Beach kangaroo slaughter.
Live Sheep Exporters on the board of the RSPCA in Western Australia
The West Australian branch of the RSPCA was featured in a “Four Corners” story in 2004 entitled “A Blind Eye”. In this episode 2 members of the board of RSPCA in WA were exposed as sheep farmers involved in the live sheep trade. Despite this obvious conflict of interest the 2 farmers: Councillor Des Gooding and Councillor Neville Marsh are still on the RSPCA board in 2010. What hope for the kangaroos and sheep of Western Australia with people like these men representing the body empowered to protect them.
As is always the case in kangaroo culls without exception, one organization must state that the kangaroos shot were underweight due to the supposed high numbers. This honour went to the DEC in the case of Preston Beach. Despite all the photographs of healthy adult kangaroos and joeys and the presence of several experienced kangaroo carers within Preston Beach, the DEC thought they would throw that one in for good measure. Sound familiar?
Queensland farming lobby group, Agforce has set up a Macropod Advisory Group to investigate how to sustainably harvest kangaroos. In an ABC radio interview yesterday, Qulipie grazier and Agforce's President of Sheep & Wool Stephen Tully outlined how exactly this group proposes the industry should move "forward". Amongst the mistruths and exaggerations being uttered by this farmer came the proposal that juvenile kangaroos be targeted by the kangaroo industry for their superior meat. Below is a section of the interview:
Question: But if there’s a shortage of kangaroo meat surely the price would go up?
No, but the controls that are in there make it nearly impossible…. for example there’s a minimum weight of effectively 16kg on a kangaroo. That’s taking out 90% of the kangaroos you can shoot, 80 – 90% of the kangaroos you can shoot and if you take out that many kangaroos it makes it actually impossible to reach the quota set by the EPA. So there’s all those sorts of things there that all contribute… we also don’t believe that the count is proper anyhow. As well as that the shooting at the moment is taking out nearly all the dominant males so you just get this enormous number of females that are just breeding incredibly rapidly. That’s just doubling every few years the numbers of roos out there because all you are left with is a breeding population of females.
Question: Well there must be some males or the females wouldn’t be breeding, can you explain what the dynamic is? You take out the alpha males, what does that do to the rest of the population?
Well there is obviously some males there because it’s impossible to shoot out all kangaroos because the states just so big and because the product is fairly cheap at the moment. You just can’t afford to spend miles and miles just driving around chasing one kangaroo and as you know one male can do quite a lot of damage in a rampant female population. You don’t need a lot of males to breed females, we might think so but that certainly hasn’t proven the case before. The whole dynamic of it is that in these dry times we’re just getting migrating mobs of kangaroos. If someone gets a storm, if someone tries to save some of their pasture, if there’s a bit of pasture that has been degraded and the local NRM groups have funded fencing to protect that area, you are just getting these migration mobs of kangaroos numbering tens of thousands that are descending on these areas and just turning them into deserts.
Question: So you want to be able to shoot females as well, is that the issue?
We want to make it so that we can shoot females, males, even the younger animals. I mean the best animals to consume are always mature juveniles, the younger animals that are less than 2 years old. We all eat lamb, with beef they are always under 2 years old, that’s always the best product to sell, it’s the highest quality product. At the moment it’s the equivalent of eating old bulls and cattle, it’s the worst quality product. All of those things are hindering the development of this market.
On the current "high" numbers of kangaroos Stephen Tully had the following to say in another interview
“kangaroo (numbers) used to be boom and bust now there’s not so much bust because we’ve put in so many watering points, they just love them and just breed…..
I think the primary reason (for “high” kangaroo numbers) is because the EPA for some reason nobody can quite understand has brought in this minimum size level……. ......Don’t bring in these silly regulations or what size or anything else, leave that up to the industry. They are by far the best ones to judge and treat it as a resource”
Dr David Croft and the THINKK think tank
Fortunately Dr David Croft was also interviewed and he provided listeners with a few home truths regarding the kangaroo industry and the agricultural lobby group. Dr Croft is a member of a new think tank called THINKK established at the Institute of Sustainable Futures. This group has been set up to undertake independant research on kangaroos and provide unbiased information to stakeholders, government departments and the general public. Dr Dror Ben-Ami's opening statement on behalf of THINKK can be found here.
Agforce will also be busy this week attempting to convince the Russians to reverse their decision made last year banning the importation of kangaroo meat. I can only hope that the Russian Trade Commissioner Yuri Aleshin does not succumb to the propoganda being spouted by Agforce's Brent Finlay and Stephen Tully.
At this point I think it appropriate to remind us of the late, great Professor AJ “Jock” Marshall. In his words:
"……there is nothing sacred about sheep farmers. They, like many other people, are doing a worthwhile job for the nation. They are mostly pleasant and useful citizens, but – let us be frank about this – no more valuable to us than members of a dozen or so other groups within the Australian community. Some of them know a great deal about sheep, but they know nothing about the population dynamics and the ecology of kangaroos. So when we hear pressure groups of these worthy people vociferously exclaiming that kangaroos eat nine times as much grass as sheep, or that kangaroos are in no danger of extinction , they can be ignored. Such statements are so much wind…….
Who would have thought that the Koala – at one time one of the commonest animals in Queensland – would ever be rare, but where is it today? We will then, if you please, pay no attention to the views of sheep farmers. Outside the question of sheep, the annual wool clip and the local bending races, their opinions are worthless."
The Red Kangaroo and Emu that support the shield are the official animal emblems of the nation. They owe this recognition to the fact that they are native Australian fauna (found only on this continent).
...and then we go and massacre them.
The 2008 Belconnen Massacre - lest we forget
We are reminded of the brutal belconnen massacre of 500 kangaroos yesterday two years ago on 19th May 2008, followed shortly afterwards with another 4000 or so kangaroos massacred at the Majura Army training area. "Kevin Rudd or Environment Minister Peter Garrett declined to stop the killings. It was supported by the RSPCA's Micheal Linke." ['Two years since the shameful Belconnen slaughter in Canberra']
Then around this time last year Australia's Defence Minister, Joel Fitzgibbon MP, approved a similar kangaroo massacre at the same place on Saturday, 9th May 2009. [Fitzgibbon's Massacre - 9th May 2009]
These wildlife massacres reflect a prevaling backward colonial attitude by our government towards native animals. Native animals were regarded as vermin by early colonists. This attitude prevails.
Labor's Big Ecological Lie
At the time, outright propaganda lies were told by government officials and politicians that the kangaroos were starving and the kangaroos threatening native grassland and three threatened species on the site, the striped legless lizards, golden sun moths and Ginninderra peppercress. Read More
Such propaganda is right out of Joseph Goebbles "Big Lie" technique based on the principle that a lie, if audacious enough and repeated enough times, will be believed by the masses. Goebbles' propaganda attacks on the Jewish population culminated in the Kristallnacht assault of 1938, an open and unrestrained pogrom unleashed by the Nazis all across Germany, in which scores of synagogues were burned and hundreds of Jews were assaulted and murdered. [Source]
The truth at Belconnen is that the government wanted new housing estates to go up where the kangaroos lived, so they slaughtered the kangaroos. Simple and brutal as that.
Colonist Australia - a history of slaughtering native Australians
The truth across all of Australia through its colonial history right up to recent times, is the government wanted the land where Aborigines lived, so they slaughtered the Aborigines. Simple and brutal as that. Today's 21st century official slaughter of Australian native animals is no different to the official slaughter of Australian native people by European colonists, who treated Aboriginal people as vermin.
The following massacres are shocking testament. Such truths of Australian history remains excluded from the Australian school curriculum. Such truths of Australian ecological present remain excluded from the Australian school curriculum.
1790 Botany Bay Genocide In December, Governor Arthur Phillip issued an order for "a party...of two captains, two subalterns and forty privates, with a proper number of non-commissioned officers from the garrison...to bring in six of those natives who reside near the head of Botany Bay; or, if that number shall be found impracticable, to put that number to death".
1824 Bathurst Massacre Following the killing of seven Europeans by Aboriginal people around Bathurst, New South Wales, martial law was declared and many Aboriginal people were killed.
1828 Cape Grim Massacre On 10th February in the North west of Van Diemen's Land, now known as Tasmania, four shepherds with musket guns ambushed over 30 Tasmanian Aborigines from the Pennemukeer band from Cape Grim, killing 30 and throwing their bodies over a 60 metre cliff into the sea.
1830 Fremantle Punishment Raid The first official 'punishment raid' on Aboriginal people in Western Australia, led by Captain Irwin took place in May 1830. A detachment of soldiers led by Irwin attacked an Aboriginal encampment north of Fremantle in the belief that it contained men who had 'broken into and plundered the house of a man called Paton' and killed some poultry. Paton had called together a number of settlers who, armed with muskets, set after the Aborigines and came upon them not far from the home. 'The tall savage who appeared the Chief showed unequivocal gestures of defiance and contempt' and was accordingly shot. Irwin stated, "This daring and hostile conduct of the natives induced me to seize the opportunity to make them sensible to our superiority, by showing how severely we could retaliate their aggression." In actions that followed over the next few days, more Aborigines were killed and wounded.
1833-34 Convincing Ground Massacre of Gunditjmara On the shore near Portland, Victoria was one of the largest recorded massacres in Victoria. Whalers and the local Kilcarer Gunditjmara people disputed rights to a beached whale carcass.
1834: Battle of Pinjarra In Pinjarra Western Australia, official records state 14 Aboriginal people were killed, but other accounts put the figure much higher.
1838 Myall Creek Massacre 10 June: 28 people killed at Myall Creek near Inverell, New South Wales. This was the first Aboriginal massacre for which European settlers were successfully convicted. Several colonists had previously been found not guilty by juries despite the weight of evidence and one colonist found guilty had been pardoned when his case was referred to Britain for sentencing. Eleven men were charged with murder but were initially acquitted by a jury. On the orders of the Governor, a new trial was held using the same evidence and seven of the eleven men were found guilty of the murder of one Aboriginal child and hanged. The successful prosecutions resulted in pacts of silence becoming a common practice to avoid sufficient evidence becoming available for future prosecutions. Many large scale massacres were to go unpunished due to this practice.
1838 Waterloo Creek Massacre A Sydney mounted police detachment attacked an encampment of Kamilaroi people at a place called Waterloo Creek in remote bushland.
1838 Faithfull Massacre Benalla -In April of that year a party of some 18 men, in the employ of George Faithful and William Faithfull, were searching out new land to the south of Wangaratta. Then, in the vicinity of, or possibly on, the present townsite of Benalla, it is alleged that a large number of Aborigines attacked the party's camp. At least one Koori and somewhere between eight and thirteen Europeans died in what became known as the Faithfull Massacre. Local reprisals lasted a number of years, resulting in the deaths of up to 100 Aborigines. The reason for the attack is unclear although some sources claim that the men took shots at local Aborigines and generally provoked them. It also seems they were camping on a hunting ground
Additional murders of these people occurred at Warangaratta on the Ovens River, at Murchison (led by the native police under Dana and in the company of the young Edward Curr, who could not bring himself to discuss what he witnessed there other than to say he took issue with the official reports) Other incidents were recorded Mitchelton and Toolamba.
This "hunting ground" would have been a ceremonial ground probably called a 'Kangaroo ground'. Hunting grounds were all over so not something that would instigate an attack. The colonial government decided to "open up" the lands south of Yass after the Faithful Massacre and bring them under British rule. This was as much to try and protect the Aboriginal people from reprisals as to open up new lands for the colonists. The Aboriginal people were (supposedly) protected under British law.
1839 Campaspe Plains Massacre At Campaspe Creek, Central Victoria in May-June saw the genocidal slaughter of the Daung Wurrung and Dja Dja Wurrung people.
Mid 1839 Murdering Gully Massacre Near Camperdown, Victoria saw the genocidal "wiping out" of the Tarnbeere Gundidj clan of the Djargurd Wurrung people.
1830s—1840s Wiradjuri Wars Clashes between European settlers and Wiradjuri were very violent, particularly around the Murrumbidgee. The loss of fishing grounds and significant sites and the killing of Aboriginal people was retaliated through attacks with spears on cattle and stockmen. In the 1850s there were still corroborees around Mudgee but there were fewer clashes. Known ceremony continued at the Murrumbidgee into the 1890s. European settlement had taken hold and the Aboriginal population was in temporary decline.
1865 The La Grange Expedition was a search expedition carried out in the vicinity of La Grange Bay in the Kimberley region of Western Australia led by Maitland Brown that led to the death of up to 20 Aboriginal people. The expedition has been celebrated with the Explorers' Monument in Fremantle, Western Australia.
1868 Flying Foam Massacre - Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. Following the killing of two police and two settlers by local Yaburara people, two parties of settlers from the Roebourne area, led by prominent pastoralists Alexander McRae and John Withnell, killed an unknown number of Yaburara. Estimates of the number of dead range from 20 to 150.
1874 Barrow Creek Massacre - February (NT): Mounted Constable Samuel Gason arrived at Barrow Creek and a police station was opened. Eight days later a group of Kaytetye men attacked the station, either in retaliation for treatment of Kaytetye women, the closing off of their only water source, or both. Two white men were killed and one wounded. Samuel Gason mounted a large police hunt against the Kaytetye resulting in the killing of many Aboriginal men, women and children - some say up to 90. Skull Creek takes its name from the bleached bones found there long after.
1876 Goulbolba Hill Massacre In Central Queensland thre was a large massacre involving men, women and children. This was the result of settlers pushing Aboriginal people out of their hunting grounds and the Aboriginals being forced to hunt livestock for food. A party of Native Police was sent to "disperse" this group of Aboriginals. This led to the deaths of over 200 Aboriginal people including all the women and children.
1880s-90s Florida Station Massacre In Arnhem Land a series of skirmishes and "wars" between Yolngu and whites occurred. There were several reported massacres at Florida Station. Richard Trudgen also writes of several massacres in this area, including an incident where Yolngu were fed poisoned horsemeat after they killed and ate some cattle (under their law, it was their land and they had an inalienable right to eat animals on their land). Many people died as a result of that incident. Trudgen also talks of a massacre ten years later after some Yolngu took a small amount of barbed wire from a huge roll to build fishing spears. Men, women and children were chased by mounted police and men from the Eastern and African Cold Storage Company and shot.
1884 Battle Mountain Massacre 200 Kalkadoon people killed near Mount Isa, Queensland after a Chinese shepherd had been murdered.
1887 Halls Creek Genocides In the Kimberly, colonist Mary Durack suggests there was a conspiracy of silence about the massacres of Djara, Konejandi and Walmadjari peoples about attacks on Aborigines by white gold-miners, Aboriginal reprisals and consequent massacres at this time. John Durack was speared, which led to a local massacre in the Kimberley.
1890 Speewah Massacre In Queensland early settler, John Atherton, took revenge on the Djabugay by sending in native troopers to avenge the killing of a bullock. Other unconfirmed reports of similar atrocities occurred locally.
1890-1920 'The Killing Times' - East Kimberleys: About half of the Kimberley Aboriginal people massacred as a result of a number of reprisals for cattle spearing, and payback killings of European settlers.
1906-7 Canning Stock Route Massacre : an unrecorded number of Aboriginal men and women were raped and massacred when Mardu people were captured and tortured to serve as 'guides' and reveal the sources of water in the area after being 'run down' by men on horseback, restrained by heavy chains 24 hours a day, and tied to trees at night. In retaliation for this treatment, plus the party's interference with traditional wells, and the theft of cultural artefacts, Aborigines destroyed some of Canning's wells, and stole from and occasionally killed white travellers. A Royal Commission in 1908, exonerated Canning, after an appearance by Kimberley Explorer and Lord Mayor of Perth, Alexander Forrest claimed that all explorers had acted in such a fashion.
1915 Mistake Creek Masacre Seven Kija people were alleged to have been killed by men under the control of a Constable Rhatigan, at Mistake Creek, East Kimberley. The massacre is supposed to be in reprisal for allegedly killing Rhatigan's cow, however the cow is claimed to have been found alive after the massacre had already taken place. Rhatigan was arrested for wilful murder apparently due to the fact that the killers were riding horses which belonged to him, but the charges were dropped, for lack of evidence that he was personally involved.
1918 Bentinck Island Massacre In 1918 part of the Mornington Island group, Bentinck Island was home to the Kaiadilt clan of just over 100 people. In 1911 a man by the name of McKenzie (other names unknown) was given a government lease for nearby Sweers Island that also covered the eastern portion of the much larger Bentinck Island. Arriving on Bentinck with an Aboriginal woman and a flock of sheep, he built a hut near the Kurumbali estuary. Although the Kaiadilt avoided contact and refrained from approaching McKenzie's property he is alleged to have often explored the island, shooting any males he found while raping the women.
In 1918 McKenzie organised a hunt with an unknown number of settlers from the mainland and beginning from the northern tip of the island herded the Indigenous inhabitants to the beach on its southern shore. The majority of the Kaiadilt fled into the sea where those that were not shot from the shore drowned. Those that tried to escape along the beach were hunted down and shot with the exception of a small number who reached nearby mangroves where the settlers horses could not follow. Several young women were raped on the beach, then held prisoner in McKenzie's hut for three days before being released.
1924 Bedford Downs Massacre a group of Kija or Gija men were jailed for spearing a bullock. On release from jail they had to walk the 200 kilometres back to Bedford Downs, where they were set to work to cut the wood that was later used to burn their bodies. Once the work was finished they were fed Strychnine, and the bodies were burned.
1926 Forrest River Massacre In the East Kimberleys in May 1926, Fred Hay, a pastoralist, was speared and killed by an Aboriginal man, Lumbia. A police patrol led by Constables James St Jack and Denis Regan left Wyndham on June 1, to hunt for the killer, and in the first week of July, Lumbia, the accused man, was brought into Wyndham. In the months that followed rumours circulated of a massacre by the police party. The Rev. Ernest Gribble of Forrest River Mission (later Oombulgurri) alleged that 30 people had been killed by the police party. A Royal Commission, conducted by G. T. Wood sent an evidence-gathering party and heard evidence regarding Gribble's allegations. The Royal Commission found that 11 people had been massacred and the bodies burned.
1928 Coniston Massacre - A WW1 veteran shot 32 Aborigines at Coniston in the Northern Territory after a white dingo trapper and station owner were attacked by Aborigines.
Lest we forget.
Some claim kangaroo meat is 'green'. Some even claim killing kangaroos is 'better' for Australia's environment. So what if Australian farmers of lamb, beef, pork and chicken transitioned to kangaroo?
To this author it is like employing Ivan Milat to skin platypus for cheap token tourist purses.
Personal bias aside, Australia's Federal Treasury Secretary, Ken Henry, has highlighted the flawed presumptions of Australia's roo trade as unviable.
The following extracts are taken from Sydney Morling Herald's Jacob Saulwick in his article 'Henry doubts viability of roo harvesting' of 13-Mar-10: