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175,000,000 kangaroos required to support a vicious immoral trade

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:

"If we're lucky, it will be many decades before we know whether these judgments are well based," Dr Henry said of commercial kangaroo harvest quotas in December... If they are, this will turn out to be the first instance in human history of the sustainable plunder of a natural resource."

Dr Henry is at odds with prominent ecologists, as well as the economist Ross Garnaut. Professor Garnaut's 2008 climate-change review made the case for an increased diet of roo displacing cattle and sheep consumption. The Garnaut report cited a study by George Wilson and Melanie Edwards that predicted a 3 per cent drop in greenhouse emissions if roo numbers rose from 25 million to 175 million, pushing cattle and sheep of rangelands, and displacing some red meat consumption. Critics on the Henry side question the numbers, unconvinced kangaroo meat could ever replace red meat consumption in Australia to any significant degree.

"A lot of the environmental movement supports eating kangaroos, because people think it is green," said Daniel Ramp, a biologist at the University of NSW helping set up a think tank on the roo industry with the Institute of Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney.

"But we need to follow that argument through and ask how many sheep or cattle we could displace with meat from a kangaroo."

On Dr Ramp's figures, if every Australian were to start eating roo regularly, its population would need to swell from about 25 million well into the hundreds of millions and possibly billions.

Industry estimates put the average amount of meat derived from a single roo at 12 kilograms. If a 12-kilogram meat yield provides 48 people with one 250 gram meal, 24 million roos would be needed for everyone in Australia to have one meal a week.

But quotas prevent the industry harvesting more than 15 per cent of the roo population a year, making a population above 160 million necessary. Providing fillets would require many more roos, while maintaining the existing amount of meat that is used for pet-food could push the required population into the billions.

"Imagine if we had 175 million kangaroos running about?" said Dr Ramp. "The environmental degradation would potentially be large and it would not be safe to drive on rural roads for the sheer number of kangaroos.''

Image icon Red Kangaroo portrait.jpg19.47 KB


"24 million roos would be needed for everyone in Australia to have one meal a week". The general omnivorous public don't just eat one meal of meat a week! It is at least once a day, and more! They would still want the lamb, chicken, beef etc. Also much of our meat is exported overseas. According to Austrade:

Meat is one of Australia’s core food export products and underpins a significant proportion of Australia's food export statistics.

Exporting is vital to the meat industry representing 60 per cent of the industry’s trade with exports consisting mainly of beef, mutton and lamb, goat meat and pork.
Kangaroos can't be expected to artificially breed, or be fast-paced for industry convenience. Their bodies do not "grow" as much meat as quickly as a cattle or sheep.

Seeing animals as a source of meat, as done be Gaunat and others, is just too simplistic and naive. Kangaroos are wildlife and can't be treated, transported or herded like domestic animals.

Dangerous levels of salmonella and E.coli have been found in kangaroo meat destined for human consumption. As well as poisoning from salmonella and E.coli, diners on kangaroo sourced from unhygienic environments also risked contracting toxoplasmosis, which can result in foetal death or birth defects in affected women.

The sickest animals are likely to be shot at first, and refrigerated containers can't be trucked into remote areas, in the heat and dust of where the "harvesters" go!

A post-carbon age should mean a deep cut in meat eating, if not abandoned as a food altogether!

Vivienne, the aim of the article is to debunk some of the standard roo shooter myths, in this case the false claims that 'kangaroo meat is 'green', better for the environment and could replace farmed livestock outright.

* The ethics of killing wildlife still has not been justified by roo shooters.

* The ethics of the means of killing kangaroos and their joeys still has not been justified by roo shooters.

* The ethics of encouraging a wildlife export trade in kangaroo meat by Anna Bligh to Russia says a lot about Anna Bligh.

* The inherent risk of using kangaroo meat for human consumption still has not been justified by roo shooters.

* The lack of effective government controls associated with kangaroo killing continues to be ignored by state and federal governments.

Red Meat Consumption

The debate over whether we should reduce our consumption of meat is warranted, both from an ethical standpoint and an environmental one. If farmers were paid a decent kilogram price for traditional livestock that factored in the cost of land management and rehabilitation on downgraded farmland, the consumption would reduce as it would become unaffordable to most.

The first step is to make livestock read meat (beef, lamb) a gourmet food - high quality and high price - say $40/kg like fillet steak. Market forces would then reduce the demand. Livestock farmers would need to transition to other more sustainable industries (with government subsidy). The primary industry outcome would see a fraction of the current land being used for red meat production. It would be organic, grass feed/ free range, humane and profitable - but government restricted like the abalone industry.

The other strategy is to develop sustainable alternatives that offer natural nutritional equivalents - heam iron, protein, selenium (antioxidant) , zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D and B-group vitamins (riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6 and in particular vitamin B12).

"But Vitamin B12 cannot be found in plant foods, therefore inadequate intakes of B12 are a problem for strict vegetarians. Lacking vitamin B12 can adversely affect neurological function including memory and concentration." [Meat and Livestock Australia website]

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885

Subject was: "Aah it's good to see Ortega"

Aah it's good to see [Vivienne] Ortega here sprouting garbage as usual.

This person has no clue as to what is actually involved

nowadays in getting a roo from paddock to plate & being a vegan will probably never bother to look into it, instead, just like Pat Obrien, Menkit Prince & a whole heap of others who don't have a clue, she'll just keep rabbiting on with how bad it is to kill cute little animals.

E.coli & Salmonella never get found in other food products, or toxoplasmosis either eh?

Henry probably knows as much about the roo industry as Garnaut knows about climate, sweet FA.

Editorial comment: Most of the above post consists of the commentator's uncharitable views of some of candobetter's best and most prolific contirbutors. One statement which just may possibly warrant a response is: "E.coli & Salmonella never get found in other food products, or toxoplasmosis either eh?"