Over the past year, the Center for a Humane Economy worked closely with United States Representatives Salud Carbajal, D-Calif., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn., to formulate legislation to ban the trade in kangaroo-sourced products into the United States. When the “Kangaroo Protection Act” was introduced into Congress on February 9, 2021, word spread quickly throughout Australia by way of the press (ABC, Leader, The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald) and social media, for which we have many organizations to thank.
California already bans the trade in kangaroo products, and the Center is working to ensure that law is enforced. The effort to extend that ban to all parts of the United States can have a transformative effect and dry up one of the world’s most important markets for these products (principally, football boots). As we expected, the industries that profit from kangaroo killing understand the potential impact of this bill on their bottom line and have already started to aggressively fight back.
We’re writing to request your formal support of the bill, H.R. 917. You can read the language of the bill here.
The Kangaroo Protection Act would:
· Make it illegal to bring any kangaroo body part into the United States for commercial purposes, with an intent to sell or introduce it into interstate commerce.
· Direct the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with other agencies, to issue regulations to carry out the Act and enforce its provisions.
· Allow citizens to bring actions in federal court to enforce the Act.
· Provide for criminal penalties of up to one year in jail and a $10,000 fine for each violation of the Act, and civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation.
· Allow forfeiture of any kangaroo or kangaroo products in the possession of violators.
By banning the importation of kangaroo products into the United States, we hope to stem the killing of more than two million of these iconic marsupials each year. But first we must show members of Congress that a global coalition of advocates, scientists and leading animal protection organizations in Australia supports the aims of this proposed legislation. We need your support.
If you haven’t seen it, our short film, produced by filmmakers Gavin Polone and Derek Ambrosi, tells a compelling story in just 60 seconds of how a kangaroo becomes a product for purchase in countries like the United States.
Our ask: Will you please sign the statement [see below] of support for H.R. 917, The Kangaroo Protection Act? We would be grateful for your partnership in this endeavor to create sweeping change. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Jennifer Skiff Mitchell Fox
Perth, Australia Director of Advocacy
Statement of Support example, which you can just send email containing the information,
Support for the United States Kangaroo Protection Act
We support the purpose of H.R. 917, the Kangaroo Protection Act, introduced by Representatives Salud Carbajal and Brian Fitzpatrick into the United States House of Representatives in February 2021. The Center for a Humane Economy / Animal Wellness Action has permission to publicize our support of the bill to members of Congress, on its websites and social media channels, and in campaign materials.
Signed by: _________________________________________________
Please complete and return (scanned or photographed) to Mitchell Fox [email protected]. Or you can simply send us an email containing the information above.
The extension of State of Emergency in the other five states does not need legislation, unlike Victoria. Here's information on the relevant laws for comparison, plus actions taken under similar legislation for COVID-19 in states outside Victoria. We have also now received a Report to Parliament on States of emergency - jurisdictional comparison, which shows clearly what the Victorian Premier is up against.
WA s56 Emergency Management Act 2005
2) The Minister must not make a declaration under this section unless the Minister —
(a) has considered the advice of the State Emergency Coordinator; and
(b) is satisfied that an emergency has occurred, is occurring or is imminent; and
(c) is satisfied that extraordinary measures are required to prevent or minimise —
(i) loss of life, prejudice to the safety, or harm to the health, of persons or animals; or
(ii) destruction of, or damage to, property; or
(iii) destruction of, or damage to, any part of the environment.
(4) The making of a state of emergency declaration does not prevent the making of further state of emergency declarations in relation to the same or a different emergency.
South Australia Public Health Act 2011
87—Public health emergencies
(1) If it appears to the Chief Executive that an emergency has occurred, is occurring or is about to occur, the Chief Executive may, with the approval of the Minister, declare the emergency to be a public health emergency (whether or not the emergency has previously been declared to be a public health incident under section 86). (
2) A declaration under this section— (a) must be in writing and published in a manner and form determined by the Minister; and (b) remains in force for a period specified in the declaration (which must not exceed 14 days) and for such further periods (which may be of any length) as may be approved by the Governor. (3) The Chief Executive may, at any time, revoke a declaration under this section.
TASMANIA: Emergency Management Act 2006
(3) A declaration of a state of emergency may not be made so as to have effect –
(a) for a period exceeding 12 weeks in the case of an emergency relating to disease in humans or animals; or
(b) for a period exceeding 2 weeks in any other case.
(4) The Premier may extend a declaration of a state of emergency for one or more further periods, each of which does not exceed the relevant period specified in subsection (3) , if satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to do so.
(5) The Premier may amend or revoke a declaration of a state of emergency at any time.
Different states use different terminology
On 20 August the State of Emergency was extended to September 3
On 22 August, the State of Emergency was extended for 28 days
NSW - Public Health Emergency in Place
To deal with the public health risk of COVID-19 and its possible consequences, the Minister for Health and Medical Research has made a number of Orders, under section 7 of the Public Health Act 2010.
The Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 4) 2020 contains directions on gatherings, the use of non-residential and residential premises and community sporting activities. The Order lists premises requiring a COVID-19 safety plan . Generally the number of people allowed on premises will be determined by the ‘one person per 4 square metre rule’. Limits apply to weddings and funerals on residential premises.
People can participate in outdoor public gatherings of not more than 20 people. There is a 20 person limit on visitors to a home. The Order directs employers to allow employees to work from home if this is reasonably practical. The Order commenced on 1 July 2020.
On 8th of July the State of Emergency was extended to 31 August
Public Health Emergency extended to 2 October - The Public Health Act 2005 (Qld) does not provide for the declaration of a state of emergency in response to a public health emergency, however emergency measures may be enacted following a public health emergency declaration.
Wildlife rescuer and carer, Rebecca Koller, has observed an unprecedented number of Spectacled flying fox casualties in a traditional breeding site located near a new hotel construction in Cairnes. The spectacled flying fox is a threatened species. Despite many attempts to get the Australian government to investigate and or intervene, the government has failed to get back to her. This is even though the problem has received extensive publicity and the species is about to have its threatened status upgraded from vulnerable to endangered. The source of this article is correspondence between Ms Koller and The Australian Wildlife Protection Council.
On Wed, 3 Jan 2018 at 11:51 AM, Rebecca Koller wrote to Craig Thomson, the president of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC), asking for his advice and or assistance based on his knowledge of our government and wildlife protection.
Ms Koller is a flying fox carer from Far North Queensland and the Wildlife advisor of the Cairns Flying Fox advisory board.
She has been documenting the Spectacled flying fox deaths and orphans at the Cairns Library flying fox colony. Despite numerous attempts, she had received no communication from the Australian federal government regarding her requests for it to intervene or investigate the unprecedented number of pups from this breeding season found dead or orphaned.
The camp referred to carries about 4000 flying foxes. Ms Koller says that this is a huge reduction on previous seasons. Since September 15th 2017, there were 898 flying foxes dead or orphaned from this one camp, compared with 366 last season. In her opinion and that of other wildlife carers, the increased casualties are attributable to the construction work directly across from the roost trees.
Listen to a really informative ABC FM interview with Rebecca Koller on the flying foxes:
Wildlife carer observations deserve respect; they are often all we have
The Cairns Library Colony flying fox camp is considered federally of national significance. Ms Koller has been documenting both orphans and deaths . See the record of deaths and orphans for this season and the previous one. (Females spectacled flying foxes give birth to one young per year, in the October to December period. Juveniles are nursed for over five months and, on weaning, congregate in nursery trees in the colony.)
This record of casualties in the colony has been criticised as only "anecdotal and observatory" by a spokesperson for the company, who says there is no history for comparison. Candobetter.net would say that careful observations from wildlife carers, who know the history of the colony and can point to photographs of corpses and to the animals in their care, cannot and should not be dismissed so easily. If this is the only source of a count on this species, then it is precious and deserves respect. We note that official counts do not monitor the Cairns breeding colonies, which is convenient for the massive development going on there, but needs urgently to be remedied.
The construction company began building what will be a multimillion dollar hotel development just prior to the birthing season. Ms Koller describes, as the only new factors in this birthing season from the previous one, the clearing of trees once occupied by the flying foxes, the presence of equipment such as pile drivers, and multiple cranes, with arms swinging directly over the roost trees. She says she has written to EHP, the threatened species commissioner, the media, and raised the subject in council meetings on numerous occasions but to no avail.
Greater protection needs to be afforded to the animals due to their decline as a species, their importance as a keystone species and the significance of this particular maternity camp.
Where to make Go Fund Me contributions to the Spectacled flying foxes in Cairns
Ms Koller has over 50 orphans in her care and had to arrange the transport of 100 orphans to the Australian Bat Clinic in Brisbane, because there were simply not enough carers in her area to cope with the number of flying foxes orphaned this season. Ms Koller crowd funded money to help support carers’ costs to care for these animals. See the wonderful baby bat pictures at https://www.gofundme.com/4m5qayg. Although she raised just over $10,000, all of this has already been used up for necessary supplies. There are still three to four unfunded months remaining before carers can begin to release the flying foxes they have raised. In addition, the birthing season has not yet ended and rescuers are still finding dead and orphaned on a daily basis.
Ms Koller met with the ecologist conducting the monitoring for the construction company and has been keeping him abreast of the bat casualty totals this year compared to the previous year.
Flying Foxes, Government, wildlife carers and wildlife protection on the ground
Craig Thomson, President of Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC), congratulated Ms Koller on her actions to date and commented,
”The information to be found about this flying fox species, is a perfect example of both federal and state governments appearing to do the right thing by undertaking steps to improve protection. Such protection is, unfortunately, rarely if ever enacted or carried out on the ground, leading to the species’ existence being threatened further.”
“This is highlighted with the Spectacled flying fox species being listed as vulnerable in 2002 and a more recent public consultation seeking recommendations for its conservation status at the end of 2016.
“It would be interesting to know if the Spectacled flying fox conservation status is to be upgraded from this process or whether it was part of the work that the officer Rebecca Koller has had correspondence with, stating that "federal and state governments were working to have the same conservation status for the species".
Mr Thomson added,
“It seems disingenuous to me that the federal and state governments and agencies have been making statements such as "This spectacled flying-fox has been subject to appreciable research, monitoring and management over the last 20 years. It is a high priority species under Queensland’s “Back on Track program." See the following link http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/pages/0e526f41-7db6-4e21-b2a2-8aa9b2b45352/files/consultation-document-pteropus-conspicillatus.pdf. It appears, despite this, that licenses can still be obtained for lethal control. Furthermore, attempts by carers and advocates like Rebecca Koller, to raise welfare concerns about these flying foxes are met with complacency and threats. Yet, they are still being called upon to rescue, rehabilitate and release them back to the wild.”
"Fortunately there is a recovery plan for the species and it is internationally protected and recognised, as such this is where we need to focus for the best outcomes. Below is a list of the 8 recovery objectives, if we are able to find proof that these objectives are not being met. It could be possible to proceed legal action."
Recovery Objectives for the Spectacled Flying Fox
Recovery Objective 1: Research practicable and cost effective flying fox deterrent systems for commercial fruit growers.
Recovery Objective 2: Identify and protect native foraging habitat critical to the survival of the spectacled flying fox.
Recovery Objective 3: Accurately assess the short and long term population size and population trends of the spectacled flying-fox.
Recovery Objective 4: Improve the public perception of the spectacled flying-fox and the standard of information available to guide recovery.
Recovery Objective 5: Increase knowledge of P conspicillatus roosting
requirements and protect important camps.
Recovery Objective 6: Improve understanding of incidence of tick paralysis and actions to minimise paralysis mortality in flying foxes.
Recovery Objective 7: Implement strategies to reduce incidence of electrocution and entanglement of P. conspicillatus.
Recovery Objective 8 Investigate the causes of birth abnormalities such as cleft palate syndrome.
Spectacled Flying Fox threatened status nominated for upgrading from Vulnerable to Endangered
SFF have been nominated under the Commonwealth threatened species legislation for up-listing from Vulnerable to Endangered.
Qld government (Labor 2015) promised to match Commonwealth threatened species listing for SFF, so when they move up the EPBC list, they should also move up the Qld thretened species listing from Vulnerable to Endangered. The Minister (Commonwealth) is expected to announce his decision on uplisting on 18 February. nomination has been considered by the TSSC and the Minister is expected to make his decision on 18 February. It has been a long wait.
International obligations for the Spectacled flying fox under CITES
The international obligations are as follows: "The spectacled flying fox is listed under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Populations of the spectacled flying fox are recognised as values of the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area and therefore under the protection of World Heritage Convention". In this regard we can always contact both CITES and the World Heritage Convention to embarrass the government's into action. The same could be said of the hotel development who is currently claiming that values of Queensland Wet Tropics World heritage area is damaging their business. While making a point of this, it would be a great opportunity to advocate for the Spectacled bats ecological and economical services. The link below is the recovery plan for the species which has both the objectives and international matters.
 The spectacled flying fox was listed as a threatened species under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1991. They were considered vulnerable due to a significant decline in numbers as a result of loss of their prime feeding habitat and secluded camp sites.