POLL: Should Australia’s “over-abundant populations” of kangaroos be culled?

POLL: Should Australia’s “over-abundant populations” of kangaroos be culled?

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Wildlife carers say they are “in tears” after the Victorian announced a plan to allow commercial hunters to shoot thousands of extra kangaroos.

The announcement today comes just one year after the Black Summer bushfires killed or harmed an estimated three billion native animals – 5 million of which were kangaroos or wallabies.

Manfred Zabinskas said he was in tears after hearing news about the quota increase. Source: Helen Round
Manfred Zabinskas said he was in tears after hearing about the quota increase. Source: Helen Round

Despite the fires burning almost 2 million hectares of habitat in Victoria, the state government estimates that numbers have boomed, with numbers said to have increased 40 per cent since 2018.

According to the department of , “over-abundant populations” of kangaroos are competing with livestock and damaging fences and crops.

They go on to describe the animals as having low impact on land, and herald them as a “low-emissions meat source”.

For the first time the animals will be shot not just for pet food, but for human consumption as well, meaning the meat will no longer need to be imported from other states.

The plan will allow 95,680 kangaroos to be shot, an increase of 37,780 on last year’s quota, and allow the animals to be served.

In comparison, the NSW government announced a reduction in its commercial harvest, with allowable numbers dropping from 2,126,176 in 2020 to 1,598,761.

Wildlife carer ‘in tears’ after government kill announcement

Kangaroo carer Manfred Zabinskas said the government’s move has left him and other carers he works with in tears.

He said increasing the “harvest” quota amid ongoing issues drought has left him “gobsmacked”, forcing him to question whether there is any point in continuing to rehabilitate kangaroos if they are just going to be shot.

“We’re just in shock,” he said.

“I’ve got to say my first reaction is are we just wasting our time (caring for kangaroos), why are we killing ourselves?

“Then we look around the animals that still need our help and we’re just…we’re angry and we’re sad.”

Wildlife advocates have questioned the wisdom of increasing the quota just 12 months after the Black Summer bushfires. Source: Getty
Wildlife advocates have questioned the wisdom of increasing the quota just 12 months after the Black Summer bushfires. Source: Getty

Call to reverse kangaroo kill decision

Animal Justice Party PM Andy Meddick has questioned the government’s figures and called on them to urgently reverse their decision.

“It seems the Andrews Labor Government will only be satisfied when every last kangaroo is wiped from our state,” Mr Meddick said.

“This program is not just incredibly cruel, it is unscientific. During optimal times, kangaroos can only increase their numbers by 10 percent.

“Claiming there has been a rise by 40 percent is at best, an exaggeration, and at worst, misleading.”

In a media statement announcing the quota increase, Victoria’s Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas did not address animal welfare concerns raised by carers, but focused on the jobs it will provide.

“This program provides a service to and an income to trained professional shooters,” Ms Thomas said.

“The changes to how products generated from the Kangaroo Harvesting Program can be used gives more options to harvesters and processors to make use of these animals and reduce waste – and create more jobs in country towns.”

This article was first published by Yahoo News on 28 January 2021. Lead Image: The government says kangaroo numbers are over-abundant in some areas, a claim some wildlife carers dispute. Source: Getty.

We invite you to share your opinion whether the practice of duck shooting for sport should be banned? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

Should Australia's “over-abundant populations” of kangaroos be culled?

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Editorial Comment: The purpose of this poll is to highlight important wildlife conservation issues and to encourage discussion on ways to stop wildlife crime. By leaving a comment and sharing this post you can help to raise awareness. Thank you for your support.

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