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Largest Land-Based Slaughter of Wildlife Called Into Question

Largest Land-Based Slaughter of Wildlife Called Into Question

The kangaroo, Australia’s national symbol, is slaughtered every year by the millions.

Kangaroos are killed in the largest land-based slaughter of wildlife in the world every year for meat or because they are considered to be in competition with livestock for food.

But is there any science or environmental evidence to support the cull? Studies conducted by Thinkk, a research group at the University of Technology in Sydney, reveals that the kill is misguided based on wrong assumptions.

Thinkk was established to complete independent research and rebuild a sustainable environment that considers the well-being of kangaroos and explores management practices that are non-lethal.

Two reports generated by the studies found that kangaroos don’t share the same feed as livestock. Ecologist Dror-Ben said, ”Long-term studies indicate that competition is intermittent, occurring only during a period of climatically driven food depletion,” he said.

Animal cruelty was also cited in the reports. Keely Boom, lawyer and co-author of the reports, said culling them for reasons such as damaging the environment or being pests may be illegal because these reasons are not supported by any studies, which violates the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

A previous article from the University of Technology also aired problems with the cruelty of the cull, citing casual shooters among those who participate.

Kangaroos that are inaccurately targeted (not hit in the head from 80 to 200 metres at night) may suffer a painful, protracted death and their carcasses will not be utilised. Pouch-young joeys are clubbed on the head. Young-at-foot are supposed to be shot, but since the industry is self-regulated, they are often left to die of starvation or predation.

Taken together, it is likely that up to a million young are killed annually as collateral damage and their carcasses not used. This is an unacceptable practice by international standards. In a similar case of harvested terrestrial wildlife, the products derived from young Canadian Harp Seals – which are clubbed to death – have been banned in most westernised countries.

Replacing beef and lamb with an industry of kangaroos could reduce greenhouse gases, but the estimated 27 million kangaroos in the outback are not enough to fill the demand for meet in the country’s market or internationally.

The Thinkk reports call for the government to reassess the necessity of the cull and to ban killing females who are often nurturing young in their pouches.

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247 comments

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4:06AM PDT on Mar 27, 2012

I am so tired of an attitude that says that animals get in the way of civilization.Such arrogance is truly insane.We need to find ways to live together.When I read about kangaroos in Australia, all I could think about were wolves and buffalo (a few instances) in the states.People are still scapegoating the wolf and it makes me feel ill. People do not have the right to take over everything they see.Animals seem to have much more "humanity" about them then people much of the time.

11:39AM PDT on Mar 13, 2012

I am so sick of hearing about how humans are killing animals all over the world!

3:14AM PST on Feb 18, 2011

if you are an Australian you know to avoid driving at dawn and dusk because of the kangaroos. the aborigines lived with them for thousands of years before we came along and the kangaroos didn't destroy the land then. grow up! incorrect farming on a fragile soil like ours is to blame, not the native animals. there are lots of new framers out there making changes to work with Australia and not fighting its natural rhythms. if they want shoot something how about the foxes or rabbits or are the shooters getting a better kick back from roo killing? enough!

10:55AM PST on Jan 29, 2011

Thinkk appears to be an intelligent organization, trying to find solutions to culling and kinder ways of killing. Do most Australians think of kangaroos as pests? I hope not. I'm sure there are problems of enough food for all, just like in this country, where the BLM favors ranchers over wild horses.

Tiffany P. has put out wrong ideas. I don't want to call her a liar, but did she pull her facts out of her ass?
"Meat-farming is actually the least-harm solution for animals." No, dear heart. Don't know how they do it in Australia, but in the good ol' U.S. of A., our factory farms produce more pollution than our vehicles. Methane from the poop, bacteria in the water, the stench! And, I would go naked in the warm months, but there are laws against it. We're all entitled to our opinions, but use real facts next time. I'm vegetarian, not vegan yet.

6:08PM PST on Jan 7, 2011

You know, it's really irritating to see all the vegans use this article as an excuse to argue (argue is too kind a word - whinge is more accurate) against farming or eating meat. Note to Vegans:

1) Meat farming is actually the least-harm solution for animals. Otherwise they would get culled for eating plant crops.

2) Some culling needs to happen for plant-crops too. Even ones with huge fences.

3) If you don't like this, then go naked (materials that make clothes are either farmed or made from environmentally dangerous plastics) - and while you're at it, pick your own berries (if you can find enough native vegetation in Australia to eat - even the ancient Aborigines were hunters and fishers), don't live in a house someone else had to build, and DEFINITELY don't own a computer, phone or internet account - these couldn't exist if people didn't have other people farming for them so they could concentrate on other things than finding food! Especially in our time-limited society where the most efficient option is, that's right, eating meat!

Otherwise ladies and gentlemen, please keep the discussions to the topic! I have already said my piece about kangaroos so I can say this!

8:55PM PST on Dec 23, 2010

Australia is still a barbaric and miserable place to live, even with all its beauty. I have met enough people from there to realize that it's a misogynistic society and celebrates other cruelties, such as the "abo" problem and the attitude toward animals. Shame on Australia.

5:10PM PST on Dec 21, 2010

Many of us in Australia are fighting against the killing of kangaroos. It is terrible. I have seen photos of kangaroos with their faces shot off and still alive. These poor kangaroos could no longer eat and were suffering terribly. Shooting animals in the wild is cruel as many are just injured and not killed. Our stupid governments chop down our native forests and brutally kill our native animals and non-native animals - the inventor of the disease responsible for killing millions of rabbits is claimed to be a hero - all the while pointing the finger at other countries. I get very upset about this. Only with international pressure as well as re-education of our own people can this stupidity stop.

11:03AM PST on Dec 14, 2010

This is unacceptable and they really need to rethink their stance on this issue. There's a solution that can be found, they just need to think it through.

8:18AM PST on Dec 14, 2010

A real connundrum; ''''civilization" or "nature". There have been and still are people who have shown us how to live on this earth in a manner that allows us to have both. Sometimes it's difficult to find the balance point; when we do, it can sensitize us to the sacredness of where and how we live.

6:38AM PST on Dec 14, 2010

Buffalos were also in great number and they all have been slaughter for the land.

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