Kangaroos Damage the Environment
Kangaroos Benefit the Environment
University studies have shown that the presence of Kangaroos actually increases the prevalence of native grasses and the biodiversity of the environment. Kangaroos eat native grasses and the seeds, the seeds are excreted through the faeces. Seeds that fall into the holes dug by the Kangaroos long toenail is covered with soil by the tail of the Kangaroo as they move forward dragging their tail behind them.
Unlike introduced stock, the nitrate content of the urine and faeces of a Kangaroo is not high and does not pollute the soil or water.
Kangaroo dung promotes nature’s soil purifiers, the dung beetle that bury the dung improving soil structure.
Kangaroos provide natural fire prevention by keeping the grass short and preventing under-story growth, which dries out and feeds fire.
Kangaroos are pests and compete with livestock for grazing
There is absolutely no truth in this myth
Kangaroos have virtually no impact on the country’s crops despite claims made by farmers that they are a major crop pest. In a six year study, the biggest ever undertaken, Dr. Steve McLeod of the University New South Wales found “There was no evidence of a competitive effect of Kangaroos on sheep farming”.
A Four-year study of Grey Kangaroos in Western Australia by the CSIRO found that Kangaroos never visit 90% of wheat crops. Dr. Graham Arnold former senior scientist with the CSIRO stated in 1998, “Most Kangaroos did not like to eat farm crops and would thrive if given access to their natural foods. Unless the community manages remanent vegetation to minimise degradation and enhance regeneration of native plants, Kangaroos and some other native species will disappear from much of Western Australia over the next 100 years”
Kangaroos do not live on ‘grass’ alone, they brows on many native plants, herbs and shrubs which makes up a large part if their diet disproving the claim so often made by farmers “Kangaroos are eating all my grass”
Professor Gordon Grigg devised a means for measuring the metabolic rate at which stock metabolise fodder. It is called 'Dry Sheep Equivalent' (DSE)
Using one dry sheep (non lactating) as the figure one all other ruminants are measured against it. With regard to Kangaroos the following is very relevant to the farmers ignorance about how much Kangaroos actually consume:
Fifty Kangaroos eat the same each day as one Bovine
Seventy Kangaroos eat as much each day as one Stag Sambar Deer
Five Kangaroos eat the same each day as one Sheep
one Kangaroo eats the same each day as 2.5 Rabbits
Kangaroos will not eat grass that has been improved with the use of fertilizers, which are always high in nitrate. They will also not eat grass, which has been urinated on by cattle because it also has a high nitrate content. Nitrate in high amounts will kill Kangaroos.
Refer to links in “Kangaroos Damage The Environment”
Kangaroos can over populate
They have been here for thousands of year and would have become extinct if they overbred
Kangaroos are very slow breeding animals and can only bring one Joey to the point of weaning every eighteen months. Humans can breed faster than this and do but the human survival rate is so much higher than that of the Kangaroo. Only 25% of Kangaroo Joeys real maturity and that’s in good times in drought and flood the figure can go as high as 100% (see more about this in our section ‘About Kangaroos’)
Kangaroo populations have declined by 40% since 2001 and are declining more each year.
NSW Ecologist Ray Mjadwesch says “All commercially hunted Kangaroos have declined so dramatically that they fulfil the criteria as a threatened species with up to 90% of Kangaroos lost since the arrival of white man”
If left undisturbed in continuing natural conditions, Kangaroo populations do not keep infinitely increasing but tend toward equilibrium or stability.
Kangaroos can be farmed
This is another myth
Kangaroos cannot be farmed, they are not a herd animal are highly flighty and can suffer from post capture myopathy.
They cannot be drenched, rounded up or inspected.
Kangaroos could never replace more than a tiny fraction of the cattle and sheep meat that Australia consumes. According to Queensland Department of Primary Industry in 2016, a single Kangaroo only produces around 10kg of usable meat of that only 3kg can be called ‘prime cuts’ the remainder is used to make pet food.
The total maximum potential supply of Kangaroo meat is 57,000 tonnes a year equating to 19,000 tonnes that is fit for human consumption, compare this to the 1.7 million tonnes of beef.
Scientists at UTS found that to feed Australians just one small portion of meat per week, 175 million Kangaroos would need to be killed every year. (Dr. Daniel Ramp UTS)
Kangaroos are a protected species
Protected from what?
Since white man arrived on the shores of Australia, Kangaroos have been treated as ‘pests’ and over the years the misinformation and outright lies about them have been handed down from generation to generation until today it is implanted in the Australian psyche. It is because of the Australian’s attitude toward what is an iconic and unique animal that they have become fair game for anyone who wants to shoot them, use them for target practice or an animal that can be tortured by those with a darker side.
In the commercial industry, Kangaroos are killed by the millions every year but this is not to stop them invading the farmers land, it is because their skins are valuable and make the world’s best leather, their meat is a by-product. (Learn more about this in our section ‘Kangaroo slaughter)
These three photos clearly show the sort of disrespect and cruelty toward Kangaroos.
The picture on the far left shows a Kangaroo that has been killed by some young men. They thought it would be a bit of a joke to drape a cloak around the shoulders of the dead Kangaroo, tie it to a chair, tie a bottle of whisky to the hand and display their work at the side of a busy road.
The centre picture shows young Kangaroo with an arrow through its face. Shooting Kangaroos with a bow and arrow is an all too frequent occurrence.
The photo on the far right is of a woman named Natalie Cepeniuk, she calls herself a 'horse trainer' but she is far better known for her cruel slaughter of wild pigs. Here she is doing what she calls 'deep throat' with a Joey she has pulled out of its mothers pouch after she hit and killed her driving her 4X4 vehicle.
Development takes into consideration wildlife habitat
It does not
The grab for land is one of the major reasons wildlife are losing their habitat, the ruthlessness of developers erecting housing and shopping centres knows no bounds. For Governments and Shire Councils it’s all about money.
Urban and peri urban expansion has pushed wildlife further and further into the rural areas. This in turn leads to landholders claiming that Kangaroos in particular are in ‘plague’ proportions or their numbers are ‘exploding’. They are not of course but they have been forced to move into new territory.
There is not one Shire Council or one State or Territory Government who have ‘wildlife corridors’ built into their permits for planning. This should be made mandatory, not to do so is short sighted and will ultimately result in the extinction of many species and endangerment of others.
In every State and Territory where development is taking place displaced wildlife, particularly Kangaroos are not only being pushed further and further into rural areas but are also becoming trapped within the building sites.
Kangaroo killing for the commercial industry is sustainable
It is unsustainable
The lynch pin to this industry being sustainable is the Kangaroo population.
Problems with Counting Kangaroos
There must be some problem with counting kangaroos – every time OEH-NPWS or their consultants do it, they change the methodology.
The only really accurate way to count them, it seems, is to shoot them (Hacker et al certainly counted the hell out of 2,755 of them in 2004).
In 1975 an attempt was made to estimate the number of Red Kangaroos within the commercial harvest zones of western New South Wales via conducting an aerial count, giving a population of 3,365,300 kangaroos in western NSW (DECCW 2009).
From Caughley & Grigg (1981):
This study indicates that extensive aerial survey is a feasible, cheap and precise means of monitoring kangaroo populations in remote areas.
Subsequently, from Short & Grigg (1982):
In each, a standardised technique of aerial survey (Caughley et al 1976; Caughley 1977; Grigg 1979) has been employed.
Techniques included 2 counters on each side of the plane comparing counts from seven second intervals, and including 50 hrs of training for “trainee” observers. CSIRO scientists and university lecturers and researchers were probably capable of doing an adequate job, and the author does not have a problem with the c.2-2.6M Red Kangaroo population estimates in the 1:250,000 mapsheet areas surveyed in the period 1975-1979.
But between 1979 and 1980 something strange happens – the figure increases by 30% in a single year, then by 13%, then by 25%. Over the next 2 years numbers crash by 50% p/a, but then between 1984 and 1985, they miraculously double! That’s a 100% increase! Numbers have since been extremely erratic and increasingly implausible.
Contemporary surveys apply a “correction factor” to counted animals, and the value of applied “correction factors” (more recently termed “detection probabilities”), and the way correction factors are applied, has changed significantly since the time aerial counts were first conducted.
It is interesting that correction factors are so hard to find. The DEC (2008) “population monitoring report”, despite being the paper that supposedly tells the public all about the kangaroo survey methodology, does not have a handy table showing how correction factors have varied over the years, perhaps because they have uniformly varied upward, and this may be a bit embarrassing for the department, when kangaroo numbers in NSW continue to trend downwards
It is not only these factors that make it hard to graph kangaroos however – it is the fact that each survey area is divided into unknown proportions of various habitat types based on bio-physical attributes (and therefore CF factors are applied variably across each KMZ). None of the raw data is provided in publicly available reports on kangaroo monitoring (apart from the Cairns reports for the Northern Tablelands (2007) and the Hunter & Central Tablelands (2009) and it is therefore impossible to replicate survey methodologies, it is impossible to re-analyse or re-interpret the data, and it is impossible to critique the methodologies and analyses performed by the various researchers.
This goes against everything that science is supposed to be about.
Using a 'correction factor' that varies, allows the each state to 'manipulate' the Kangaroo population to a figure that is acceptable thus legitimising the continuation of the slaughter.
Kangaroo populations explodes after rain
They do not
It is biologically impossible for Kangaroo populations to rapidly expand or 'explode' as is regularly stated by the commercial industry and farmers. Kangaroos can only recover from decline by resuming their normal reproductive process which is slow.(Learn more about this in our section 'Kangaroos')
After heavy rains and floods, Kangaroos are highly susceptible to an unknown disease, thought to be pasted on by biting insects and many of them die . It is called 'Post Flood Die Off'
Post Flood Die Off occurred after floods in 1961,1986,1987,1990,1997,1998, and 2000 the mortality rates were in the vicinity of 92%. These floods were in QLD, NSW, Vic, and SA.
Kangaroo Meat is not harmful to humans
It most certainly can be
Kangaroos are not slaughtered in an abattoir, they are killed in very rural areas and the outback. The people who kill them are called 'Roo Shooters' and they hunt Kangaroos at night. When a Kangaroo has been frozen in the Roo shooters spotlight it can be easily killed. The body is left lying on the ground until the shooters has several more carcasses. These are then dragged by the tail to the shooters vehicle where they are hung on a hook which is attached to a rack at the rear of his vehicle. The Kangaroo then has its head, tail and the lower part of its legs cut off. After this it is eviscerated (gutted) it is not unusual for the intestines to be nicked with the shooters knife and the contents of the bowels flows out contaminating the carcass. Shooters are unable to carry more than 20lt of water and most of this is used for quench his/her thirst so there is not enough to clean the contaminated carcass. When the shooter moves on to find more Kangaroos the carcasses are left uncovered hanging on the hooks and driving through country where stock has been the wheels of the vehicle churn up sheep and cattle faeces which clings to the carcasses. Flies and other insects gather on the carcasses to find moist places to lay their eggs.
All carcasses have to be placed in a 'chiller' (a refrigerated cargo container) and these chillers are mostly old and rusty and heavily contaminated by previous Kangaroo blood which has not been cleaned. It has been the case that Kangaroos and wild pigs have been found hanging in the same chiller.
Kangaroo meat needs to be well cooked but this makes it tough and unappetizing so most people cook it fairly rare, however, this practice leads to a very high risk that parasites, protozoa and bacteria are not destroyed making the meat a high risk factor for disease. Along with poisoning fro E Coli, Salmonella and Staphylococcus there is a real danger of contracting Toxoplasmosis which can result in the death of a foetus or birth defects in a pregnant woman.
Dr David Obendorf BVSc (Hons) B (An) Sc PHd (Melbourne) a wildlife pathologist with over twenty years experience of parasites and diseases of Australian fauna, reported that Australian Macropods can harbour a wide range of bacterial, fungal,, parasitic and bacterial diseases and the majority of infections are unapparent (the animal appears normal) Meat inspections are unlikely to detect unless gross lesions are detected or samples of the meat are taken for microbiological or pathological testing. It is recognised world wide that 'game meat' are a source of these infection for hunters, processors and consumers.
There is no corruption within the commercial industry
The most recent incidence of corruption occured in California USA.
In 1971 then governor Ronald Reagan banned the import of kangaroo parts in a law designed to protect endangered species from around the world.The ban lived on relatively unnoticed until 2003 when a vegetarian activist group, Viva! USA, sued adidas over its importation and sale of kangaroo-skin soccer boots.
The Australian government backed adidas in that lawsuit and in 2007, after adidas had spent $US435,000 in lobbying, governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a law allowing the importation of kangaroo parts from species not deemed to be threatened.
The Humane Society was outraged. Its lobbyist, Jennifer Fearing, told Fairfax Media she said it is possible the Australian government has broken California law by failing to disclose that it had provided $A143,000 to the KIAA to hire lobbyists Manatt, Phelps and Phillips.
A formal complaint was lodged with California's corruption watchdog, asserting that: "In what appears to be a clear attempt to obscure a foreign government's lobbying activities to repeal a necessary animal-protection statute, the government of Australia may be using the KIAA as a shield. Such a scheme could very well violate the letter and purpose of the California Political Reform Act."
Australia's ambassador to the US Kim Beazley said in a statement that Australia-California kangaroo trade "is conducted according to science-based wildlife management practices designed to ensure sustainability of kangaroo populations".
Wayne Pacelle, the chief executive of the Humane Society, said the group opposed the commercial sale of kangaroo products for many reasons.
Firstly, there was evidence that the industry's claims that kangaroo numbers were sustainable were wrong, he said.
Secondly, the society opposes all commercial harvesting of wild animals, because it was difficult to restrain industries once they were developed, he said.
In the American experience, huge wild animal populations, such as bison and the passenger pigeon, had been destroyed by commercial harvesting.
The organisation was concerned that the animals' suffering could not be prevented in the process of hunting, he said.
"It's done at night, it would be easy for an animal to be hit in the neck and body and skitter away," he said.
Ms Fearing said that shooting kangaroos appalled some Americans due to their sheer beauty and their status as an emblematic animal. "It's like harvesting the bald eagle," she said.
The ban on Kangaroo products remains.
One day in July 1981 a meat inspector at San Diego in California became suspicious of parts of a shipment of Australian beef. On testing it proved to be horsemeat. The next week cartons marked as export grade boneless beef turned out to be kangaroo. Thus started what journalist Peter Grabosky called the great Meat Substitution Scandal of 1981.
Justice Sir Edward Woodward was appointed to conduct the Royal Commission Into the Australian Meat Industry. In November 1981 Read his comments here.
Read also an account by Raymond Hoser about, Government and Government Officials corruption and the deaths of some of the players in our section 'Kangaroo Slaughter'
The 'Harvesting' of Kangaroos is ethical
It is cruel and unethical
Just the mere fact that the Kangaroo Industry Association Australia (KIAA) finds it necessary to use the term 'harvest' rather than 'slaughter' the term used for livestock, shows how they have manipulated the context of the act to soften it.
In a significant number of instances, kangaroos hunted for meat are not killed outright, but seriously injured and left to die slowly and in agony in the bush. Further, kangaroos that are shot in the body cannot be commercially harvested for meat. These victims of the trade are left in the field.
Then there are the dependent joeys at foot or in the pouch – an estimated 1.1 million per year – which are the industry's "collateral damage".
The unfurred young are bashed to death on the head with a metal pipe or against the tow bar of the hunter's truck, or decapitated. The Code calls this "euthanasia". Alternatively, once his or her mother is killed, the joey at foot is abandoned and left to die alone.
Read more about the KIAA, cruelty, the lack of monitoring codes of conduct, Kangaroo numbers being decimated and the facade the Australian Government has erected to hide the shameful, dirty secret in our section 'Kangaroo Slaughter.
Commercial Kangaroo shooter butchering his kill
Shooter driving to the 'chiller' before sun-up
Kangaroos drag along the ground and this meat is for human consumption