The Commercial Industry
Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.
The commercial slaughtering of Kangaroos in Australia is sanctioned by the Australian Government.
It is the largest land based slaughter of wildlife on our planet, not something the Australian Government or the Australian citizens can be proud of, in fact the Government should hang its head in shame.
The average Australian citizen knows very little about the killing of Kangaroos for commercial purposes, such is the facade erected by the Government to keep them ignorant of the truth.
Long before white man even dreamed about Australia, Kangaroos were hunted by the Aboriginal people of this land for food but not one piece of the Kangaroo was wasted. The meat was used to feed the families of the clan, the skin was used for clothing and warmth, the sinews were used for binding spearheads to shafts, there were a myriad of uses found for the various parts of a Kangaroo. But most importantly, they were only killed when necessary.
How it all began
After British colonisation in 1788, Europeans began killing kangaroos as a food source.
Governor Philip noted that kangaroos were frequently seen around the Sydney Cove but not readily killed because of their shyness. Kangaroo meat provided an occasional supplement to imported rations and was traded with Aboriginal people or sold privately and then through the public market from 1793, serving as a low-cost meat relative to that from introduced livestock.
The well-to-do Macarthur family at Parramatta employed a hunter who supplied them with a hundred kilograms of kangaroo a week. In Van Diemen's Land (later Tasmania) kangaroo meat was used extensively in the first decade of colonisation from 1804 being issued as part of the convicts‟ rations. In the 1840s, the eastern grey kangaroos in Tasmania were reduced to relatively low numbers through large-scale killing (Barker and Caughley; but see Pople and Grigg). Once the colonies were in a position to import and raise sufficient livestock to meet their protein needs, kangaroos were killed primarily for recreational reasons (Croft, „Kangaroos Maligned). Landholders hunted kangaroos for sport with their dogs, mimicking the fox hunting parties of the British upper classes. http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1005&context=asj
The Australian landholders psyche toward Kangaroos has been honed over multiple generations based on the colonial attitude that 'Kangaroos are a pest' The following account is indicative of the attitude as written in the early 1800's about Hector McDiarmid one of the early 'squatters'
"I'm just going clean mad about those Kangaroos that are eating me up completely. That's no news ye'll say. Eh, but it's got beyond a joke. I'm not pushed for a thousand or two (English pounds), I may say without boasting; but were I the poor man I once was was, looking at my fat cattle to meet my bills or else lose the bonny hard-won station where would I be now? Many a time in years past I have spared the furry brutes when my dogs had their muzzles buried in their flanks, for surely I trusted that all forest things would disappear before civilization. All history is our warrant for wild beasties, ay, and all all aboriginal creatures fading away before the great Anglo-Saxon. But there the butes abide, everyone of them eating as much grass as two sheep, forbye (before) what they trample and spoil. There are thousands of the big Kangaroos on the run if there's one this minute. They've increased like rabbits of late years, and the old run is now, what no white man ever saw before, short of grass."
Attitudes such as this continue even to the present time.
Kangaroo hunting - Marcus Clarke
Early painting of Kangaroos -John Lewin -1800-1807
note the European looking countryside.
Kangaroo hunting with dogs
Of more interest to the early white setters was the discovery of the wonderful leather made from Kangaroo skins which became the
major reason and money spinner to killing Kangaroos.
In the very early days of settlement white men hunted and killed Kangaroos for food and would have been a luxury after the highly
salted ships rations. Governor Phillip however, thought it to be to be ‘coarse and lean’ and said it would not be used except for the
scarcity of fresh provisions.
Lieutenant John Gore who accompanied Captain Cook was the first white man to shoot a Kangaroo; this took place at Endeavour River on 14 July 1770.
By 1788 Kangaroo meat had become acceptable as a worthwhile meat for the colony of New South Wales.
By 1806 Kangaroo skins were being used to make leather and ‘Crispinius’ who placed an advertisement in the Sydney Gazette said “The fitness of the Kangaroo skin for upper leathers will no doubt obtain a preference over most of the imported leather, as it is in general lighter and equally durable Of this kind of Leather we have abundance”
The use of Kangaroo skins was well established by 1934 as seen in this advertisement placed in the Northern Times. Alx. Tow agent for Messrs. F. Critch & Co. Limited, of Fremantle reports: The market for Kangaroo Skins re mains steady and most grades are finding buyers at satisfactory prices. Sun dried, bloodstained, and fatty skins are a problem and difficult to realize prices on. But hunters should note that a good demand exists for shade-dried clean skins. Although recent offerings have been heavy the shipment made by me last were well received and maintained good prices.
Advertisements like these continued for many years along with advertisements for Kangaroo skins. Such as ‘At the auction sales yesterday 10,000 kangaroo skins were sold at latest prices.(The Argus Melbourne 1888)
An article in the Western Mail 1923 said, “Interesting information regarding the trade in marsupial skins-almost exclusively those of the Kangaroo-is contained in the periodical reports furnished to the Chief Inspector of Fisheries (Mr. F. Aldrich) by Inspector Davidson, of Fremantle, whose duty it is to stamp for the purpose of royalty tile skins which pass through the auction rooms at the port.A return for the year ended June 30, 1923 showed that the inspector stamped 57,196 skins of Grey Kangaroos, 182,216Red Kangaroos, 30,581 Euros, 69.345 Brush Kangaroos, 8,307 "others" and 402 possums-a total of 348,087 skins, on which the royalty collected by the Governmenttotaled £3,977.
You don’t have to be clairvoyant to see the picture; Kangaroos were killed and are still being killed for their skins. During all this time when Kangaroos were being shot in their millions there was no regard for the survival of the species, no consideration given to the cruelty inflicted on them, money was the prime objective and the story hasn’t changed.
KANGAROOS ARE SACRED BUT AGRIBUSINESS AND UNSUSTAINABLE FARMING IS NOT
When white men came to this land they brought with them their European farming practices, they had little understanding of how old and fragile this continent is.
They cleared the land of vegetation and sewed grasses native to their home land for cattle and sheep because they saw the native Australian grasses as tough and inferior. Over the years the herds of cattle and sheep grew and needed an ever increasing amount of land to graze on.
It wasn’t long before Kangaroos were seen to be a blight on the land since, in the mind of the farmers, they were competing with their stock for grass. Now labeled as a ‘pest’ Kangaroos were routinely shot by farmers in an effort get rid of them from their farms. This practice soon became too time consuming so Kangaroo shooters came onto the properties and killed the Kangaroos for them, the shooters made good money from selling the skins to leather processors.
Today the reason for slaughtering Kangaroos by the millions has changed from one of purging the countryside of a pest to one of using protected specie as a managed renewable resource.
Since the early belief by farmers that Kangaroos are a pest their reputation as such has become embedded in the psyche of a majority of Australians and it has been nurtured by excessive bigoted attitudes of people living off the land.
Man in his arrogance thinks himself a great work worthy the interposition of a deity. More humble and I think truer to consider him created from animals. (Charles Darwin 1838)
It wasn’t until 1950 that the first Act to protect wildlife was brought into being and then it was only in Western Australia.
In 1975 the Federal Government decided it was time more was done to protect our wildlife and they introduced the 'National Parks and Wildlife Act' which extended to every external territory with the exception of Papua New Guinea.
In 1969 the growth of Commercial Kangaroo Industry was uncontrolled and in 1970 the Kangaroo Industry Association Australia (KIAA) was formed and had a membership of nearly one hundred employers in the kangaroo industries of all States.
The KIAA backed a move for controlled harvesting.
The term ‘harvest’ is an appalling misuse of the word. Collins English Dictionary definition is (1) the gathering of a ripened crop (2) the crop itself or the yield from it in a single growing season (3) the season for gathering crops (4) the product of an effort,action,etc.
Another term favoured by the industry is 'culling' which means 'something culled, especially something picked out and put aside as inferior'.but the Kangaroos that are slaughtered are the biggest, the fittest, the best.
One can assume that the words slaughter, kill and shoot are too close to the truth and the Kangaroo Industry possibly believes that 'harvest and cull' soften the implication of the truth of their trade.
In 1971 the KIAA members, who represent meat producers, shooters, tanners, fur processors, skin merchants, exporters and manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of meat and skin products, have one common interest and that was the Kangaroo.and the money they could make from the wholesale slaughter of this unique animal.
The Kangaroo industry in Australia at this time had an annual gross wages bill of more than $12 million.
In Western Australia it amounted to about $I.6 million.
Annual sales of raw skins in W.A. in 1969 totaled about $1,400,000. while retail value of Kangaroo meat produced in the State the previous year was in excess of $720.000
The Association was formed to foster regulations which would permit this industry to continue while still preserving the Kangaroo. Members recognised that the extermination of the Kangaroo would mean the end of their business, as well as the disappearance of a unique natural resource, and for this reason they decided to seek a controlled harvesting programme.
According to KIAA some species of Kangaroo, including the Red have increased in some areas since European settlement began. KIAA reported that the provision of water on properties and the reduction in the Kangaroo's natural enemies, such as dingoes and eagles, have provided favourable conditions for the animals. Reduction of the number of rabbits, according to KIAA,has increased the available feed. Graziers have termed Kangaroos as "pests" to be eliminated, while conservationalists want to see them preserved.
The statements made by KIAA are of course speculation because it's impossible to know how many Kangaroos there were prior to colonisationand. Regard the natural enimies of the Kangaroo being the Dingo and the Eagle is somewhat fanciful, the Dingo would not be able to kill a full grown or even a half grown Kangaroo and its main prey would have been the old, the injured, the sick and the Joeys. Eagles are known for eating carrion and would hardly be a threat to Kangaroos with the eception of the Joeys.
Sytatements such as these are part of the carefully crafted pieces of propoganda the industry uses to justify what they do.
Research by the CS1RO and other Government agencies has shown that it is not true that theshooting of large numbers of Kangaroos will inevitably reduce the population but when combined with disease, particularly 'post flood die back' road kill and a mortality rate of 75% for juveniles, illegal hunting and damage mitigation permits the yearly slaughter of millions will have a prefound affect on their numbers.
Unlike mineral resources, Kangaroos are a natural resource that reproduces each year; so that if the harvest is controlled the population can be maintained (as claimed by KIAA)
In 1971 the Kangaroo Industries Association supported State regulations which control not only the numbers of animals killed, but also their size. Most professional shooters will avoid small Kangaroos because they are less profitable, but the grazier who is eager to rid his property of the animals will kill any size. The Association urged that a minimum size regulation be applied to graziers as well as to commercial shooters. As an example estimates of the Kangaroo population in Western Australia ranged from one to two million animals and it was estimated that 350,000 were killed in 1969 by licensed shooters but it is not known how many were destroyed by pastoralists.
AND SO BEGAN THE REIGN OF THE KIAA
Over the following decades KIAA carefully nurtured the industry via a well-honed communications strategy and has embedded itself into an unquestioning political framework that lobbies overseas politicians, the media, the market and the consumer. Scientific concerns are diminished by industry's advice to government as the work of activists, and evidence of the cruelty to and suffering of regularly mis-shot Kangaroos is labelled as 'extreme'.
Meanwhile, the industry commissions its own work to produce explicitly industry-biased materials which are then presented as independent research to overseas governments and an unsuspecting Australian public. The links between the KIAA and governments and their partnered funding of marketing and promotional research reveal a powerful web of interests, a lack of independent oversight or peer-reviewed science, and a closed shop of industry-funded 'scientific expertise'.
This decades-long, highly successful strategising and marketing by industry has diverted attention from the compelling concerns raised by the environment and wildlife groups, and opposing science that Kangaroos are indeed at risk. It is time that federal and state governments actually engaged with this issue independently, scientifically and in good faith.
The unenlightenment of the Australian public is further fused and given credence by the media which doesn’t challenge statements made by the KIAA when they make preposterous claims such as, “every doe is reported to have twins, the [population] growth rate of all Kangaroos, with feed and water around, is twice as fast as it would normally be” (ABC Rural 13/12/2010). (Ray Borda President of KIAA and owner of Macro Meats S.A.)
In 2011 John Kelly (CEO of the KIAA and owner of Lena Game Meats TAS) claimed populations were” increasing dramatically" (interviewed by ABC’s Radio National PM 5.8.2011) in response to better conditions, in an attempt to put pressure on the Australian Government to assist with re-opening the Russian meat market.
Steven Tully (AgForce) suggests the population will” explode on the back of the big wet”, and that Queensland’s Kangaroo population of 14M in 2010 will “double by 2013” (that would be a 100% increase in 2 years, or 0.5 per annum) and biologically impossible.
Given comparable ages to sexual maturity between the species (for does), and assuming similar rates of juvenile mortality 73-75%, a simplistic comparison of time-to-weaning (from Dawson 1995) suggests an Eastern Grey Kangaroo population growth rate of 10%, a Red Kangaroo population growth rate of 13.5%, a Wallaroo population growth rate of 14%, and a Euro population growth rate of 12%.
There is growing concern about how the KIAA shapes government Kangaroo policy, with trade, foreign affairs and environment ministers actively going overseas to promote this market which is all funded with public money.
What most people believe to be "Public Opinion" is in reality carefully crafted and scripted propaganda designed to elicit a desired behavioral response from the public.
THE KANGAROO SHOOTER
12 steps to become a Kangaroo shooter.
1. Get your firearms license
2. Do a food preparation course
3. Get a rifle - .222, .223, or 22-250
4. Pass a pro Kangaroo shooters shooting test (5/5 at 80m on a small target)
5. Get a single cab 4x4 Ute
6. Weld up a Kangaroo rack with stainless steel pegs for hanging, a 20l water tank, soap dispenser and knife sanitizer
7. Get inspected by NSW food authorities
8. Pay all the licenses to the government departments
9. Find a land owner to sign you to their property
10. Purchase your tags
11. Find a chiller box operator to take you on
12. Start shooting
NSW KANGAROO SHOOTERS' LICENSES
There are three types of licences for shooting Kangaroos in NSW. Firstly a landholder must apply for an Occupier's Licence to legally have Kangaroos shot on the property. Kangaroos can then be shot commercially (if within one of the commercial zones) by the holder of a Kangaroo Shooters Licence or non-commercially by the landholder themselves or their nominee (holding a General Licence).There are 15 conditions on the Shooters Licence.
These cover a range of requirements to do with tags and the disposal of carcasses. It also states that the licensee must be a holder of a current Firearms Licence, that the licensee must adhere, at all times, to the Code of Practice, and that the licensee will not possess or offer for sale any Kangaroo carcass containing a bullet wound (other than Kangaroos shot in the head in accordance with the Code).It is also a requirement that commercial shooters must complete a: One-day Firearms Accreditation Course run by the NSW Firearms Safety Awareness Council which includes an accuracy test on a rifle range; A two-day TAFE course on 'Australian Game Meat - Hygiene and Handling'.
QLD KANGAROO SHOOTERS' LICENSE
There are three types of shooter's licence issued in Queensland. The Commercial Wildlife Harvesting Licence for commercial shooters, Damage Mitigation Permits issued to landholders and the Recreational Wildlife Harvesting Licence. Conditions placed on a commercial licence include the requirement for a Weapons Licence and shooting within the requirements of the Code of Practice. In addition, from 2000 onwards, a shooter is required to pass a shooting accuracy test in order to be eligible for a commercial licence.
The Firearms Competency Certification Course is for Commercial Wildlife Harvesting Licence holders. All commercial shooters are now required to undertake a TAFE course on the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service legislation and legal obligations whilst operating under a licence. The Queensland Livestock and Meat Authority oversee the meat consumption side of the industry, and have developed a TAFE course in hygiene for shooters for human consumption.
Applicants for a Recreational Wildlife Harvesting Licence must get written permission from a landholder before applying for this licence and must already have the required Weapons Licence. Kangaroos taken under a recreational licence or the damage mitigation permit are for personal use only and cannot be sold or given to another person. There is no process of carcass inspection under this licence or under the damage mitigation permit and as there is no competency test all mis-shots i.e. jaw blown off, stomach wounds, leg wounds, half a head blown off and other equally horrific injuries go undetected and unreported. All license and permit holders (including of damage mitigation permits) must abide by the Code of Practice, and, according to agency staff, a copy of the Code is sent to all licence holders.As with NSW, it should be possible to locate the shooter of a carcass or skin that has been taken from a Kangaroo that has not been shot in accordance with the Code of Practice, provided the appropriate tags have been attached.
The tag attached to every carcass or skin remains on the carcass to the processing stage and this numbered tag can be traced back to the shooter to whom it was issued. Harvest returns supplied by commercial shooters in Queensland detail the tag number, shooter identity, location and date of shooting. Tags are also issued for recreational licence holders and a return must be provided (to head office, not to the Macropod Management Program office at Charleville). This system has been used in Queensland to locate a shooter who had sold a body-shot carcass to a dealer, leading to a court case
S.A. KANGAROO SHOOTERS LICENCE
In South Australia, a landholder is issued with a commercial or non-commercial Destruction Permit. South Australia's commercial harvest quota is broken up into two components, Sustainable Use and Land Management quotas. Kangaroos harvested in the State's commercial zone are taken according to either a Sustainable Use or Land Management Permit. Tags are purchased from National Parks and Wildlife (SA) by the nominated Kangaroo Meat Processor against the relevant commercial destruction permit, who then forwards them to the nominated Field Processor (shooter).
If Kangaroos are to be destroyed against a non-commercial destruction permit, then they can either be shot and let lie or affixed with a yellow tag if carcasses are to be removed from the property. It is possible for the holder of a destruction permit to nominate an agent to shoot the Kangaroos (this is also the case in the other States). In all cases, the Code of Practice is enforced as a condition of permit. Enforcement of the code of practice is one of those undertakings that gives the detached reader a sense of ‘safe guards are in place’ but the truth is all State Government Wildlife Departments are greatly understaffed and as a result enforcement is haphazard. Field Processors must complete the course in Game Meat Field Processing provided by TAFE prior to being issued a permit to commercially harvest Kangaroos. This is a requirement of the Department for Primary Industries and Resources' Meat Hygiene Unit, to enable Field Processors to be accredited under South Australia's Meat Hygiene Act. A voluntary marksmanship course (including a shooting accuracy test) has been developed and presented by TAFE, in conjunction with the South Australian Field Processors Organisation.
This course was compulsory from July 1, 2002. South Australia as part of a revision of regulations is considering the mechanisms for, and implications of, prohibiting the entry of non-head-shot carcasses into the game meat trade. One of the conditions of a destruction permit is that animals must be taken in a manner that does not cause unnecessary pain and is in accordance with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1985. Where the permit is issued for the destruction of Kangaroos and/or wallabies, the permit holder must comply with the Code of Practice.Kangaroo sealed tags are issued for commercial and some non-commercial Kangaroo harvesting (when used for 'private use').
The trace-back procedures of South Australia are similar to those of other states. Tags are uniquely numbered, colour-coded according to species, and retained on the carcass until it is processed at the meat works. Trace-back procedures in South Australia identify both the property on which the animal was shot, and the field processor that took the carcass. All permit-holders that receive permits under the SA KMP (landholders, meat processors and field processors) are expected to provide annual returns that accurately reflect their activities.In South Australia, the shooting test for the Kangaroo Field Processor Firearm Proficiency Course is undertaken at night with a spotlight, from the shooter's own vehicle. This course is run by Regency TAFE College and uses properties where the owner is agreeable. It is argued by those running the course that the recreation of actual conditions allows a more realistic test to be presented.
WA KANGAROO SHOOTERS LICENSE
The management programs for Western Australia state that one of the conditions of a Wildlife Conservation Regulation 6 licence (Professional Shooter's Licence) is that 'a professional shooter is required to comply with the Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos'. No such condition is given for a Wildlife Conservation Regulation licence 5 (Damage Licence). For Western Australia, the Commonwealth Declaration of Approved Management Programs for 1998 to 2002 specifies only that shooting for commercial use is undertaken in accordance with the Code. The Declaration also requires that all shooters are 'made aware of their responsibilities under the Code' (no enforcement to comply) whereas for the other States the wording is that they are 'obliged to abide by the Code'. Despite the apparent differences between its responsibilities and those of the other States, according to agency staff, Western Australia requires total compliance with the Code of Practice for both commercial shooters and non-commercial shooters, with one exception. Non-commercial shooters are not required to comply with the minimum specifications for firearms if they are not licensed to possess the appropriate firearm. Restricted Open Seasons are declared for both Red and Western grey Kangaroos over much of the Western Australian rangelands. Within a Restricted Open Season, it is possible for landholders (or their nominee), without having a licence, to shoot kangaroos that may be causing, or be reasonably expected to cause, damage. Conditions are established under the Restricted Open Season notices (appended to the management programs). One of these conditions is that all shooting under the provisions of the Open Season is to be carried out in accordance with the Code of Practice the only exception to this is the minimum firearms specification.Professional shooters also have conditions on their licence that apply to the Kangaroos they take from Damage Licence and Restricted Open Season areas. According to staff from the Conservation and Land Management agency (CALM), most Kangaroo control undertaken on land holdings within the Restricted Open Season and Damage Licence area is by commercial shooters. CALM states that it strongly encourages the use of professional shooters for all Kangaroo shooting. In Open Season areas, a Wildlife Officer may, if necessary, after inspection of that property, prohibit the shooting of Kangaroos on that property until the landholder has obtained a Damage Licence. There is a voluntary training course for commercial shooters of Kangaroos for human consumption and pet food run by the WA Department of Health. This course is that offered by the Open Training and Education Network (OTEN) of TAFE NSW. A shooting accuracy test has been developed by the Professional Shooters Association of Western Australia, but has not been made compulsory. In Western Australia, royalty tags are issued to commercial shooters and/or landholders applying for a Damage Licence. Commercial shooters report on the properties they have taken Kangaroos and list the Kangaroos so taken by tag number. Processors report on what a shooter delivers and sells for processing. Shooters and processors are required to provide returns (log books) which enable each Kangaroo to be traced back to where it was shot.
The TAFE courses referred to above are usually for six hour duration and are completed as ‘far distance’ courses which means they can be at ‘your own pace’ on a computer. The student can have help from friends and or family if they have learning difficulties and in the six hours of learning the subjects cover such things as, hygiene, familiarisation with bacteria, zoonotic disease that can be caused by parasites and recognising Kangaroo species.One has to wonder just how this amount of knowledge can be acquired in the space of six hours. There is a further training course which takes two hours and designed to give to student a competent understanding of Evisceration or ‘gutting’ without breaking the bowel tissues. If faeces are allowed to escape into the body cavity contamination is instant. This course can also be far distance and again, one has to wonder how so much information can be adequately absorbed in such a short time without participating physically in the presence of a teacher to point out errors.
KANGAROO MANAGEMENT PANEL
(KMP)All States follow the aims endorsed by the Council of Nature Conservation Ministers (CONCOM), which are: to maintain viable populations of Kangaroos throughout their ranges; minimise the unwanted impacts of Kangaroos; and where possible, manage the Kangaroos as a renewable resource providing the conservation of the species is not compromised.These aims were part of a document entitled 'National Plan of Management for Kangaroos' which was to be used as guidelines by the States in preparing their State management plans. These aims do not acknowledge an animal welfare role within any KMP. The only reference to animal welfare is the requirement that 'shooting is carried out in accordance with the Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos'.The only State program that has a stated aim to ensure that Kangaroo management practices and the commercial Kangaroo industry adhere to animal welfare standards is that from South Australia. The other three States programs follow the aims endorsed by CONCOM without any additions.In NSW, commercial harvesting can only take place in areas in the commercial zone by a shooter holding a Trapper's Licence and only on properties covered by an Occupier's Licence.In South Australia, commercial harvesting can only take place by a shooter holding a Field Processor's Licence on properties that have a commercial Destruction Permit.
Summary of general responses from individuals associated with the kangaroo industry
Processors preferred head-shot Kangaroos as there are no loss of product, i.e. no damage to meat or skin.There were differences in the definition of a head shot. Some (mainly dealers) maintained that a non-head shot starts at a line behind the ears, whilst others (mainly shooters) believed there should be some latitude for those shot from the front or rear and a line between 2 and 5 cm down the neck should be used. However, nearly all believed that a head shot should be compulsory.Refusal of body-shot kangaroos (zero tolerance) was seen as a good approach by both the shooters and the processors, as it leaves no room for bargaining. Several cases were cited where the carcass of a body-shot Kangaroo had been rejected and the shooter not paid for that carcass. Some processors pointed out that they usually contacted the shooter and warned them against such shooting practices, i.e. there is a degree of self-regulation within the industry. One processor pointed out that he had sent a tag from a body-shot Kangaroo to the appropriate wildlife agency but had not heard of any result from this action.Shooters will use a second shot to kill an animal that has been wounded, even if the carcass is not accepted by the dealer. However, shooters are reluctant to chase a wounded Kangaroo to kill it. The 'lost time' in retrieving a Kangaroo is the main cost to a shooter.A move to fully utilise the Kangaroo and a need for a 'cleaner' product was reported (processed pet food products for supermarkets require a supply of undamaged Kangaroo meat).
This approach puts pressure on the shooter to provide a head-shot carcass.Some individuals commented that skin-only shooting would weed out the non-serious shooter as it requires time away from home and a skill in skinning and salting. Others said that part-time shooters find skin-only shooting the easiest to utilise. It was also stated that carcass shooting requires a greater expenditure of finance to set up the equipment, greater skill to be able to dress the carcass correctly and an appropriate course must be undertaken.Comments were made that it would be better to undertake the shooting accuracy test under more realistic conditions, i.e. at night with a spotlight and from a vehicle.The suggestion of down-grading skins and carcasses that have been non-head shot was accepted by the majority of shooters and processors questioned, i.e. less value would be placed on these products thus providing an incentive for shooters to improve their skills.Comments were made on the need for more research into the best type of projectile, calibre of rifle and power of cartridge to be used to ensure a swift kill.Several commercial shooters commented that damage mitigation licences were a nuisance to harvesters as they lose part of their marketable kill, the Kangaroos are stirred up by the shooters, and they see many cases of cruelty (mainly Kangaroos shot in the body and left to die). Also, it was thought by some that these types of licences could work against landholders in that the larger Kangaroos are eliminated and replaced by small wallabies, wallaroos and females that have no commercial value.A large proportion of damage mitigation licences in Queensland are issued to smaller holdings, many of which are near bushland or national parks. Larger and less intensively used holdings seem to accept the presence of Kangaroos as part of the operation.The responses above from people whose ‘bread and butter’ this is, clearly indicate that cruelty does exist in the Kangaroo Industry even though State and Federal Governments ardently refute such claims insisting that the ‘code of practice’ has this all sewn up.
Kangaroo Shooting Code of Compliance.
This Code of Practice has been produced to ensure that all persons intending to shoot a free-living Kangaroo are aware of the welfare aspects pertinent to that activity. All shooting of Kangaroos, whether on public or private land, is subject to law. The laws may differ between localities and the Government Wildlife Authority in the state. When shooting a Kangaroo the primary objective must be to achieve instantaneous loss of consciousness and rapid death without regaining consciousness. Commonsense is required to assess the prevailing conditions. Where the conditions are such as to raise doubts about achieving a sudden and painless kill, shooting must not be attempted. The Code is divided into three sections covering the method of shooting, dispatch of injured kangaroos and pouch young and shooting for scientific purposes http://www.environment.gov.au/node/16657
This is how the Government says it should be done. But this is not how it is always done.
When quizzed about the ‘humanness’ of killing Kangaroos, Sate Ministers, Federal Ministers and KIAA all sing from the same song sheet with a well worn standard reply “All kangaroos are harvested by professional shooters. Strict State and Federal Government controls ensure that no Kangaroo can enter the commercial industry unless they have been taken by a licensed Kangaroo harvester who has passed a TAFE accredited training course which includes training in the animal welfare aspects of Kangaroo harvesting. In addition anyone wishing to harvest Kangaroos for human consumption must undergo assessment of their accuracy with their firearm. The accreditation and competency assessment are controlled by State Governmentregulations in each State”
But this is not always true. See: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/IntJlRuralLawP/2013/15.html
The authors of this report sum it all up with “The current regime comprises of a mix of smart, responsive regulation but is undermined by the low inspection rate and underpinned by a weak command and control base. Consequently, the Code lacks the ‘big stick’, that is so important to the responsive regulatory pyramid. Overall, the legal and regulatory framework governing the killing of kangaroos could be better integrated into state regulations to ensure that its provisions are enforceable in a consistent and equivalent manner. This remains a pressing issue that requires serious attention to ensure better welfare outcomes for Australia’s Kangaroos that are killed for commercial purposes.”
For Further Information See..
In 2016 California Reinstated Its Ban Against The Australian Commercial Kangaroo Killing Industry,The Following Is Just One Of The Reasons Why California Made That Decision..The Inherent Cruelty Of The Industry.
There Are Currently Several International Trade Bans Against The Commercial Kangaroo Killing Industry Australia & A Warning
The Following Is GRAPHIC..
California Reinstated It’s Trade Ban Against The Australian Commercial Kangaroo Killing Industry In 2016.