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…”
The harvest of kangaroos, for skin and meat in Australia is the largest commercial slaughter of terrestrial wildlife on earth, killing some three million adult kangaroos each year, and up to one million dependent young, (in pouch and out of pouch) brutally dispatched or allowed to slowly die.
The science is based on the underlying assumption that kangaroos are environmental pests, and over-abundant. However, there’s little emerging science to support these views, in open landscapes, or that they competitive with livestock for resources – except in extreme drought situations. Kangaroos are natural grassland managers, having evolved over 40 million years.
Huge wild animal populations, such as bison and the passenger pigeon, were destroyed by commercial harvesting in America.
The Australian native graces the country’s coat of arms and is a major tourism draw, making it a high profile target for animal rights activists who oppose commercial killing.
The harvest of kangaroos undermines the process of Darwin’s natural selection. The larger animals are always targeted as they provide more meat and skin. Already Australia has the highest rate of mammal extinctions.
Australia’s Department of Agriculture confirmed it provided AUS$143,000 to the Kangaroo Industries Association of Australia to help pay U.S. law firm Manatt, Phelps and Phillips to lobby Californian lawmakers against the ban. It means that Australia may have acted illegally because it did not declare financial payments or register as a lobbyist employer.
Kim Beazley’s promotion of the trade in kangaroo parts has nothing to do with science, or sustainability, but about promoting an export purely for money!
Kim Beazley, has warned of “painful economic consequences“ for Australia and California should a ban on the sale of kangaroo parts in America’s largest state economy not be overturned. So fragile is our ailing economy, that body part of kangaroos are vital for the $5.5 billion trade with California, and “we” have helped them fight wildfires – so they are obliged to accept the slaughter of kangaroos?
Petitions and action: