West Wimmera- “growing” kangaroo numbers a threat to “public safety”

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Dear Councillors,

I am concerned about the report that West Wimmera Shire councillors believe an increased kangaroo population is becoming a public safety issue.  Councillors are floating the idea of a culling program.

Surely kangaroos are in danger of traffic?  With increasing numbers of people and trucks on our roads, it’s horrendous to travel on our country roads and see dead wildlife – many of them kangaroos.  Our human population is set to soar to 10 million by mid century, and the carnage with wildlife can only increase with more traffic.

Kangaroos are protected native animals.  The idea of a “cull” is repugnant, as if they were unwanted feral species with no control over their numbers?  On the contrary, it’s believe that “culling” destroys mob dynamics and gives more opportunities for younger males to mate, and thus increase breeding pairs!   It’s simply believed that they keep breeding with no demographic limits?

Surely there’s a holistic and humane way to control motor accidents, that’s not passing the “blame” onto our nation’s iconic animals, and have them killed – for pet food?   There needs to be more research done on deterring kangaroos away from roads, with safe and non-lethal methods.  There’s smells, noises, sights and wildlife corridors – along with fences, tunnels and overpasses –  and of course encouraging the public to SLOW DOWN in wildlife-dense areas!

Please, could you consult with wildlife experts, and VicRoads, on non-lethal and humane ways of avoiding accidents with kangaroos on our roads, and considering the balance that kangaroos are in danger too – not just humans.

Thank you
Vivienne Ortega
Australian Wildlife Protection Council,

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In a previous article on our web-site, Kangaroo culling trial: call for extension , Member for Lowan Emma Kealy has called on the state government to extend a kangaroo culling trial to West Wimmera Shire.

The government introduced a two-year trial to cull kangaroos for pet food in 2014.

A State Government trial involving Ararat, Horsham, Northern Grampians, Yarriambiack, Southern Grampians and Pyrenees local government areas is due to conclude in June.

Ms Kealy wants to see the program introduced permanently or the trial extended to include West Wimmera Shire. “It’s created 12 jobs at the Hamilton abattoirs, where they are processing the meat for pet food,” she said.

Ms Kealy wants to make it permanently open season.  “Culling” should be for old, or sick, animals.  This would not be a “cull”, but be a slaughter.  It would be all out war against our Australian animal icon.

The trial had only occurred in areas where kangaroos were in plague proportions.   Since the start of these trials the number of permits has increased dramatically, from 30,000 per year, to 70,000 and now 100,000, probably in an effort to justify the slaughter.
Ms Kealy said while there were environmental concerns about the issue, the trial had only occurred in areas where kangaroos were in “plague proportions”.

 We look forward to a response from the West Wimmera Council!

A survey on the Wimmera Mail-Times showed NO, that most people have NOT noticed increasing numbers of kangaroo!

(featured image: Roadkilled kangaroo from South Morang in northern Melbourne, Australia)

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