RETIRED MILDURA BUSINESSMAN Arthur Queripel founded the Australian Wildlife Protection Council with his retirement savings in 1970. Mr Queripel’s aim was to protect kangaroos from the cruelty associated with the manufacture of toys, souvenirs and meat products derived from kangaroo.
The Australian government received seventeen petitions in a matter of weeks warning that kangaroos were facing extinction, and that a ban on the exportation of kangaroo products was necessary to save the species. ABC reporter John Hart spoke to Arthur Queripel for this episode of ‘This Day Tonight,’ which aired on April 23, 1970.
LES HUTCHINSON was a science teacher in Broken Hill in the early 2000s. He witnessed the relentless slaughter of the Red Kangaroo that was going on in the semi-arid pastoral lands around the town. He witnessed the ‘harvest’ trucks loaded with bodies return to Broken Hill every night. He saw the lost and doomed dependent joeys wandering the plain after their mothers were shot. He worked tirelessly also with the AWPC to alert the country to what was going on and to the lack of respect for this magnificent native animal.
ABOVE: Les is on the right, with zoologist Dr David Croft in Broken Hill 2002 (24 July 2002).
Hutchinson, together with veterinarian John Auty and zoologist David Croft in 2002 tried to interest Broken Hill in an alternative. Eco-tourism would be financially a far better proposition than eking out a sheep pastoral living on the boom and bust arid landscapes of the interior, and then blaming the wildlife for the failures. Their proposals were not taken up.
Disillusioned, Hutchinson sent the following and an essay to the AWPC for its newsletter. Thank you Les for all your work for our wildlife.
Today, the state of Victoria has picked up the baton to continue Australia’s assault on the Red kangaroo and the two species of Greys to please graziers and to enrich the petfood and skin (soccer shoe) industry. South Australia, the home of the country’s largest kangaroo processor, wants to enlarge its hunt and add wallaby species to its meat grinder.
Just say ‘NO’ to your state government. Enough has long been enough.