National Code of Practice for the Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Commercial Purposes
Submission by the Australian Wildlife Protection Council
9 December 2019
“The National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Commercial Purposes outlines an achievable minimum standard of humane conduct with regard to the shooting of kangaroos and wallabies. The code was endorsed by the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council (NRMMC) on 7 November 2008. The NRMMC consists of the Australian state, territory and New Zealand government ministers responsible for primary industries, natural resources, environment and water policy.
The National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Commercial Purposes is currently being reviewed through a project led by AgriFutures Australia. The review is being informed through a reference group of representatives from the Australian Veterinary Association, the RSPCA, industry and relevant government agencies”.
The Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC), established in 1969 by Arthur Queripel, is a voice for Australia’s wildlife and for all Australian species.
The AWPC states that:
- Humane is not a word that can be associated with the practice of commercialising the killing of Kangaroos, either in the micro detail of individual cruelty, nor in the macro scale of mass killings of families of dependent animals and the destruction of the structure of the mob by removing adults and large animals;
- The reprehensible assertion that early stage pouch young do not feel pain is both highly questionable and unlikely, a scientific challenge would require some considerable research, and this needs to occur; and
- The code has been and will continue to be impossible to enforce or check for compliance in any practical or safe way (this is freely admitted by state authorities).
The AWPC believes that the National Code of Practice for the Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Commercial Purposes is a government endorsed document designed to conceal from international and domestic observers the fact of immense harm being caused to Australian wildlife by a cruel and unsustainable industry. There is no practical way the code can be supervised or enforced. A key issue remains the use of the word humane to describe the intensely cruel killing, with all its ‘tricks of the trade’.
AgriFutures Australia will need to begin using a new term to describe how animals are treated during ‘harvest’. ‘Humane’ it is not, unless the industry and regulators are of the opinion that death by distance shooting is humane, and (against the international tide of opinion which was firm when it considered the clubbing of seal pups) that beating small animals to death, is humane. Nor is it humane to not consider what happens to at-foot joeys when their mother is killed.
The RSPCA state that:
“The RSPCA would like to see the way in which Kangaroos are managed in Australia significantly improved — but for the purpose of this public consultation process, we are particularly concerned about the cruelty associated with non-commercial and recreational
Kangaroo shooting. Currently non-commercial shooters don’t have to pass a competency test, and don’t have to undertake mandatory training. There is also no oversight and little incentive to comply with animal welfare standards. We see this as the greatest immediate risk to the humane treatment of Kangaroos”.
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