Tag Archives: Dr Dror Ben-Ami

NSW Parliament starts kangaroo enquiry. First in 25 years.

A NSW parliamentary inquiry underway in early June is investigating health and well-being of kangaroos and other macropods in NSW, the first such official look in 25 years.

The inquiry, requested by the Animal Justice Party will explore a range of issues including the historical and long-term health and well-being indicators of macropod populations and the impact of both commercial and non-commercial killing of kangaroos — including the risk of localised extinction in New South Wales.

Public hearings for the inquiry are being held at
NSW Parliament House on

11 and 15 June 2021 and will be live streamed via
With the backdrop of NSW recovering from drought and bushfires this inquiry will look at the impacts of the commercial kangaroo industry on the state’s kangaroo populations.

One of the witnesses called to testify at this inquiry is Mick McIntyre, award-winning filmmaker (KANGAROO: A LOVE-HATE STORY) and co-founder of Kangaroos Alive, a not-for-profit dedicated to the ethical treatment of kangaroos.

“The way kangaroos are managed in NSW has not been reviewed for over twenty-five years. This lack of transparency has resulted in kangaroos being subjected to abject cruelty night after night and this public inquiry is long overdue,” McIntyre said. “The kangaroo is the only terrestrial species of wildlife in the world unprotected from mass destruction, and this barbaric cruelty goes on every night. This inquiry is a defining moment for our national icon. We must stand up and say THIS MUST STOP. We need a national moratorium on the killing of kangaroos.”

Other witness testimony will come from Greg Keightley and Diane Smith who run a kangaroo sanctuary in the Blue Mountains. Their eyewitness accounts of cruelty to kangaroos will be presented to the inquiry.

“The killing of kangaroos is cruel and barbaric,” said Keightley. “We think that the people of NSW will be shocked when they see our new evidence. We call on this inquiry to recommend that we stop the killing of kangaroos.”

Kangaroos are shot in the wild and at night which affects the ability of shooters to accurately and precisely aim at kangaroos. Vast numbers of non-fatal body shots are part of this commercial industry, causing painful injuries that often result in extensive suffering before death — not to mention the fate of their young joeys who are also killed as collateral damage when females are shot.

Other witnesses called to the inquiry include leading macropod expert, Dr Dror Ben-Ami from Tel Aviv University and Yuin elder Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison.

Dr Ben Ami said: “The circumstances of the kangaroo hunt carry inherent risks of bacterial contamination of the meat. Kangaroos are butchered in the field, without supervision and by shooters that are usually not trained for such purposes. Carcasses are then transported, sometimes all night long, in unrefrigerated open trucks exposed to dust, flies and often high temperatures.

The COVID-19 crisis demonstrated the urgent need to re-evaluate our relationship with wildlife. Commercial kangaroo hunting is a particularly unhygienic and cruel industry. The kangaroo industry makes a sham of hygiene regulation and good practice, whilst deceiving the public that meat washed in acetic and lactic acid is fresh and healthy.

Extensive independent and published testing has shown that (If untreated with lactic or acetic acid) kangaroo meat is usually contaminated with unacceptably high levels of E. coli and salmonella.”

Mick McIntyre said: “The shooting of kangaroos threatens kangaroo population, results in poor animal welfare and the consumption of kangaroo products risks human health and safety. The killing of kangaroos is one of the worst examples of indifference and intolerance towards wildlife in the world and reflects badly on Australia’s international reputation.”

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Celebrities and Scientists lobby to reinstate Californian ban on kangaroo products

Media Release 24 August 2015

JM Coetzee (Nobel Prize Laureate) and Dr Brian May (astrophysicist and Queen guitarist) join 72 other scientists, academics and public figures urging California to reinstate its ban on imported kangaroo products.

Over 70 scientists, academics, educators and other public figures from Australia, the UK and the United States, including Nobel Prize Laureate JM Coetzee and astrophysicist and Queen guitarist Dr Brian May, have signed an open letter to Californian lawmakers urging reinstatement of the Californian ban on imported products made from kangaroos.

California banned importation of kangaroo products when the United States listed the commercially shot kangaroo species as threatened in 1974. This followed Australia’s own 1973 ban on exported kangaroo products, based on evidence of serious decline in kangaroos.

The US delisted the species in 1995 and California’s import ban temporarily lifted in 2007 after intensive lobbying by the commercial kangaroo industry, Adidas and the Australian Government.

“California’s import ban is due to resume at the end of 2015. The industry is seeking permanent unchecked importation of kangaroo products,” said letter coordinators Helen Bergen and Teja Brooks Pribac.

“Kangaroos grow and breed slowly with high juvenile mortality, and suffer major declines during drought. Intense hunting and systematic eradication programs since British settlement in 1788, and decades of industrial-scale commercial killing beyond reproductive capacity has seen local extinctions of populations.

“Australian government policy favours the commercial industry, despite growing concerns about the science used to justify the commercial kangaroo shooting and export industries.

“Population estimates over-inflate numbers from which unattainable inflated shooting quotas are extracted. This reinforces the myth of kangaroos as abundant and as pests, despite current science indicating otherwise.

“ There is also increasing concern about the known cruelty issues for shot kangaroos and their joeys; and about the risk of pathogens that continue to be found in kangaroo meat,” said scientist Dr Dror Ben-Ami.

“Supporters of the commercial kangaroo industry are quick to deride these concerns, however signatories to the letter are educated and critical-thinking people, who well understand the seriousness of the questions being asked,” added Mses Bergen and Pribac.

“Government custodianship of wildlife should never be driven by commercial interests or mistaken common perceptions. It’s like leaving the fox in charge of the henhouse,” they said.


“We are urging Californian lawmakers to carefully consider the concerns in the letter and not take their advice from the very industry profiting from the massive harm visited on Australia’s kangaroos every night.

Read or download the letter at www.kangaroosatrisk.org

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