Tag Archives: National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies

National Code of Practice for the Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Commercial Purposes

Submission by the Australian Wildlife Protection Council

9 December 2019

INTRODUCTION

“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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New trade deal- kangaroo meat for Peru?

This email has been sent to various government departments and officials in Peru, and continue to be sent.

Dear

Our organisation, Australian Wildlife Protection Council,  is concerned about the  new trade talks last month (May), to advance the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement (PAFTA) with the sale of kangaroo and beef.

Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia President Ray Borda said  the negotiations with Peru represented an “exciting opportunity” for kangaroo meat exports.  Yes, “exciting opportunity” to exploit one of our best-known iconic animals, kangaroos!  Not for their uniqueness as a endemic species, for their endurance and perfect adaption to our landscape, and their endearing qualities as our national icon, but purely as MEAT!

Borda states: “It’s fantastic, not only are they big meat eaters in Peru but all throughout South America and they love the taste of kangaroo…”.  Yes they are big meat-eaters, but they typically do NOT eat their own iconic species, Llamas and Alpacas! There were considered sacred animals, only to be sacrificed by the Incas for ceremonial purposes, and thus their consumption was sustainable!  Why should Peruvians eat our sacred national symbols?  Our Indigenous peoples did eat them, yes, but only at a subsistence level, not the massive export, global industrial levels now being proposed!

We implore you and your colleagues to reconsider this agreement, and the exploitation of our native kangaroos, our much-loved symbols of Australia.

Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton said a key message from the Association was the impact of unsustainably high populations of kangaroos in the Western Division. The estimate population of roos in NSW in 2016 was 17.5 million. The Western Plains population was estimated to be 12.7 million.

So  how could numbers of kangaroos be unsustainable?  Just how does he come up with these questionable estimates of kangaroo populations?  Just how does he come to the conclusion that these numbers are “unsustainable”, and on what ecological rationale?  Historical evidence reveals high number of kangaroos and other macropods as being endemic to Australia, and they are not a danger to us, or the environment.

Where does Mark Coulton get his dubious and highly inflated figures from, and just how can they keep up with Peru’s high meat-eating demand, assuming they would be willing to eat our native animals?

Many myths and excuses have been spread to attempt to justify the commercial killing of kangaroos. They are often termed a ‘pest’, yet research has shown that they rarely venture onto wheat fields and do not compete for grazing with sheep. Another myth is the population explosion. Kangaroos are a slow-breeding marsupial with low reproductive rates. A kangaroo can only raise one joey to independence per year. The most ridiculous myth is that kangaroos damage the very environment that they have evolved over millions of years to live in.

Graziers want kangaroo numbers controlled, for their own vested interests. They want to maximise their profits, and not give any of their resources to mere native animals!  Animal welfare advocates oppose the slaughter as cruel, and say farmers need more support to manage kangaroos without killing – such as appropriate fencing.

Grazing pressure by kangaroos is only a small fraction of that of livestock.  Kangaroos only require a fraction of the food and water that livestock do and therefore culling and harvesting have little impact on livestock productivity (Grigg 2002; Munn et al. 2008).

Orphaned young are meant to be euthanised under methods outlined in the National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies. For furless pouch joeys, it’s a blow to the base of the skull or stunning, then decapitation. Furred joeys should be killed with a blow to the head, while at-foot joeys – out of the pouch, but dependent on their mothers – should be shot.  How is this humane?

Studies have found kangaroos contribute much less to grazing pressure than assumed and rarely visit crops or compete with sheep except when food is scarce.  Kangaroos have transitioned from being a “pest” to now a commercial opportunity!

We again implore you and your departments to think again about the viability, the humane factors and the offense to many Australians of Peruvians eating our national symbol- Kangaroos.   Please do what’s in your power to end this deal, and cancel the visas of those who are pushing this agenda.

Thank you

 

 

 

References:

http://www.farmonline.com.au/story/4684630/kangaroo-meat-seat-to-bounce-into-peru-via-new-trade-deal/

https://www.savethekangaroo.com/factsheet

http://www.nswnationals.org.au/roo_meat_to_peru_under_peru_australia_free_trade_agreement

http://www.naroomanewsonline.com.au/story/4064204/why-kangaroo-meat-is-dividing-the-nation/?cs=1237

http://thinkkangaroos.uts.edu.au/issues/total-grazing-pressure.html

 

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