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.”