Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Australia attaches importance to killing kangaroos to prevent starvation

The symbol of Australia, the kangaroo represents a major environmental problem for the vast country because of its breeding cycle.

Their numbers can reach into the tens of millions after a good rainy season when forage is plentiful.

But they can also die en masse when food runs out. “During the last drought, we estimate that 80% to 90% of kangaroos died in some areas,” ecologist Catherine Mosby told AFP.

“They go to public toilets and eat toilet paper too,” he elaborated.

According to Mosby, killing kangaroos for slaughter and leather goods would be both a charitable way of saving them from excruciating suffering and a means of controlling their population.

“This will allow the number of animals to be limited so that in the event of a drought, there are no welfare issues,” says Mosby.

“If we treat them as a resource and manage it that way, we won’t have the catastrophic deaths that we know of,” he says.

The Australian government protects kangaroos, but the most common species is not at risk of extinction. This means that they can be hunted with prior authorization in most areas.

Five million kangaroos are killed every year for their meat or leather.

Denise King of the Australian Kangaroo Industry Association says the country is on the verge of a baby boom.

According to their estimates, the kangaroo population fell below 30 million after a severe drought in the early 2000s, but has since rebounded and may soon reach 60 million.


Animal protection organizations condemn commercial slaughter as “cruel slaughter” and pressure the world’s biggest sportswear brands, such as Nike or Puma, to use kangaroo leather in their products.

“Nike will part with its sole supplier of kangaroo leather in 2021 and cease manufacturing kangaroo leather products in 2023,” a company spokeswoman said in March.

In the US state of Oregon (northwest), where Nike was founded, a bill was introduced to ban the use of “any part of a dead kangaroo” as early as 2023.

“These native animals are killed for commercial profit,” condemns the organization Animals Australia.

But campaigns to end the industry, however well-intentioned, are misguided, warns George Wilson, one of the world’s leading experts in kangaroo population management.

“They say it is immoral. But neither are they being allowed to starve,” he told AFP. “What would be cruel would be to do nothing,” he continued.

An opinion shared by Mosby. “Stopping the killing of kangaroos for their skin or meat will do no good,” he says. This will make the situation worse.”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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