Kangaroos can be killed for commercial purposes in NSW, Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia. In 2010 almost 1.5 million kangaroos were killed as part of the commercial 'harvest' of kangaroo flesh and skins in these four states. Kangaroo shooting is frequently justified by farmers and so-called 'conservationists' as a way of keeping kangaroo numbers 'in check'.
Kangaroos can suffer immensely through a slow and painful death. Shooters aim for larger kangaroos (usually now only 2 years of age; kangaroos can live up to 25 years) and are supposed to aim for the skull, though as the hunting occurs at night and kangaroos are fast, unpredictable animals, the kangaroo can be shot many times before it actually falls to the ground. It can also be shot and escape, wounded and suffering, to die from bullet wounds, starvation, or predation.
If there are joeys in pouch, industry requires them to have their heads chopped off with an axe, or be bludgeoned to death. This is usually done with the back of a rifle or a blunt object such as a piece of wood or metal, however recent footage depicted hunters throwing and whacking live joeys against the side of trucks and jumping on their heads. Even if the joey is fortunate to escape this cruel practice, they are almost sure to die of starvation or predation.
Kangaroo meat hygiene
Dangerous levels of salmonella and E.coli have been found in kangaroo meat destined for human consumption. Laboratory testing conducted by Biotech laboratories on 25 kangaroo meat samples taken from Australian supermarkets showed 75% contamination with Salmonella and/or E.coli. In 2009 Russia banned the importation of kangaroo meat after consistent bacterial E.Coli contamination and human safety fears.
Myth of sustainability
The consumption of kangaroo meat is often given the justification that it is a “more sustainable” source of food. However, research by UTS THINKK disputes that kangaroo harvesting could ever sustainably match current levels of consumption of other farmed animals. Environmental research indicates a plant-based diet leaves the smallest “ecological footprint”.
Animal Liberation does not endorse the slaughter of animals for food. Animal Liberation calls for an end to the commercial killing of kangaroos in Australia.
- Write letters to the editor, to your local MP, and the Minister for Agriculture, calling for an end to this cruel industry
- Become a member of Animal Liberation and help fund the fight against the commercial killing of kangaroos
- Don’t buy kangaroo meat for your companion animals, kangaroo skins, or any kangaroo by-products
- Don’t patronise stores who sell kangaroo products and express your disgust to restaurants who serve kangaroo flesh
- Switch to a vegan diet to reduce your eco footprint and avoid cruelty