Kangaroos: Hundreds Of Thousands Annually Slaughtered
Kangaroos are one of Australia’s national emblems and treasured native animals, yet they have been betrayed by their own government, SLAUGHTERED BY THE MILLIONS and treated appallingly in Australia and overseas.
IT TAKES TEN YEARS FOR MALE KANGAROOS TO REACH ALPHA STATUS and they are being continually massacred for their SKINS for sports shoes and their carcasses sent overseas as EXOTIC MEAT. We are witnessing a carnage of unsustainable proportions for commercial gain.
Video footage included in this article shows kangaroos hanging from truck meat hooks and the Kangaroos are moving because they are dying and not actually dead. Despite some shooters claiming “every shot they shoot is a clean head shot” facts reveal that many kangaroos are NOT killed with one clean shot that results in immediate death. Not to mention the outcome of “pouch-joeys” who cannot survive without their mother and “recently ex-pouch-joeys” who are also still reliant on their mother for another year, who flee in terror, only to die because of the loss of their mother.
Every night of the week “roo shooters” fuel up their trucks, stock their ammunition and meat hooks, check their spotlights and drive into the chilled night air, to their killing fields. Being nocturnal, Kangaroo families, known as “mobs” graze peacefully, until the first shot is fired. As the Kangaroo is hit, it’s head ricochets backward and the force of the impact spins the animal off balance and it goes down, kicking violently and struggling against the pain of it’s ripped and bleeding flesh, it cries out “stress calls” to it’s family members (the mob), for help.
Terrified and confused, it’s family members in the mob don’t know which direction to run to and they flee in blind panic. Another shot rips through the cold night air and a female Kangaroo drops to the ground, screaming “stress calls” to her distraught family (the mob), who are running in terror. The baby joey in her pouch crawls forward , onto the ground and into her blood.
The little joey stands up and screams “stress calls” again and again and again, pleading for it’s mother to do something. Kangaroos have a large vocabulary and only scream “stress calls” in acute emergency. The female mother Kangaroo is dying as she hears her baby joey, who she has devoted her life to, crying for her to comfort him.
The baby joey doesn’t see the man approach from behind, as he seizes the baby by it’s hind legs and swings it through the air, over his head and slams it’s little body into the side of his truck. The Joey screams a stress call as his little legs break. The man repeats this action several times before throwing the broken body of the baby Joey into the night air. If the Joey is not already dead, he will die at some point over the next 24 hours, from injury, shock, predator or exposure. The man picks up the female and hangs her on a meat hook on the side of his truck, next to her mate who was shot just before her.
In her last dying breaths, hanging upside down on a meat hook, pain rips through her body as she drowns in her own blood, staring at her dead mate. As she dies, another shot rings out in the night and men laugh in the darkness, as they scan their searchlight across the horizon, searching for innocent eyes, to kill. When will enough people speak up on behalf of Kangaroos and halt the barbaric cruelty against them?
Red Kangaroos Are a Threatened Species (Macropus rufus)
“Red kangaroos are now being killed at a rate three times higher than they are reproducing. In the 1960′s their average age was 12 years old; today it is 2 years old. Commercial killing has put insupportable pressure on Red Kangaroos which now threatens the species” said Dr. Gunn, the Australian Wildlife Protection Council.
The Australian scientific community is ignoring the most basic premise of sound objective science by turning a blind eye to the killing of the biggest and best kangaroos, designed by nature to maintain a healthy gene pool and their biological fitness.
We need to know the effect of the slaughter of large male kangaroos on the future viability of the population, especially as the industry is now calling for the right to slaughter smaller and smaller animals all the time.
Take a protected species under the protection of the Department of the Environment, call it a resource, increase the killing and you have the largest land-based wildlife massacre in the world.
Government Sanctioned Cruelty
The Code of Practice says baby Kangaroos, known as JOEYS CAN BE RIPPED FROM THEIR MOTHER’S SLAIN POUCH AND HIT ON THE HEAD WITH A WATER PIPE OR IRON BAR UNTIL DEAD; SHOOTERS EVEN BASH JOEYS AGAINST THEIR VEHICLE OR A TREE TRUNK.
Joeys live in their mother’s pouch for one year and then shadow her for a further year, totally two years with their mother before being old enough to become independent.
Joeys which are recently out of the pouch and still dependent on their mother for another year, flee in terror when their mothers are killed. Not old enough to live without her, they slowly die from cold, starvation, predation and maternal depravation. A MILLION OR MORE JOEYS DIE IN THIS WAY EVERY YEAR.
As stated by the AWPC: The Code of Practice is not linked to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and is legally un-enforcable. Contrary to public perception, the RSPCA does NOT monitor or police cruelty to commercially killed kangaroos.
The nature and method of slaughter cannot be ignored. It is barbaric and inhumane. Each night thousands of animals are butchered, many are maimed, the young in pouch are cruelly done away with and the young at foot are left to fend for themselves, resulting in a slow lingering death.
Researching kill ‘quota’ numbers for the amount of kangaroos permitted to be killed: in 2009 the kill quota was just under 4 million kangaroos. In addition, many kangaroos and wallabies are killed under State non-commercial ‘permit’ systems. Due to the remote locations where the commercial kangaroo shoot takes place there is no effective monitoring of animal welfare. No statistics are available for the animals that are wounded and escape only to endure a long painful death (RSPCA Report 2002.)
Kangaroos are shot in the Australian outback by spotlighting at night. One million joeys die alone. The AWPC say three aspects cause great cruelty:
1) Because head shots are attempted, these may not strike the brain, but rather seriously injure the head, including the mouth. These kangaroos escape into the scrub outside the spotlight’s beam and will take several days to die from their horrific injuries and starvation.
2) In-pouch joeys are killed by STOMPING ON THEM or BASHING THEM with a stick or AGAINST A VEHICLE. Several blows may be necessary.
3) Ex-pouch joeys are still RELIANT ON THEIR MOTHER’s milk for protein, warmth in the cold winter s nights, protection from predators, and they are dependent on their mothers for psychological support. They spend time in and out of the pouch and when their mothers are killed, they are left to fend for themselves, which they are unable to do.
The kangaroo killing and game meat lobby can no longer conceal the extreme BRUTALITY of their trade. For years we have been calling for an end to this industry which causes the lingering death of 1,000,000 joeys.
Skin Only Shooting
Aside from the cruelty which is inherent in the commercial kangaroo killing industry, one land holder in Western NSW has described pitting which is the digging of pits to bury kangaroos that have been killed illegally. These same land holders want to legally increase their income by skin only shooting which is more cruel than the carcass trade. They can shoot the kangaroos inhumanely as long as the skin itself is not damaged for the export markets and it is not detected (impossible to police).
Skin only shooting is not only more cruel but it is also open to many illegal abuses. Kangaroos are killed primarily for their leather and skins. Many millions of kangaroos are killed for the shoe leather trade to Italy and the USA.
The kangaroo killing industry supplies leather for soccer cleats, handbags and baseball mitts, which is fueling the slaughter of millions of kangaroos and their babies every year. 6.9 million kangaroos will be shot this year – it is the biggest wildlife massacre in the world and it must be stopped, say AWPC.
Adidas is far and away the leader in ‘premier’ soccer cleats, with 70 percent of the market worldwide and by heavily marketing its highly-priced, kangaroo-skin, Predator football boots around the world. Headline stars such as David Beckham encourage the brutality by wearing and promoting Predator boots.
It is vital to the survival of kangaroos that we stop the trade in their skins, especially for the manufacturing of soccer cleats. According to Australia’s leading tanners of kangaroo leather, Parker Tanning, manufacturers prefer to use the largest skins to make athletic footwear. These skins come from the large red males who take TEN YEARS TO REACH ALPHA STATUS and are being continually massacred so few survive to pass on their superior genes to the next generation.
This means that smaller, weaker and younger males are left to breed with the females, producing offspring who are less likely to survive a major drought or other natural disasters.
We must reverse this trend before a major disaster strikes and Australian kangaroos are wiped out! It is frightening that leather suppliers are complaining that there are few large red males left in Australia. Skins are getting smaller and smaller as they now shoot juveniles. Kangaroos are fugitives in their own country and are relentlessly pursued.
Kangaroos As Exotic Meat
Diseases In Kangaroo Meat
“Kangaroos and wallabies can harbour a wide range of parasitic, bacterial, fungal and viral diseases and the majority of infections are unapparent (i.e. animals appear normal). Even meat inspection procedures are unlikely to detect some infections unless gross lesions are detected or routine samples are taken for microbiological and pathological testing,” says Dr. Obendorf, BVSc (Hons), B(An)Sc, PhD, Wildlife Pathologist with over 20 years experience in the parasites & diseases of Australian native fauna.
“Worldwide, it is recognised that so-called ‘game meats’ are a source of these infections for hunters, processors and consumers, especially when care is not taken while eviscerating and handling the carcasses or when the meat from these animals is served undercooked or raw. Trichinosis, cysticercosis and toxoplasmosis are examples of parasitic zoonoses (i.e. diseases transmissible from animals to humans).”
“In Australia, Toxoplasmosis and the bacterial disease, Salmonellosis are two infections with public health significance directly related to the handling, processing and consumption of kangaroo meat.”
“A recent scientific report of the International Health Organisation, the Office Internationale des Epizootes warns that wild animal meats which are raw, undercooked, dried or cold-smoked are potentially infectious to animal or humans that consume them.”
“The incidence of Toxoplasma abortions and infertility is amongst the highest in Australia. Free ranging wallabies, pademelons, bandicoots and wombats are regularly killed by this infection and surveys show a high percentage of wallabies harbour this infection.”
“The concern is that chefs and food raconteurs recommend cooking methods which would not kill this parasite.” Statistics show less than 15% of Australians eat Kangaroo meat and most Australians refuse to eat kangaroo on ehtical grounds, whereas others refuse to eat the country’s Coat of Arms, which the Kangaroo shares with the Emu.
“A newly identified WORM thought to be derived from marsupials was found to be responsible for acute illness in two humans. Like Trichinella they invade muscles. The worms are thought to belong to a class of nematodes known as Muscpiceoids. In wallabies and possums these nematodes live in several tissues of the body and can invade muscles.”
“People who eat undercooked wallaby or kangaroo meat could be at risk of infection by a newly-discovered animal parasite,” Australian doctors have warned. The parasite was found in a Tasmanian man who suffered from inexplicable and severe muscle weakness over a number of years. He was known to consume large quantities of game.
“Laboratory tests suggests that the parasite is a new species of microscopic worm. It may also have been responsible for a similar infection in a New Zealand woman who had eaten wallaby meat while visiting Tasmania.”
“The cases highlight the risks of eating wild game, the parasites of which are poorly understood compared with those of livestock. More studies are needed to identify disease agents in these animals and to elucidate the role of native animal species in the transmission of diseases to humans” (end of report.)
It is illegal to have Australian native animals as domestic pets in Australia. I have been a first responder animal rescuer for over 30 years and work closely with Kangaroos. I have hand-reared them, which includes four hour bottle feeds around the clock for ONE YEAR, as well as carrying the joey everywhere I went, which included travelling in the car. A baby joey lives in it’s mother’s pouch for one year, then shadows it’s mother for a second year, so the joey’s carer has to reproduce that relationship.
Approximately eighty percent of hand reared joeys die because all Australian marsupials have very delicate flora systems. I’ve spent blocks of months when my hand reared joeys have become ill and instead of feeding every four hours, it becomes a fight for their life and feeding and changing all pouch bedding is every hour around the clock, sometimes for months. I’ve come perilously close to losing joeys but so far I’ve managed to pull them through and they have survived; but you cannot begin to imagine the fight that’s taken place to ensure their survival.
Australian marsupials such as Kangaroos, suffer from Myopothy, which is often referred to as “stress disease” because its bought on after a stressful event, such as being chased by a dog. In recent years Kangaroo Specialists ascertained they only have a window of one hour to inject the Kangaroo with a vitamin to avoid the onset of Myopothy. After one hour, it is too late for the vitamin to have any effect. Myopothy leaves the animal’s affected muscles in a frozen-like state, like an ice statue that refuses to thaw. Myopothy usually brings on severe depression in Kangaroos and they can take up to twelve months to eventually die.
As an experienced Kangaroo rescuer and handler, it’s appalling that kangaroos are sold as cheap pets in some countries. I have seen newspaper ads in America for Joeys, for $200. When I called the ads and pretended that I was a customer with no experience with kangaroos, they assured me it would be “no problem because the joey would arrive with a video.” Shocking!
The following videos show a few instances of what Australian animal lovers call animal cruelty toward our Kangaroos, who are not a circus act. Nor are they a “thing” to amuse people. Kangaroos are native animals to Australia who are generally sweet natured and shy. When Kangaroos reach sexual maturity their personality often changes and they become less predictable around humans. They are a wild animal, not a domestic pet.
Kangaroos are extremely powerful and if threatened for their life, they have the capacity to disembowel people and other animals, using their massive claw on their hind feet. They have also been known to deliberately drown dogs in water, when dogs threaten them. Kangaroos are incredibly strong and can seize a dog around it’s throat and hold it underwater until drowned.
In fights between two dominating male Kangaroos, if one gets the other one off balance, the dominant one has been known to grab the opponents throat and squeeze it’s neck until it loses consciousness. That alone shows the strength of Kangaroos, when angry.
KANGAROO AS AN AMERICAN PET, HANGING OFF A HORSE and FORCED TO BALANCE IN THE AIR:
The Australian people are told that kangaroos need to be killed for damage mitigation. This is a total misrepresentation of the truth. Australia’s national treasure, the Kangaroo, urgently needs help because they are being brutally slaughtered faster than they can reproduce. Buying kangaroo products is simply supporting a cruel industry and contributing to the largest land-based wildlife massacre in the world.
Thank you for reading,
Australian Kangaroo Rescuer.