Target: Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott
Goal: Prevent the unnecessary slaughter of hundreds of kangaroos in Australia
More than 1,600 kangaroos will soon be killed in Australia for no other reason than that they eat too much grass. The annual cull in the capital city of Canberra will be the largest to date because the kangaroo population is the healthiest it has been in decades. Scientists are on the verge of developing non-lethal ways of dealing with the problem. This cruel and unnecessary slaughter must be stopped.
Protests from animal rights groups like Animal Liberation ACT have delayed the cull, but likely not for long. Lawyers from the Animal Defenders Office, working with ACT, persuaded a judge to grant a stay against the kangaroo cull on the basis that the government failed to prove the cull had improved biodiversity over the past six years. “They have not collected any baseline data or monitoring data on the conditions of other species on the reserves they say they are saving,” said Tara Ward, a legislative drafter and volunteer with the Animal Defenders Office. “If the government wants to go and kill more than 1,600 healthy wild animals, we have to be clear that the science is impeccable before we let them do that.”
The estimated deaths also do not take into account the number of joeys who will have to be killed after shooters have killed their mothers. Adult kangaroos are shot by hunters and marksmen, but baby joeys are usually killed by a blow to the head. Part of ACT’s case against the cull is that it cannot be carried out without cruelty being involved in some way. Even the shooters agree with ACT on this. David Nicholls, a 70-year-old farmer and “roo shooter,” said, “You try to get clean head shots but it’s difficult because kangaroos are very jumpy. The slightest noise or change in the wind startles them. You tell me which Olympic shooter can achieve 100% clean shots every time, even in perfect conditions? The clean-head-shot theory is a myth.”
Scientists are currently using a test group of 500 kangaroos to try and develop a way to make them infertile. If successful, it could not only be used to non-lethally reduce the population but could do the job at one-fifth the cost.
Australia needs to focus its attention on moving away from culls and toward non-lethal alternatives. Demand that the country cancel its cruel annual kangaroo cull.
Dear Prime Minister Abbott,
The annual kangaroo cull in Canberra is coming up and more than 1,600 animals are expected to be slaughtered. This number does not take into consideration all the baby joeys who will also be killed, often with a blow to the head. Even hunters agree that clean head-shots are nearly impossible. There is simply no way the cull can occur without it being fraught with cruelty.
Australia needs to shift its attention to non-lethal methods of population control rather than slaughtering thousands of animals each year. Please, put an end to the annual kangaroo cull.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Tombako the Jaguar via Flickr