What other country cares less about their national animal emblem? The kangaroo and emu on Australia’s coat of arms can be seen on every single government website and on every official government document – yet they are much maligned earthlings – the kangaroo, in particular, is shot and killed for food and sport or neglected to death.
NSW Upper House MP for the Animal Justice Party Mark Pearson, says that it’s 50 years since a Commonwealth inquiry investigated the conservation and exploitation of kangaroos, New South Wales has just held its first inquiry into the health and wellbeing of kangaroos and other macropods.
The Environment Committee of NSW Parliament held hearings over three days and received over 400 submissions.
A report has been tabled with six findings and 23 recommendations which call on the NSW Government to urgently establish three major investigations by the Auditor-General and the Natural Resources Commission,’ says Mr Pearson. ‘The report calls on Environment Minister, Matt Kean, to refuse to approve the new 2022-2026 five-year Kangaroo Management Plan until the inquiry’s recommendations have been considered.’
Serious failures to prevent harm, distress and pain
Mr Pearson says that that the recommendations include the Auditor-General investigating whether previous kangaroo management programs have adhered to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth). ‘I know any such investigation will reveal extremely serious failures to prevent harm, distress and pain to hundreds of thousands of animals because of unregulated shooting and the brutal treatment of over half a million joeys each year.
‘Another recommendation calls on the Natural Resources Commission to establish an independent panel of ecologists to examine previous methodologies used to
calculate how many animals were to be slaughtered each year. I know they will find damning evidence.
Aboriginal concerns about kangaroo welfare and spiritual importance
‘A key finding of the inquiry is that the NSW Government should give greater focus to demonstrating how Aboriginal concerns about kangaroo welfare and spiritual importance are being addressed in relation to the commercial kangaroo industry.
Mr Pearson says that the inquiry recommended the Department engage in genuine consultation with Indigenous people regarding both the commercial and non-commercial killing of kangaroos, and ensure these views are given serious consideration in the development of all future kangaroo management plans.
‘Crucially, it was recommended that the NSW Government examine the economic benefits of kangaroo eco-tourism, and the impact of climate change on macropod wellbeing.
‘The Animal Justice Party and many organisations nationally and internationally will work together to ensure these recommendations are actioned.’
The European Parliament, the United States Congress, Russia and China will be furnished with the report to inform them of the latest while they contemplate banning kangaroo product imports or to sustain current prohibitions.