In relation to your recent article titled Hopping mad over roo ‘Come and Say G’day’ ad campaigns (Echo, October 26) – someone really did their homework for a change. I was the Australian kangaroo campaigner for Greenpeace International for over five years and resigned in 1992, but volunteer still to this day on this vexed and misunderstood issue. I’d like to raise these pertinent points in relation to that article:
1. Shooting rates exceed population growth rates. Consider that the average ‘carcass’ weight has reduced significantly over 50 years.
2. Government correction factors (CF) are often changed (always upwards). By 2016 CFs were six times higher than in the 1970s.
3. Increases during drought are not possible. Over the past three years kangaroos (and other wildlife) have had to endure droughts/floods and fire; yet still NO moratorium on the commercial industry. In fact, in NSW, Gladys (our ex-premier… remember her?) declared a virtual open season on kangaroos from 2020–21.
4. Kangaroos have one joey per annum during good times, and a 75 per cent juvenile mortality rate.
5. Shooters often do not reach their commercial quota – why? Is that because they suddenly had an epiphany? It is simply because they couldn’t find them; not because they decided to show some mercy and have a picnic in the bush.
6. The commercial industry is NOT sustainable. Kangaroos may not become extinct in coming years, but they are already regionally extinct in many areas. Populations that are consistently declining indicate these trends are a road to extinction.
7. The commercial kangaroo industry repeatedly claims that they are ‘accountable/ transparent and have nothing to hide’. If this is so, why does the industry refuse to supply statistics in relation to animals NOT shot through the head (i.e. neck shots/jaw or shoulder), which is a legal requirement. Additionally, the industry will NEVER permit anyone to film their activities. I know this for a fact as I (we) tried for many, many years.
8. Most Australians do not know that tiny joeys tucked up in their mother’s pouch are ripped out and bludgeoned to death by some heartless human primate simply concerned about making a profit. Fact is the ‘Humane Code of Conduct’ is an outrageous lie and is anything but humane. It requires that shooters bash these defenceless joeys with a blow to the head – bash against a tree or a wheel brace, or however they see fit, as no one is observing. This is just one indefensible dirty secret that governments of both persuasions persist in authorising, in order to appease agribusiness corporations and farmers alike. National Parks also makes money from issuing tags and licences, but unfortunately are not out there in the bush at night overseeing shooters.
For God’s sake please ask your readers to get informed and watch online or purchase the film Kangaroo A Love – Hate Story and inform themselves of the facts. Skippy is depending upon us not to remain silent.