What is wrong with the ACT Government Kangaroo Cull?
We first and foremost oppose the culling of a fellow sentient being on moral grounds. Kangaroos are conscious beings capable of suffering and we oppose any intentional harm to them. We reject speciesism in all its forms, including purposeful killing of individuals for hypothetical gains of another, including that of humans.
The standard practices of the cull are inhumane and cruel. Kangaroos, who form close family groups, are fenced into small areas as unlicensed shooters take aim after dark. Many kangaroos are not killed by the “single shot to head” detailed in the plan, but from body shots that result in slow agonising deaths. Pouch young and at-foot joeys are hit against solid objects or decapitated, and older joeys that manage to escape are left to starve without their mothers to protect them.
Further, the annual kangaroo cull is an unnecessary practice. The ACT Government have made numerous claims as to their reasoning for the annual massacre, however these do not hold up to scrutiny.
They have claimed that there is an overpopulation of kangaroos despite having no consistent way of even measuring populations, and with independent ecological analysis finding no such overpopulation. They also have claimed that the kangaroos’ grazing is impacting biodiversity despite the CSIRO reporting the opposite. In fact, after culling kangaroos, the increased vegetation has posed a substantial bushfire risk prompting use of livestock and backburning to try mitigate this increased risk. Claims in regards to endangered species, such as the earless lizard, being harmed by the kangaroo density are also inaccurate.
The ACT Government has failed to manage habitats appropriately, creating isolated islands surrounded by heavy-use roads which impacts all species and leaves them vulnerable to injury and death from motor vehicles. They have also dramatically decreased available habitats as land is sold off for suburbs. Rather than address these failures, they continue to kill kangaroos and mismanage ecological pockets resulting in loss of biodiversity.
The purported “scientific” basis from which the kangaroo management plan is built is poor research, much of it conducted by the employees of the department themselves and with questionable methodology and statistical analysis (as raised by the CSIRO in their re-analysis of ACT Gov data). In testimony given to the 2013 tribunal, a representative from the ACT government described the use of biodiversity as a basis for the cull to be merely “public relations” and their shifting narrative about why exactly the cull goes ahead reflects this.
By forcing the ACT government to cease their practice of killing kangaroos. They no longer require a licence to do so and so few legal avenues remain to end the practice. It requires public condemnation.
The ACT is a progressive jurisdiction with a proud history of leading the way in animal welfare. We banned greyhound racing when the evidence showed the widespread horrors, we have banned battery hen operations and we have banned sow stalls. Now we must end this shameful practice of culling our national emblem.
Fifty international academics, writers, lawyers and artists have already called for an end to the culls, highlighting the lack of humanity and the lack of scientific evidence justifying such abhorrent actions. Animal welfare and animal rights activists have been opposing this since the first cull. We add our voices to this and call on the ACT Government to end this massacre now.
Write or call your MLAs
ACT Labor, Minister for Planning and Land Management
(02) 6205 0218
Canberra Liberals, Shadow Minister for Environment
(02) 6205 1919
ACT Greens, Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability
(02) 6205 0005
Caroline Le Couteur
(02) 6205 1941
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