Negligent choice

February 24, 2016

The recent decision by Minister Lisa Neville to extend the Commercial Kangaroo Pet Food Trial in Victoria was negligent, as she is fully aware of the inherent cruelty to orphaned joeys within the kangaroo meat and skins industry.

A damning government research report released in 2014 was handed to Minister Neville late last year and reveals how orphaned at-foot kangaroo joeys are simply abandoned and left to die by the industry after they shoot their mother.

The report reveals horrific cruelty to pouch young by the industry when they are bludgeoned to death and decapitated using practices that breach their own code.

During the study, researchers observed shooters swinging joeys by their feet as they wriggled and cried, while bashing them with crow bars, against utility trays and rocks, stomping on their heads, and decapitating them without stunning, with shooters rarely checking if the joey was dead.

Legal advice provided to Australian Society for Kangaroos by Dr Malcolm Caulfield from the Animal Law Institute describes how the research reveals “systemic non-compliance” of national codes of practice and the “real possibility” of “serious and routine” breach of laws governing the trade.

The advice highlights that the kangaroo meat and skins industry and all involved, including landholders and professional shooters now operating in Victoria, are potentially in breach of the conditions of their licences, as well as state and federal wildlife protection laws.

State government data has revealed that in the past two years alone more than a quarter of a million of female kangaroos have been slaughtered by the kangaroo meat and skins industry, leaving hundreds of thousands of orphaned joeys to a cruel death.

The newly extended trial pet food trial in Victoria will now add to the number of joeys who fall victim to this brutal industry and for the Victorian Government to support its extension across Victoria with full knowledge of the systemic cruelty, shows a complete disregard for the welfare of these iconic native animals and their young.

Submitted by Nikki Sutterby, President of Australian Society for Kangaroos.

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