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Kangaroo killing for farmers: Counterpoint

war on wildlife Aug2018

DURING A TWO-YEAR period when my partner and I managed a large cattle station in northern SA, we experienced the extreme stress of prolonged hot and dry conditions. It is an experience I will never forget, and it continually informs my work as an ecologist.

The recent announcement to help farmers through drought — by making it easier to kill kangaroos and to use their meat to poison dingoes — is counterproductive, unethical, and has no basis in science.

Many Australian farmers are leading the way in wildlife-friendly farming, and are running successful businesses while protecting the wild animals on their lands, such as kangaroos and dingoes.

Wildlife-friendly farming is growing worldwide, driven both by forward-thinking farmers and by growing social demand that farmers treat wild animals with compassion and respect.

Promoting archaic methods of farming based on persecuting wild animals risks damaging the reputation of Australian farmers and reducing social support. The Australian society as a whole tends to empathise with the hardships farmers can face and favour supporting farmers through difficult times.

[But] to remain viable, like any other profession and industry, farming must operate within appropriate social norms. Instead of scapegoating wildlife for 200 years of unsustainable farming methods, the Australian government should support farmers transition to a 21st century approach. This includes:

  • protecting dingoes who are Australia’s apex predator that benefit vegetation through their effects on wild herbivores;
  • ending land clearing to promote the health of soils and perennial vegetation; and
  • ensuring stocking densities that the land can carry in the long term.

— Arian Wallach, UTS Centre for Compassionate Conservation

The NSW government
is seeking “volunteers” (their words) 
to help kill the wildlife

ABOVE:  Red Kangaroo hunters photographed with their ‘Trophy’.  (IMAGE SOURCE:

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4 thoughts on “Kangaroo killing for farmers: Counterpoint

  1. As an Indigenous Woman, an Initiated Teacher I’m sickened & appalled at the level of Unsustainable Farming fuelled by greedy Colonialism engulfing Country. Farming is a gift not a right & we Indigenous People Farmed for thousands of years Co-Existing with The Dreaming of Country who are Kangaroo. The destruction that Unsustainable Farming has & is causing is irreversible & the situation here in Western NSW in the open slaughter of Kangaroos who are a Sacred Totem Animal shows a twisted disconnected mindset of complete ignorance & greed, all facilitated by the NSW State Liberal National Party & their cohorts who also claim that Kangaroos are in plague proportions which of course as anyone with ANY basic knowledge re Kangaroos knows is biologically impossible…especially during Drought. I engage with many International Tourists in my business & thankfully here no Kangaroos are Shot or “managed” & the Groups I take out on Country can see Kangaroos in their own natural environment, they are constantly voicing their disgust at the bloodlust mentality when it comes to Kangaroos & with an average of about 90% stating they’d never return here to Australia given the destruction of the environment & in regards to the way Wildlife especially Kangaroos are treated that signifies a massive blow to the tourism industry which contributes more to Australia’s Direct GDP 10.9% (WTTC 2017 Annual Report) than the entire Australian Agribusiness Industry 3% (NFF 2016-17) with Eco Tourism alone generating $1.11B 2014/15.
    Australians are the first to condemn other Countries for the way they treat & slaughter their Wildlife, yet exactly the same is happening here.
    As a grower of Bush Tucker I sell at the Farmgate, Kangaroos play an essential role in my sustainable food production & indeed have been a part of Sustainable Farming for thousands of years, & Roo Pooh is gold in terms of a natural fertiliser, it’s time people moved out of this blinding Colonial mindset of ignorant greedy persecution of Kangaroos that arrived over 200yrs ago, its already done enough irreversible damage.
    In closing, Kangaroo are The Dreaming of Country, they once bounded freely across this THEIR Ancestral Home the thuds of their bounds connecting with Country sending out vibrations that heal & regenerate Song Lines & Dreaming Tracks, now however as a direct result of the relentless slaughter of these Sacred Totem Animals many Song Lines & Dreaming Tracks are now after millions of years, laying silent, as in many areas of Western NSW the blood of the Sacred is the only thing left staining the decimated landscape, where overstocked mobs of Sheep & Cattle continue to be Bred & Fed, Country continues to be decimated via Land Clearing that itself facilitated Drought all for the greed of Unsustainable Farming, financially propped up by the NSW Govt & taxpayers dollars.
    Country needs to heal & it never will whilst this greedy take continues & be assured, if this destruction of Wildlife & Country doesn’t stop a Natural Breaking Point will come, unlike anything ever seen before.
    The destruction caused by greedy take is a very sad distressing state of affairs.
    Aunty Ro Mudyin Godwin.
    Palawa Woman.
    Initiated Teacher.

  2. I met a wildlife aware farmer in my area recently. The rest go to the pub and bitch about my efforts to save kangaroos from the general stupidity of those living in their grandfather’s shoes without the wit to look past their nose.

  3. What qualifications does a “volunteer” shooter require to enable him to shoot a kangaroo in a way that kills it outright. Not easy to for an amateur shooter to kill a roo as it bounds along!
    Death by poisoning with 1080 would be just as excruciating.
    Surely in 2018 we should be able to help and not kill wildlife struggling with drought conditions that have been exacerbated by loss of habitat.
    The dingo is another prime target for animal killers who believe the only good dingo is a dead dingo, in spite of the fact that it is a unique Australian animal that is now recognized as a vulnerable species of wildlife. How close to extinction we don’t know, as dogs that look like dingoes are usually half breeds. No records are kept of the breed of dogs killed or to identify them. or efforts made to trace (and penalise) owners of domestic dogs that have been allowed to run wild and threaten livestock.
    Never mind. We will still be a be able to see dingoes in zoos or museums after they have been wiped out in their natural environment.

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