IN THE FIRST WEEK of October, the Victorian Labor government continued its unenlightened and colonial-looking wildlife policies — bowing to the most hidebound of the rural community and other commercial interests and loud demands from National Party politicians.
A petfood trade targeting kangaroos has started in Victoria. These animals were almost exterminated in the state for their skins and meat by the 1980s. Now it has commenced again.
Peter and Andrea Hylands, visual artists and communicators who lived in regional Victoria for many years, saw what went on, and have since spoken out and documented the wildlife killings, wrote to the Victorian minister for the environment Lily D’Ambrosio and the minister for agriculture Jaclyn Symes outlining Victoria’s abysmal record on native species persecution. Here is part of what they said, noting also that people who move to regional areas may find these things happening next door. They wrote to the government ministers:
You cannot say you did not know. It is not hard to write the script in these matters — the outcomes are always evident from the beginning.
Yesterday’s announcement regarding the ‘Kangaroo Harvesting Program’ now makes this cruel industry a permanent feature in large parts of Victoria to the north and west of the state. Added to this, residents in regional Victoria have to endure:
- three months of duck shooting each year;
- the rapid increase in the use of (control permits) Authorities to Control Wildlife in the State (ATCWs); plus killing of wildlife that are quite unprotected (includes Victoria’s Wombat); and
- various ministerial actions which include secret (or attempts to keep them secret) mass killing of Koalas and on the list goes.
Given the endless government propaganda regarding wildlife there is also a great deal of vandalism and cruelty, shooting wildlife with bows and arrows and a range of other heinous acts, by those in the community who now believe they are entitled to act in the way they do.
Not a state to be a bird
Victoria is also not the place to be if you happen to be a bird, 73 percent of species subject to control in Victoria were bird species with a total of 397,549 birds, of which 182,721 or 45 percent were from a range of parrot species.
We also need to remember that Authority to Control Wildlife permits (ATCWs) are not the only way animals in Victoria die, so we can add another 4 million dead water birds (I am being modest in my calculations) in the last ten years to the tally in Victoria because of duck shooting in the state. That is around 4.5 million birds in the state in the last ten years.
Politics and nature
The Victorian Labor Government was elected in November 2014 and has increased the number of animals killed across a range of mechanisms. The Labor tally in relation to ATCWs in the years 2015–18 totals 16,010 ATCW permits covering 844,625 animals. In the previous four-year period the Liberal-National Coalition Government in Victoria (a government described to us by friend Dr Hugh Wirth, President of the RSPCA and WSPA, the world body, as extremely cruel) issued 11,146 ATCW permits covering 461,593 animals, 54 percent of the Labor total.
In Victoria, 750,000 Kangaroos were authorised to be killed by non-commercial ATCW plus Kangaroo petfood trial permits in the years 2014–18. The number of Kangaroos authorised roughly doubled once the pet food trial really got underway despite government statements that there would be no increase in killing rates once the trial commenced.
There is clear evidence that in standards of governance — including from the Victorian Government’s own investigations and reports — in treatment of Kangaroos and birdlife in Victoria (all wildlife), the lack of supervision, the blocking of prosecutions, endless attempts to mislead the public including claims that these activities are humane, are just appalling.
Humane is not bashing out the brains of a young kangaroo on a fence post and chucking the animal into the dust to die in agony — that is not humane.
So now we will have to endure yet another round of falsehoods in the media, from people standing in a devastated landscape totally devoid of Australian species making claims about Kangaroos … an example from today’s media:
“In a good season they breed like wildfire. Unless there’s a cull they get out of control.”
Total rubbish of course.
This language used to justify the slaughter of Kangaroos are lines from an industry strategy, not science and not good government. The language used, given all the weasel words in your documents, is not only an assault on democracy and truth, it is an assault on language itself.
The Bulletin advises consumers not to feed their pets kangaroo meat which is only sourced from this cruel bush meat trade (ask what happens to the dependent joeys). There are related hygiene concerns involving parasites and bacterial contamination.
IMAGERY: District Bulletin