Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

Appeal to help stop the mass slaughter of kangaroos

Release date: 
Tuesday, March 11, 2008

AN urgent international appeal has been launched to save the lives of over 500 Kangaroos who are due to be slaughtered in Australia in days.

Organisations including Europe's largest vegetarian campaigning group Viva! and Wildcare, a local volunteer wildlife rescue organisation, are calling on the Australian Defence Force to stop the barbaric killing taking place at the Belconnen Naval Transmission Station in Canberra, where the animals are trapped behind high wire fences and cannot escape.

Although the ADF had agreed to a proposal by Wildcare to translocate 400 or more kangaroos to a new site, the Australian Capital Territory administration has now ruled it cannot go ahead because of the trauma involved " and the animals are to be slaughtered by lethal injection.

A report has been published recommending the action to protect lowland native grasslands and threatened species also living there and to prevent the kangaroos from starving, issues which are widely disputed by Wildcare.

Viva! are calling on the British public to get behind this appeal and help save the lives of these beautiful wild creatures " by signing an online petition.

Support for the online petition has already come from concerned people from 25 different countries across the world.

Viva! campaigns manager Justin Kerswell, says: "We are urging the Government of the Australian Capital Territory to remove the ban on translocating kangaroos, so they can be taken to a new home, so they don't have to be slaughtered cruelly and unnecessarily.'

Wildcare who have 15 years experience in the rescue and rehabilitation of kangaroos have been central to the campaign to translocate them.

A spokesperson from Wildcare said: "The decision not to allow translocation is by no means a quicker and more humane option as stated by the ACT Government and the ACT. This is not a cull using guns. The two options are darting and killing by lethal

injection, or darting and transfer to another area for release. In both instances, the kangaroos have to be darted first, so why not give them a chance somewhere else.

'translocation is possible in the case of Belconnen because there are experienced handlers available; there is suitable land to move the animals to; and in the last few years there have been great strides forward made in dealing with the effects of capture myopathy. Small scales translocations are carried out throughout Australia all the time.'

Sign the petition by visiting http://www.gopetition.com.au/online/17501.html or visit
www.wildcare.com.au or http://www.canberraroos.com where full details and images are available to be viewed. Also see Viva!'s site www.savethekangaroo.com

ENDS

For more information about this media release contact Viva! press officer Helen Rossiter on 0117 644 1000 or email press@viva.org.uk