Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

Kangaroo Populations Crash as Commercial Killing Continues

Release date: 
Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Despite constant warnings from animal welfare groups that kangaroos were under severe pressure from drought and commercial killing, the Australian Government's officially-sanctioned slaughter for meat and skin exports has continued unabated. The result is that populations of the main target species, the Eastern Grey kangaroo, have crashed by 63 per cent in just three years. Red kangaroo numbers have collapsed by 55 per cent and Wallaroos (Euros) by 54 per cent. The species with the smallest drop is the Western Grey, the least abundant of all the targeted species, which is down about nine per cent.

Red kangaroo numbers have fallen from 17.5 million to under eight million, Eastern Greys have dropped from nearly 30 million to just over 11 million and Wallaroos are down from nearly seven million to just over three million and there are a little over three million Western Greys left. In real terms it means that there are now 28 million kangaroos fewer in the areas used for commercial hunting than just three years ago. Despite this, a further 3.9 million animals have been earmarked for killing in 2005, a drop of only half-a-million on 2004. This figure takes no account of the hundreds of thousands of baby "Joeys', who are either left to die from starvation or are removed from their dead mother's pouches and are clubbed to death with iron pipes.

The Kangaroo Industries Association of Australia still boats that kangaroos are superabundant and, despite these figures, claims that there are over 58 million kangaroos in Australia. Animal group, Viva!, which persuaded all 1,500 large supermarkets in Britain to dump kangaroo meat and has run a vigorous campaign against Adidas's use of kangaroo skin for football boots, maintains that everything it predicted is coming to pass:

'the collapse in kangaroo numbers was inevitable once a combination of rampant exploitation and drought came together' says Juliet Gellatley, Viva!'s director. "The world's largest wildlife massacre is being justified on the basis of so-called "scientific management' programmes in precisely the same way that fishing has been managed " and we all know what's happened to fish stocks! Everything we have warned against is coming to pass and we call on Adidas, the world's biggest user of kangaroo skin, to drag itself into the 21st century and put animals and ecology before profit. And to the public " don't buy anything that comes from a kangaroo.'

For further information contact Juliet Gellatley or Tony Wardle on 0117 944 1000.

Notes for Editors: Images of kangaroos and kangaroo shooting are available from Viva!.

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