THREE out of the four species of kangaroo shot in the wild for meat and leather are on the brink of extinction, according to a new report from Australia. More than three million animals are still allowed to be slaughtered every year despite the worst drought in living memory and the result is a decimation of kangaroo populations.
The Australian Society for Kangaroos, the Wildlife Protection Association of Australia, the Kangaroo Protection Coalition and Kangaroo Defenders have demanded an immediate cessation of commercial and non-commercial slaughter of kangaroos in New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland.
This follows the release of the report 'Decimation of an Icon' by the Australian Society for Kangaroos which uncovered the shocking results.
Western Grey, Eastern Grey, Wallaroo and Red Kangaroo populations have plummeted to densities of below five kangaroos per square kilometre " something defined in the Australian government's Murray Darling report as "quasi extinction'. In fact, densities of less than two kangaroos per square kilometre have been identified across 50 to 60 per cent of the three states.
Following the report, animal group Viva! have renewed pressure on sportswear manufacturer Adidas to stop using kangaroo leather for several of its products, including its Predator Powerswerve, Absolion and Adipure boots.
In addition, the group has written to other sportswear companies, including Nike, Umbro, Reebok and Diadora in order to encourage them to refrain from using kangaroo leather in their products and call on all consumers to boycott these companies until this horrific massacring is stopped.
Zephie Begolo, Viva! Campaigner says: "Viva! have long campaigned against the mass slaughter of the Australian national icon and these figures demonstrate the urgency with which this issue needs to be addressed.
'Plundering the Australian countryside of these gentle creatures for meat and consumer goods is wreaking havoc on hunted kangaroo populations, which have reached the lowest level ever recorded. The Australian government can no longer ignore the pressing nature of the very real threat to kangaroos, with numbers indicating near extinction by its own definition.
"We support the demand for an immediate halt to this barbaric practice and call upon the Australian government and people to protect their biodiversity, wildlife and international reputation by ending this mass slaughter.'
National campaigning group Viva! distinguished itself when it persuaded all Britain 1,500 supermarkets to drop the sale of kangaroo and other exotic meats. It has had a long-running campaign against Adidas' use of kangaroo leather in football boot manufacture. The World's largest uses of kangaroo leather, its advertising was headed by David Beckham, who changed from Predator football boots made of kangaroo leather to those and from synthetics after an intervention by Viva!
'Decimation of an Icon' can be viewed online by visiting http://www.kangaroo-protection-coalition.com/kangaroo-extinction.html.
For more information about Viva!'s campaign against Kangaroo hunting, please call 0117 944 1000 or visit www.savethekangaroo.com.