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The Kangaroo Industry - FACTS

The kangaroo industry represents an international model of wise and sustainable wildlife utilisation. It also points the way forward to a more sustainable system of producing meat in our arid grazing rangelands.

The kangaroo industry is worth AUD$270 million per year and directly employs 4000 people, many of these jobs are in remote areas with few other employment opportunities.

Kangaroo harvesting is sustainable: Human predation is a natural part of kangaroo biology, after-all people have been harvesting kangaroos for over 40,000 years! The modern day commercial harvest has been utilizing kangaroos for over 40 years. During that time populations have fluctuated solely in response to seasonal conditions. The graph below is taken from Australian Government data available at http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/trade-use/wild-harvest/kangaroo/population/index.html. The troughs in kangaroo numbers reflect drought conditions and the peaks runs of good years. The current population is in fact the same as the long run average, this in-spite of the recent worst drought on record! This is simply because the quota is only set at 10-12% of the population, and during droughts the government authorities review it mid year, to ensure that the take is only ever that which the population can sustain.

No credible Australian scientist has expressed concerns over the sustainability of the kangaroo harvest.

Kangaroos are super-abundant. With a population in 2008 of million, kangaroos are actually amongst the most abundant large wild land mammal on earth.

Kangaroos are humanely harvested: The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has independently monitored the kangaroo harvest and reported that 99.8% of kangaroos commercially harvested are dispatched by a high powered bullet to the head or the junction of the head and neck (http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/trade-use/publications/kangaroo-report/index.html). The RSPCA and the Australian Veterinary Association support the professionalism of kangaroo harvesters.
It is a condition of all kangaroo harvesting license that they be taken according to strict Animal Welfare Code of Practice, this Code is located at http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/trade-use/wild-harvest/kangaroo/practice.html. Failure to adhere to this Code can result in significant fines and loss of licence (and therefore income) for kangaroo harvesters.

The kangaroo industry is tightly controlled. Kangaroo populations are estimated every year by Government authorities to determine a sustainable quota which is usually between 10-12% of total population. All harvesters must undergo training and assessment by regulatory authorities and report monthly on what kangaroos they take and from where.

Intensive government monitoring is directed to all aspects of the industry to ensure compliance with the regulations.

Australian ecologists support the kangaroo industry. A wide range of professional conservation groups support the kangaroo, harvest believing that it delivers important environmental benefits. Some examples include:

  • The Australian Veterinary Association
  • The Australasian Wildlife Management Society
  • Australian Association of Veterinary Conservationists and Biologists
  • Ecological Society of Australia
  • Wildlife Preservation Society of Australia
  • Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland
  • Conservation Council of South Australia
  • Nature Conservation Society of South Australia

The Australian public support the kangaroo harvest. Surveys consistently indicate that less than 5% of Australians oppose the kangaroo industry. Sales of kangaroo product are constantly growing as many Australians appreciate the exceptional quality of these items.

More detailed information on these issues and the industry in general can be found at:
http://www.kangaroo-industry.asn.au/morinfo/kangaroo_industry_background.pdf

A list of kangaroo producers is at:
http://www.kangaroo-industry.asn.au/products/prod_frame.htm

Retail outlets selling kangaroo meat are listed at:
http://www.kangaroo-industry.asn.au/products/map.htm

For more information email kiaa@bigpond.net.au

A selection of ecologists and conservationists who are on record as supporting the kangaroo
harvest as sustainable, environmentally wise or responsible:

Dr Gordon Grigg
Head Zoology Dept
University of Queensland

Prominent rangeland ecologist and supporter of an expanded kangaroo industry as part of the solution to rangeland sustainability

Dr Jack Giles
Director Scientific Research
Taronga Park Zoo

Ex Government administrator of the kangaroo harvest

Prof Michael Archer
University of NSW

Well respected ecologists and strong supporter of indigenised agriculture as well as greatly expanded reserve and off reserve conservation areas.

Dr Tim Flannery
Maquarrie University

 Recent Australian of the Year

CSIRO

Australia’s peak scientific research organisation, it has a policy to promote kangaroo harvesting as a tool in rehabilitating overgrazed rangelands.

Australian Veterinary Association

Peak representative body with a policy statement supporting kangaroo harvesting as sustainable and humane

Australasian Wildlife Management Society

The peak representative body for Wildlife ecologists, see position statement in support of kangaroo harvesting

Australian Association of Veterinary Conservation s and Biologists

Actively promotes kangaroo industry as an alternate to sheep

Ecological Society of Australia

Has position statement in favor of wildlife utilisation

Wildlife Preservation Society of Australia

The worlds oldest conservation organisation. Supportive of the kangaroo harvest

Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland


Supports kangaroo harvesting provided it is humane.

Conservation Council of South Australia

Actively promoting growth of kangaroo harvest as a conservation tool.

A real good news story

The kangaroo industry is tightly controlled by Australian government, intensively monitored, has a 40 year history of sustainably utilising a super-abundant species, has the support of major veterinary and animal welfare groups, is widely supported by Australian ecologists because it delivers important environmental benefits and has the potential to offer a solution to one of Australia’s more pressing environmental problems.

If that ain’t a good news story what is?????????

The story here is about Australians adapting our food production systems to suit our unique environment, rather than attempting to adapt our environment to suit European agricultural techniques and causing enormous environmental harm by doing so. It’s about Australian’s finding a solution to the degradation of one of the worlds most fragile environments caused by introduced hard footed sheep and cattle. It’s about Australian’s attempting to make a living off our land from what it produces naturally. It’s about just how good the natural products this land has to offer are.

And Finally

Kangaroos don’t emit methane! Sheep and cattle on the other hand belch it by the tonne lot, and methane is 21 times worse than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse warming gas. Greenpeace has recently estimated that the beef industry alone accounts for 15% of Australia’s carbon footprint. Kangaroo meat is perhaps the one meat we can eat with a carbon free conscious.


Contacts:

For more information about the kangaroo industry and contacts for credible scientists and organisations supportive of it please contact:

John Kelly
Executive Officer
Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia
ph 0363 268639 international +61 363 268639
fax 0363 262 70
email: kiaa@bigpond.net.au