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When you think of Australia, a few things probably first come to mind. Perhaps the Sydney Opera House, images of lush beaches and the iconic Australian Outback, vast plains that stretch on for what seems like forever. Australia is also teeming with diverse wildlife, including koalas, wallabies, dingos … and of course, kangaroos.

Kangaroos are the official animal of Australia and are intricately linked with the nation’s culture. Images of kangaroos are often used by sports teams, top companies, and on tourists souvenirs. The kangaroo is a beloved animal that has bounded across the flat, native Australian outback for thousands of years.

 

Despite admiration for the marsupial, Australia keeps a dark secret. In the dark night, out in the bush where no one can see, three to four million kangaroos are being killed every year in the biggest land-based wildlife slaughter on the planet. And now, thanks to the eye-opening documentary, Kangaroo, thousands will now be exposed to the truth.

Australia’s Dark Side

Mick McIntyre and Kate McIntyre Clere, the producers, writers, and directors behind Kangaroo, wanted to get at the heart to this love-hate relationship and set out to interview prominent figures on both sides of the issue. As the documentary shows, this complex issue is one that people need to start talking about.

To farmers, kangaroos are seen as nothing more than pests, often called vermin because it’s believed kangaroos compete with sheep. It has been proven that kangaroos do not compete with sheep, however, every year, farmers are granted permits by the Australian government to kill up to 1,000 kangaroos (at any time they wish) for what is called “pest mitigation.” Farmers are also capable of getting commercial licenses for professional kangaroos hunters to come onto their farms to kill the animals.

 

Those in favor of killing kangaroos insist that the kangaroos aren’t suffering needlessly, but as Kangaroo exposes, the majority of the hunting offers nothing but immense cruelty. Often times, the hunter misses and the kangaroo is left in agonizing pain, sometimes for weeks, before dying. For female kangaroos who have joey, which is a baby kangaroo, their fate is just as dismal. After their mother is brutally shot, the joey is torn out of the pouch and the hunters will sometimes kill the babies by smashing their head against their trucks.

“We have an iconic animal, which is one of Australia’s most precious animals and we’re advocating bashing its brains out against a rock. That can’t be the right thing to do in the 21st-century in my minds,” said Professor Clive Phillips, Professor of Animal Welfare University of Queensland.

 

The government sanctioned annual culling of kangaroos may be defended with reasons such pest control but in reality, the kangaroo hunts prop up a million dollar industry. The meat is used for pet grade food, for human consumption, as well as leather products such as soccer balls and athletic shoes. Seeing profit, the kangaroo industry also sells the meat and leather around the world (just a few years ago, Gucci released a range using kangaroo fur, that was aptly met with outrage for animal welfare advocates). Not only does consuming kangaroo meat support the cruel industry, the meat poses high health risks. Several studies have shown that the meat is often contaminated with high levels of E.coli and Salmonella.

Thanks to the kangaroo meat and leather industries, road kills, and recreational shooting, kangaroos are in danger. Eastern Gray Kangaroo populations, for instance, have plummeted by 90 percent in recent years due to deforestation in the area’s forests. “Government raw survey data shows wide landscapes are now significantly depleted of kangaroos, it’s now time to carefully assess what is happening to kangaroos,” Senator Lee Rhiannon, Senator Greens Party, said in Kangaroo. In just a couple hundred years, Australia has managed to exterminate six species of kangaroo, with 17 classified as endangered or vulnerable.

Despite Australia’complexex relationship with kangaroos, we as humans still have an obligation to protect the species that we share this planet with. It’s time for Australia to recognize that.

What You Can Do

Kangaroo shines a much-needed spotlight on the senseless killing of millions of kangaroos each year. To find a screening near you, check out the film’s website. If you don’t see a screening near you, consider hosting a screening of your own! Invite your friends, family, and local community members to attend the screening. The more people who know about the issue, the better!

You can also help kangaroos by avoiding buying kangaroo products. UK residents made such an outcry about the industry, most supermarkets pulled kangaroo meat from their shelves. Russia stopped their import in 2009 due to high levels of E. coli and Salmonella found in the meat and California reinstated its ban last year around controversial circumstances. We concerned citizens come together, we can create change!

All Image Source: Kangaroo the Movie/Facebook

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35 comments on “New Documentary Blows the Lid Off of the Mass Slaughter and Exploitation of Australia’s Beloved Kangaroo”

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Simon Validzic
8 Months Ago

Kangaroos are not pests but native animals living in their homeland. They have an intrinsic value and do not exist just to be killed by humans. There is no such thing as humane killing and the killing is not sustainable. Human shooters target the largest individuals and, over time, that causes negative genetic selection of the species. Natural predators do the exact opposite; they kill the weakest individuals. Indigenous Australian Elders oppose the commercial killing of native animals. The fact that Indigenous Australians hunted kangaroos is no excuse because the present human population of Australia is about 100 times what it was before the white colonization of Australia. There is only one species with a population problem and that can be reduced by cutting family allowances and one-off baby payments, especially to those with more than 2 children. I lived in Australia from 1970 to 1992 and never saw a kangaroo in the wild. Since I do not wish to be part of a country that is the result of genocide against indigenous peoples, and in which the large-scale killing of native animals and destruction of forests and the environment continues to take place, I returned to my country of origin, Croatia, and encourage others to do the same.


Reply
Eddie
8 Months Ago

Wow. Talk about cognitive dissonance. In the about article, where are the references to studies? Where are the facts, as they are definitely not referred to in the article. I have consulted to the industry several years ago, on behalf of a business owned by 3rd generation Aborigines. The meat is better for you than eating beef washed in chlorine (Food Inc) as it is very lean; especially used by athletes as high in iron and L-caratine The only way to introduce the bacteria is after slaughter; it is not inherent in the meat. I notice that the movie is being released across USA, no doubt starting in CA to access the mindless first. Will be interesting to see if the movie is any more than an emotive ploy to sustain another agenda.


Reply
Alexandria Walker
8 Months Ago

You are a member of the species that is single-handedly ushering in the sixth mass extinction of life on Earth, you don\'t get to use words like "pest" or "invasive" when referring to other animals.


Reply
Carola
8 Months Ago

Let the most overpopulated, violent, destructive, vicious, xenophobic, demented, tormented species cast stones at other "overpopulated" species! The Vatican will defend you! The Vatican, as we all know, is opposed to human birth control by any means other than the "rhythm method" of birth control. Thus risking unplanned pregnancy and abortion. To guarantee increasing the Catholic population and, thus, the Vatican\'s political power, the Vatican wants all children of mixed marriages brought up Catholic. Australia\'s kangaroo population is doomed.


Reply
Dwayne Robbie
8 Months Ago

Humans will use, abuse and exploit anything and everything they can in the pursuit of money. Money. See the problem?


Reply
Carola
19 Jan 2018

True. And added to that is the Vatican\'s contempt for animals. Like the Pope defends circuses.

Jill Phipps
8 Months Ago

heartbreaking


Reply
Kathleen Lewis
8 Months Ago

more shame on that nation


Reply
Dina Buagas Gesulga
8 Months Ago

What are they talking about?What happened that kangaroos?Where are the people whose responsibilities of that Animals?What are they doing?


Reply
James Struver
9 Months Ago

What about aboriginal people harvesting a kangaroo? have the dynamics changed so much?


Reply
Jennifer Fearing
9 Months Ago

Not thousands. Millions. ...


Reply


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