Thursday, June 21, 2007

Cruel Australia at it Again: Plans Kill of 3,200 Kangaroos

Wow, once again Australia proves that it defaults to killing over any perceived issue it must face. Interesting that it’s in regard to Defense Department property. Connection between mentality…..


Animal rights activists warn of protests against cull of 3,200 kangaroos in Australia
The Associated Press

CANBERRA, Australia: Animal rights activists warned of protests after authorities Wednesday approved the cull of 3,200 kangaroos on the national capital's grassy fringes, saying the animals have become too numerous and risk starvation.

Canberra's administration, the Australian Capital Territory government, announced it would allow the Defense Department to shoot 2,800 kangaroos at one of its properties and use tranquilizer darts to kill another 400 on a second property, where shooting bullets its regarded as too dangerous to the public.

Defense officials said in a statement Wednesday that they would reveal on Thursday if they intend to go ahead with the cull.

The department argues that the 6,500 common eastern gray kangaroos that have overrun the properties at suburban Belconnen and Majura will starve if their numbers are not drastically reduced.

The defense officials and government agree that the kangaroos are also destroying the grassland habitats of endangered species of lizards and an insect.
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"We must care for the kangaroos as well as the threatened species of plants and animals, but our priority is to protect the rare and declining species," government official Russell Watkinson said in a statement announcing that the cull had been approved.

Pat O'Brien, president of Wildlife Protection Association of Australia, which has as its patrons the family of the late "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, threatened to trespass at the Belconnen site if the Defense Department attempts to dart kangaroos there and then administer lethal injections.

"I'll be the first one over the fence," O'Brien told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

Animal Liberation's Canberra spokesman Bernard Brennan predicted others would follow O'Brien in attempting to shield the kangaroos.

"If people feel that strongly, you can't stop them," Brennan said.

A government environmental adviser, Ian Fraser, said darting kangaroos was a last resort because the stress of capture can kill them.

"It's a very undesirable thing to do," Fraser said. "Shooting is much better, but that might not be an option at Belconnen."

Fraser said the most pressing problem was the environmental damage the kangaroos were doing to the grassland through overgrazing.

"This is native temperate grassland which is a critically endangered habitat," Fraser said, adding that there was no evidence yet that kangaroos were starving.

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