Kangaroo Killing in Australia

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A million reasons not to eat kangaroo meat or use their skin

Clubbed to death, stamped on or left to die from starvation

That is how Australia deals with 1.3 million joeys every year after their mothers are shot for their meat or skin. They are the by-products of the greatest massacre of wild animals in the world.

The largest massacre of wild land animals the world has ever known is taking place in Australia right now!

Imagine this. A mother kangaroo with her beautiful joey at night in the vast outback. It is a scene millions of years old. What is new is the roar of a four-wheel drive. She turns towards the noise and is transfixed by a searchlight. A rifle cracks and a bullet tears a hole in her neck. She falls, in pain and unable to save her joey, who retreats into her pouch for safety. The first thing the hunter does is to search the pouch and, feeling a joey inside, pulls him out. The hunter tosses him to the ground and stamps on his head. The joey writhes in agony.

The mother struggles as her leg is slit open and a hook inserted through it. She is hauled up onto the truck and slowly dies. The scene is repeated all night long. Older joeys frantically hop away when their mothers are shot - to die a slow and lonely death from cold or starvation. This is the reality of kangaroo killing. But the killing continues. Every restaurant, café and store that sells kangaroo meat or leather supports this massacre. And they are all fed a string of excuses by the Australian Government. Not one of them stands up to scrutiny.

"There is an urgent need for action to protect kangaroos from a barbaric industry which slaughters them for meat and leather. Please do all you can to help VIVA end this shameful massacre." - Sir Paul McCartney

Myth - Kangaroos destroy wheat crops

A four-year study by CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organization) found that kangaroos never visit 95 per cent of wheat crops. However, farmers and the Australian government still refer to kangaroos as pests. In fact, commercial killing takes place in the outback where crops are never grown.

Myth - Kangaroos compete for grazing

A six-year study by Dr. Steven McLeod (University of New South Wales) - the biggest ever undertaken - examined whether red kangaroos affected sheep farming. It found no competition for food between sheep and red kangaroos - even in drought conditions.

Myth - Kangaroos are killed to save the environment

Kangaroos have evolved with the Australian environment, and are part of it. Destruction comes from 160 million hard-hoofed sheep and cattle.

Myth - Killing kangaroos helps preserve them

The kangaroo massacre destroys the process of natural selection - the largest and fittest animals are always targeted. "This has the potential to cause the extinction of a number of species." - Dr. Ian Gunn (Animal Gene Storage Resource Centre of Australia)

Australia has the worst wildlife record in the world - six species of kangaroos extinct, four more extinct on the Australian mainland, 17 species endangered or vulnerable.

Myth - The killing is strictly controlled

No one monitors, let alone controls, the killing. Kangaroos are shot at night in the vast outback. Joeys at foot, still reliant on their mothers, are not even mentioned in the Code of Practice.

"Shooters often have a thorough contempt for the law. They commit cruelty on a regular basis." - Dr. John Auty (veterinary scientist and former Chief Agronomist)

Myth - Kangaroos are in plague proportions

Kangaroos have never been a plague. They have been wiped out in many regions. In others, their numbers build up in order to withstand the regular droughts that wipe out half the population. Kill quotas for 2003 are 6.5 million - but this figure ignores joeys, road deaths, illegal and non-commercial kills. This annual death toll amounts to 10 million - a patently unsustainable figure.

Fact - Kangaroos are killed to earn foreign currency, which is why the meat and leather is promoted around the world. Having built an industry with political clout, self interest will ensure it carries on killing, whatever its impact on kangaroos.

Kangaroos are killed to make football boots

The British organization VIVA has virtually ended the sale of kangaroo meat in Great Britain. They persuaded over 1,500 supermarkets to withdraw it. They are now tackling the much more lucrative trade in kangaroo skin, which is used to make football boots, handbags and baseball mitts. In the UK and the USA, VIVA is protesting outside shops that sell football boots and urging shoppers to boycott all manufacturers that use kangaroo skin. Animal Friends Croatia are bringing this international protest to shops in Zagreb, Croatia.

It is vital for the survival of the kangaroo to stop the trade in their skins. Manufacturers prefer to use the largest skins to make athletic footwear. These skins come from the big red males who take 10 years to reach alpha status and are being continually massacred. Few survive to pass on their superior genes to the next generation. The remaining smaller and weaker males are producing offspring less likely to survive a major drought or other natural disaster. We must stop this before Australia's kangaroos are wiped out! It is frightening that leather suppliers are complaining that there are too few large red males left. Skins are smaller and smaller since they now shoot juvenile kangaroos.

Boycott Adidas

International pressure is vital to stop the senseless butchery of these beautiful wild animals. We are taking the campaign to the street; targeting companies using kangaroo skin. That is what VIVA did with supermarkets and stores stocking kangaroo meat, until they completely wiped out this cruel and senseless trade.

Our first target is Adidas and their "Predator" boot, worn and promoted by well-known football players. Adidas is far and away the leader in "premier football boots," holding 70 per cent of the market worldwide. Adidas is a driving force behind an industry that bludgeons millions of young joeys to death every year.

We are urging shoppers not to buy any Adidas products until they stop taking part in the largest wildlife massacre in the world. Please join the fight to save these magnificent animals.

This is what you can do:

A search at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce did not find a single importer of kangaroo meat or leather from Australia. One restaurant known to have offered kangaroo meat does not do so any more. So far, Adidas "Predator" football boots have been seen in a shop in Zagreb.

This is the largest massacre of wild land animals ever to take place in the world, similar to the massacre of the bison in the USA at the end of the 19th century. However, what about the situation in Croatia? Say NO to venison; shoes and bags made from exotic skins; and to the farming and slaughter of ostriches, chinchillas, tuna and other animals.

"VIVA is bringing the misery of our wildlife trade to people at home and abroad and we praise their work. We implore residents of Australia and Europe alike to support this campaign to save the kangaroo." - Australian Wildlife Protection Council

"I support the campaign by VIVA. Huge numbers of pregnant female kangaroos and their babies are being slaughtered every night. Families are destroyed and scattered through the blood lust of an indescribably cruel industry." - The Hon Richard Jones, Member of the Legislative Council, Sydney

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