Culling of kangaroos on rural leases has been undertaken under a licence system since 1998. The plan provides for the continuation of this along with the strict requirements for a shooter’s licence.
Kangaroo–vehicle collisions remain an intractable problem as no technique has proved effective in significantly reducing incidences. The plan outlines the three main categories of mitigation techniques: modifying road attributes; modifying animal behaviour; and modifying driver behaviour. The plan proposes more consideration of fencing and underpasses along high-risk roads. The plan gives close consideration to the question of commercial kangaroo harvesting in the ACT, but concludes that due to a range of significant constraints this will not be pursued in the foreseeable future.
The plan notes that there are entrenched conflicts over kangaroo management in Australia, especially with regard to commercial harvesting. There is a belief, on the part of some, that kangaroos (i.e. the harvested species) are on the brink of extinction.
However, the latest edition of The Mammals of Australia (2008) shows that all of the harvested species are assessed as being common or abundant.
Both the policy, and the CM, appear to be trying to have their bets each way on this.
Submissions on the Plan will be accepted up to close of business 11 May 2009. Comments should be forwarded:
by Post to:
Senior Strategic Planner
Research and Planning
Parks, Conservation and Lands
Department of Territory and Municipal Services
GPO Box 158 Canberra ACT 2601
via Email to: ParksConservationAndLands@act.gov.au
Ensure ‘Kangaroo Management Plan’ is entered in the subject field of your email.
UPDATED: The RSPCA’s ACT CEO, Michael Linke, has noted that it’s a very long document which they need to take some time reading, but his initial comments are:
RSPCA believes the document to be comprehensive in nature and appears to have explored all of the issues associated with kangaroo management.
RSPCA is pleased that the government has shown a clear commitment to animal welfare throughout the document.
RSPCA scientific staff will review the document in more detail over the coming weeks and prepare an appropriate submission to the ACT government.
FURTHER UPDATE: The ABC brings word that the Greens are supporting the plan, leaving the anti-cull lobby quite isolated. No mention yet on the Greens’ web site.
ANOTHER UPDATE: It doesn’t matter how well you consult, research, and deliberate the issue. If you’re going to put a bullet into skippy it’s going to upset all the world’s media. Even The Times (the real one in London, not our local offering) is running with it and leading with the Wildlife Protection Association of Australia’s lonely opposition.