Government loads up for five-year roo cull deal

Ian Bushnell 29 January 2020 83
Eastern grey kangaroo

Last year’s cull of eastern grey kangaroos was the biggest yet. Photo: File.

The ACT Government is seeking to secure shooters to carry out the Territory’s annual kangaroo cull for the next five years.

Under a tender issued on 22 January, the government wants to lock in a contractor on a three-year deal, with the possibility of two further 12 month extensions

A cull of the ACT’s eastern grey kangaroo population is conducted each year between 1 March and 31 July in the Canberra Nature Park and public lands to ease the impact of grazing on other native fauna and flora, including endangered communities of yellow box/red gum grassy woodlands and natural temperate grasslands.

Many kangaroos also starve to death as overpopulation leads to a lack of feed, particularly when combined with dry conditions such as the kind the ACT has been experiencing.

The number of kangaroos culled has been steadily rising in recent years, with 4035 animals killed by contracted shooters across 14 sites last year, just shy of the 4076 target number.

Last year’s cull was the largest undertaken in the history of the program in terms of numbers and sites to be targeted.

Territory ecologists select target sites and target cull quotas based on scientific assessment and the cull must be conducted in accordance with the kangaroo management plans.

Roo cull

The government wants a contractor to provide two teams of a shooter and driver each, which can operate on the same site or in different locations.

The annual cull has often been controversial with animal activists in the past protesting against and attempting to disrupt the program.

The tender says shooters can expect protester activity at cull sites, and intense media and political scrutiny, which can result in delays to the cull’s timetable.

It also says the contractor must operate in a “covert manner by having a very low signature when entering and exiting sites” and maintain program confidentiality.

Shooters will be working at night and must use telescopic sights and silencers, without white light and assisted by a combination of thermal and night vision technology to locate and shoot kangaroos with very high accuracy and humanely.

According to the tender, shooters must aim to kill 100 per cent of kangaroos instantly, with a minimum requirement of 97 per cent per shift. They must meet at least 90 per cent of their target quotas per shift.

Shooters must have Territory administered shooter proficiency accreditation, passing marksmanship tests, being able to identify different species of kangaroos and wallabies, and have a knowledge of the National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Non-Commercial Purposes.

The teams must count and collect carcasses, which the government will take to a nominated spot for disposal.

The tender closes on 18 February and then the government is looking to sign a contract in March.


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83 Responses to Government loads up for five-year roo cull deal
Frankie Seymour Frankie Seymour 11:29 am 03 Feb 20

Very disappointing that the Riot Act is giving credence to the ACT government’s usual twaddle about why they are killing the kangaroos. The annual massacre has nothing to do kangaroos starving, or being overpopulated, or harming the environment. It is all about getting money and votes from farmers and developers. It has never been about anything else. As for the Code of Practice, it exists only to protect shooters from prosecution for what would otherwise be criminal acts of cruelty. Killing yet more kangaroos when millions have already died in these fires is mindbogglingly stupid as well as morally inexcusable.

Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 12:24 am 03 Feb 20

Gail Walker you ask, " Why can’t you use humane birth control if there really is too many?" You appear to have no idea how many kangaroos there are out there. Who is going to foot the bill for all those and to give the contraception, which will then need to be repeated? You need to go out and walk in the bush and see the grass eaten down to the ground, and that's in a good season. It's like a lawn mower has gone through on its lowest setting. Now it's likely to be basically dirt. Kangaroos are hungry. I have seen a kangaroo stand up and collapse again because it was so weak. I think many who protest about this don't go out and actually see the reality of how bad this is and the kangaroos suffering.

Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 12:10 am 03 Feb 20

Thin, drought effected kangaroos I saw today. There is such a huge lack of food.

rationalobserver rationalobserver 10:13 am 02 Feb 20

Lots and lots of comments here by people who clearly have no idea about wildlife management.
Culling will become critical as the land rebounds from the fires, with the green pick fuelling a population explosion. Kangaroos have an amazing capacity to reproduce.
Wildlife literature abounds with science showing that translocation results in high mortality rates. Translocation hurts not only the animal translocated, but the animals in the release area.
Widescale contraception is not feasible. For that to work you would need to keep every kangaroo in an enclosed pen and repeatedly capture or dart them, again an animal welfare nightmare.
There is nothing cruel about a head shot. It’s instant lights out. No stress, no fear, no anxiety. No pain. Contrast that with the insidiously slow death from starvation and dehydration, or predation whilst you are in a very weakened state.
If you really care about animals, you must accept that a cull is the best of all available options. If you can not accept that, then I fear that your focus is on your own feelings rather than the welfare of the animals.

Gail Walker Gail Walker 5:54 am 01 Feb 20

Why can’t you use humane birth control if there really is too many? There must be something in this somewhere for unscrupulous people? Shame on you Australia

    Penelope Alexander Penelope Alexander 11:02 pm 02 Feb 20

    Gail it really is out of our control 😞

Suzanne Milne Suzanne Milne 1:25 pm 31 Jan 20

I thought we genuinely cared about our native animals, now I see it's just a farce.

grim123 grim123 9:54 am 31 Jan 20

Still don’t understand why they just bury the carcasses, rather than at least using them for pet food. Even just over the border there are chiller boxes taking roos for the pet food market. Seems wasteful.

Clive Horan Clive Horan 8:11 am 31 Jan 20

Because the government making money out of each kangaroo

maxblues maxblues 1:35 am 31 Jan 20

Kill/cull all the native animals and cut down all the native trees. Then overpopulate the territory with humans.
The plan is coming together.

Looneymoon Looneymoon 10:40 pm 30 Jan 20

At a time when wildlife (including Eastern Grey kangaroos) are taking a major hit due to the fires, on top of land clearing that has wiped their habitat out and made them far more vulnerable to droughts like the current one we are experiencing, the ACT government take the first steps to kill a few more thousand of them. Ugly, this is simply ugly. No care or concern for the kangaroo families who, like the rest of us, want to be left in peace. Of course the excuse will be they are ‘starving’ but even when the rains are good their excuse is they are overpopulating. The kangaroos can’t win. The so-called science is scientism at best. Rest assured ACT government groups such as Animal Liberation ACT, the Antispeciesist Collective and Animal Protectors Alliance will be there from the first shot. See you on the reserves.

Monica Tiffen Monica Tiffen 9:39 pm 30 Jan 20

I can't bear to even think about such cruelty!!!!

rationalobserver rationalobserver 9:24 pm 30 Jan 20

Good. The roo population in Canberra is unnaturally high and unsustainable. They need proactive management and shooting is currently the most humane way of achieving this.

Peter Wheatley Peter Wheatley 8:38 pm 30 Jan 20

Haven't we lost enough wildlife Jesus

Sue Mckellar Sue Mckellar 7:34 pm 30 Jan 20

We have probably lost quite a few to drought and fires now.

Toby Williams Toby Williams 6:27 pm 30 Jan 20

So how about all the greenies and climate change advocates get behind the sustainable use of kangaroos for human consumption.

It is better for our health, it causes less harm to the land and environment in general.

In stead of culling them turn this natural resource into a positive.

And for those who say sheep and cows are the best meet, research what it does to our environment in Australia. Hard hooves are very damaging to our land.

    Paprika Smith Paprika Smith 6:48 pm 30 Jan 20

    Toby Williams incorrect, talking motorbike. Kangaroo meat harbours numerous pathogens, the transport and storage of the meat is filthy enough for Russia to ban the meat australia exports (google how many samples from store bought kangaroo meat had dangerous e.coli levels), and it’s high in heme iron which is strongly linked with cancer. It’s also completely unsustainable, contrary to popular mythology they actually don’t reproduce quickly. But I think the most salient point is that they, like cows and sheep and all other animals, are sentient beings not “resources”. You wanna be environmentally friendly? Stop eating animals full stop.

    Jenny McInnes Jenny McInnes 7:12 am 31 Jan 20

    Paprika Smith could you please explain what you mean by they don't reproduce quickly?

    I do know they can have two joeys in their pouch. One usually around 12 month mark when another fertillised one makes its way to the pouch. They can also in times of drought hold off - keep parked these already fertilised eggs.

    Joshua McTackett Joshua McTackett 5:53 pm 31 Jan 20

    I'd be behind that if they're safe for consumption. I've heard they often get some parasites and what have you in the wild that make them unsafe, but this may not be the case.

    Toby Williams Toby Williams 9:02 pm 31 Jan 20

    All kangaroo meat is wild caught. They do not farm them.

    And yes Jenny you are correct, that was my reason for being sarcastic. You can not change anyone’s mind here. They reproduce to satisfy the available food supply. They do this by having up to 3 young in a suspended state, before birth, one on a nipple, and a joey can accelerate them when more food is available.

    Joshua McTackett Joshua McTackett 10:35 pm 31 Jan 20

    Toby Williams sometimes the simplest way is the best way. Still keen to try that paprika next time though

    Jenny McInnes Jenny McInnes 6:53 am 02 Feb 20

    Toby Williams I am "climate change advocate" and a bit of a "greenie" I don't agree. I am not sure where you get "about all"

    Toby Williams Toby Williams 10:03 am 02 Feb 20

    Jenny McInnes so you think it is better to continue the farming of sheep and cows that destroy the environment and release huge amounts of methane.

    I am not saying you personally should eat kangaroo or any of the other animals but for the sake of the environment you should be able to see that what I am suggesting is a better option.

    It’s not about vegans or carnivores, it’s about the type of animals that are eaten.

    Joshua McTackett Joshua McTackett 10:19 am 02 Feb 20

    Toby Williams kangaroo is a superior meat in almost all cases

    Toby Williams Toby Williams 10:33 am 02 Feb 20

    Jenny McInnes so you think it is better to continue the farming of sheep and cows that destroy the environment and release huge amounts of methane.

    I am not saying you personally should eat kangaroo or any of the other animals but for the sake of the environment you should be able to see that what I am suggesting is a better option.

    It’s not about vegans or carnivores, it’s about the type of animals that are eaten.

    Toby Williams Toby Williams 10:35 am 02 Feb 20

    Joshua McTackett I agree, but my original comment is more about the environmental benefits of kangaroo over imported species like sheep and cows.

    We base our whole meat industry on animals that harm our environment

    Joshua McTackett Joshua McTackett 10:56 am 02 Feb 20

    Toby Williams absolutely. I couldn't agree more

Jessee Bunyip Jessee Bunyip 6:06 pm 30 Jan 20

Given the southern end of the ACT is on fire - are they going to need a cull this year?

Andrew Higginson Andrew Higginson 5:54 pm 30 Jan 20

Govt stats suggest we had 27 million kangaroos in 2010 and this will have increased to about 50 million in next few years - double our human count. The question is how do we support or reduce this number to a sustainable number. I know this post will upset some (including friends) but the ACT Govt appears to be pursuing a humane and realistic approach

Joshua McTackett Joshua McTackett 4:16 pm 30 Jan 20

Everyone angry reacting can deal with hitting them in their cars.

    Ryan Sjaarda Ryan Sjaarda 11:54 pm 30 Jan 20

    Joshua McTackett dont forget that they'll also have to watch them starve to death slowly 😉

Chrissy Hastir Chrissy Hastir 2:20 pm 30 Jan 20

Stupid bloody government!

Anna Francesca Clancy Anna Francesca Clancy 1:22 pm 30 Jan 20

We should keep our Roos. We are going to need them to help repopulate burnt out areas where so many have been lost. It’s a cruel

And violent method and I’m

Surprised RSPCA don’t weigh in..

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