Over 2400 kangaroos will be shot this year as part of an ACT government cull – up almost 1000 on last year’s numbers. Earlier this week it was revealed that the licence authorising the latest cull allows for the shooting of 5000 animals over two years, which also includes shooting in reserves close to residential areas.
I’m generally opposed to the culling of any animal, especially beautiful native animals. The reason behind the cull is due to the overgrazing of high densities of kangaroos in particular areas which is destroying ecosystems and threatening various types of fauna. Now, I don’t claim to be any kind of expert on this issue but upon hearing this reasoning the first thing that springs to mind is, well, isn’t that just the food chain? Or is high kangaroo density due to the actions of humans? Are we to blame for the kangaroos essentially eating all the grass in certain areas?
With every kangaroo cull there are the ever-loyal protesters, often spending most of the hours in a day standing outside the Legislative Assembly holding photos of furry-faced Eastern Grey kangaroos. Some are also known to protest at the actual cull site.
In the past there has been some criticism of the protesters’ actions, including one instance where several protestors ran onto the nature reserve disturbing sedated kangaroos. However, these kangaroos weren’t threatened with the cull (they were partaking in the anti-fertility treatment). I respect anyone who will stand up for animals as it’s not often done, but I also have concerns for the safety of anyone who might run into the culling path and injure themselves.
As I mentioned, I’m generally opposed to culling and I feel sad for the animals that lose their lives, not to mention the joeys that are killed with a blow to the head after their mama roo has been shot. Some may view this as a hypocritical view from an animal lover, however I don’t think I would ever participate in a protest and risk the safety of other people.
I’ve often said to friends that I wish I could arrive at the culling site pre-cull (as in, several hours before the reserve is closed) and tell all the kangaroos that they need to leave quickly and maybe they need to consider not living in the same area, but sadly real life isn’t a fantasy land where animals can understand the English language.
The upcoming kangaroo cull will take place at Callum Brae on Mugga Lane; Crace, Goorooyarroo, Gungaderra and Mulanggari in Gungahlin; Kama and the Pinnacle near Hawker; Mount Painter near Cook, and Wanniassa Hills.
Where do you stand on the kangaroo cull, and what do you think of the protesters? While we all have the right to protest, does this still apply if other people’s safety is at risk?