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Kangaroo culls – Do we have the right to protest?

Alexandra Craig 28 April 2015 28

kangaroo

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?

Do you support kangaroo culling in the ACT?

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Kangaroo culls – Do we have the right to protest?
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HenryBG 4:26 pm 30 Apr 15

crappicker said :

In at least one of the reserves I am familiar with, Callum Brae, there is ongoing fox baiting by TAMS. I imagine the fox baiting occurs in response to pressure from nearby sheep farmers. The baiting reduces a natural predator for the kangaroos, and so results in increased pressure on the grass supply for nearby farms.

In which parallel universe is a fox a natural (or unnatural) predator of the kangaroo?

And how many kangaroos would enjoy being slowly killed by a fox as opposed to a clean bullet?

rubaiyat 4:17 pm 30 Apr 15

IrishPete said :

rubaiyat said :

If we shoot and eat them, we are doing a far better job for the environment and creating a local sustainable industry, far better for us and the environment than sheep, cows, pigs or chicken.

But we don’t shoot and eat them. We shoot and bury them.

Kangaroo Hangis then? 😉

IrishPete 3:31 pm 30 Apr 15

rubaiyat said :

If we shoot and eat them, we are doing a far better job for the environment and creating a local sustainable industry, far better for us and the environment than sheep, cows, pigs or chicken.

But we don’t shoot and eat them. We shoot and bury them.

IrishPete 3:30 pm 30 Apr 15

Roksteddy said :

IrishPete said :

For some of us, the problem is that this annual cull (which by its nature is cruel, and also isn’t cheap) has not yet been subjected to even the most basic evaluation. Is the cull controlling kangaroo numbers? Sounds of crickets. No-one will answer that simple question

It took me less than 2 minutes to contradict this. You need to check out the TAMS and EPD websites
http://www.tams.act.gov.au/parks-recreation/plants_and_animals/urban_wildlife/local_wildlife/kangaroos
http://www.environment.act.gov.au/cpr/conservation-research/research

err, no, you mustn’t have read very far into those, or didn’t understand my comments.

There’s nothing since the commencement of the cull.

There’s one summary report at those links http://www.environment.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/715274/ACT-conservation-research-the-effects-of-kangaroo-grazing-and-biodiversityApril2015_final.pdf but it barely mentions the cull at all, so it certainly doesn’t represent an evaluation of the effect of the cull.

The “Calculation” report http://www.environment.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/576715/Calculation_of_the_number_of_kangaroos_to_cull_.pdf is far more impenetrable than it needed to be, but contains some interesting comments about ‘roo migration, “predation” by cars (which also means the ‘roos are mobile in and out of the reserves), and self-limiting of populations (which also means culling must therefore result in increased reproduction).

dungfungus 11:39 am 30 Apr 15

Southmouth said :

rubaiyat said :

IrishPete said :

For some of us, the problem is that this annual cull (which by its nature is cruel, and also isn’t cheap) has not yet been subjected to even the most basic evaluation. Is the cull controlling kangaroo numbers? Sounds of crickets. No-one will answer that simple question.

Unless the kangaroos live in Disneyland where even Bambi’s mother got shot, they would have originally been killed in fights, accidents, disease, starvation, thirst, predators or Aborigines.

None of which would have been quick or pleasant.

If we shoot and eat them, we are doing a far better job for the environment and creating a local sustainable industry, far better for us and the environment than sheep, cows, pigs or chicken.

Halal certification might be a hurdle

Nothing beats bacon.

Southmouth 9:10 am 30 Apr 15

rubaiyat said :

IrishPete said :

For some of us, the problem is that this annual cull (which by its nature is cruel, and also isn’t cheap) has not yet been subjected to even the most basic evaluation. Is the cull controlling kangaroo numbers? Sounds of crickets. No-one will answer that simple question.

Unless the kangaroos live in Disneyland where even Bambi’s mother got shot, they would have originally been killed in fights, accidents, disease, starvation, thirst, predators or Aborigines.

None of which would have been quick or pleasant.

If we shoot and eat them, we are doing a far better job for the environment and creating a local sustainable industry, far better for us and the environment than sheep, cows, pigs or chicken.

Halal certification might be a hurdle

rubaiyat 6:56 am 30 Apr 15

IrishPete said :

For some of us, the problem is that this annual cull (which by its nature is cruel, and also isn’t cheap) has not yet been subjected to even the most basic evaluation. Is the cull controlling kangaroo numbers? Sounds of crickets. No-one will answer that simple question.

Unless the kangaroos live in Disneyland where even Bambi’s mother got shot, they would have originally been killed in fights, accidents, disease, starvation, thirst, predators or Aborigines.

None of which would have been quick or pleasant.

If we shoot and eat them, we are doing a far better job for the environment and creating a local sustainable industry, far better for us and the environment than sheep, cows, pigs or chicken.

dungfungus 9:15 pm 29 Apr 15

Grimm said :

dungfungus said :

I practice what I preach if that’s what you mean. I live within my means in all respects.

So, you don’t live in a house or apartment that sits on what was once uncleared bushland? Living within your means has nothing to do with a growing population requiring more land to be cleared and dwellings and amenities be built to accommodate that population.

dungfungus said :

While Obama says (pathetically) that climate change is the world’s biggest threat, unbridled population growth is a bigger one.

Probably not far of there at least.

dungfungus said :

What a shame that people in a subsistence environment still breed to compound the problem for themselves and the rest of the world who are obliged to help them.

What subsistence environment? There certainly isn’t one in Canberra. I certainly don’t know of anybody purely living a subsistence lifestyle. If you live in a house, have electricity and plumbing, and eat food you don’t hunt and gather yourself, you are not living a subsistence lifestyle or in a subsistence environment.

dungfungus said :

At least a Kangaroo can stop breeding in times of drought so that the offspring won’t starve to death.

Well apparently they are about as good as humans when it comes to self regulating their population, hence the need for the culls.

I was always talking about the global population problem and I am aware that that my house displaced native flora and fauna so I welcome and feed any creature that used to traverse here.
Do you live in a cave?

Southmouth 9:05 pm 29 Apr 15

If foxes had any impact on kangaroo numbers there would be no need for a cull. The ACT is over run with the things. If people want to protest on behalf of our fury native animals, they should protest that foxes are in plague proportions and decimating our native (little) fury critters.

Roksteddy 8:02 pm 29 Apr 15

IrishPete said :

For some of us, the problem is that this annual cull (which by its nature is cruel, and also isn’t cheap) has not yet been subjected to even the most basic evaluation. Is the cull controlling kangaroo numbers? Sounds of crickets. No-one will answer that simple question

It took me less than 2 minutes to contradict this. You need to check out the TAMS and EPD websites
http://www.tams.act.gov.au/parks-recreation/plants_and_animals/urban_wildlife/local_wildlife/kangaroos
http://www.environment.act.gov.au/cpr/conservation-research/research

Roksteddy 7:09 pm 29 Apr 15

dungfungus said :

At least a Kangaroo can stop breeding in times of drought so that the offspring won’t starve to death.

An oft-quoted fallacy. Some populations of Western Red kangaroos have shown evidence of this. They are the only species of kangaroo to do so. Eastern Greys don’t.

crappicker said :

I do not think that we are being told the full story by the ACT government.

In at least one of the reserves I am familiar with, Callum Brae, there is ongoing fox baiting by TAMS. I imagine the fox baiting occurs in response to pressure from nearby sheep farmers. The baiting reduces a natural predator for the kangaroos, and so results in increased pressure on the grass supply for nearby farms. TAMS then is pressured for a kangaroo cull. At Callum Brae kangaroo culls have been going on for years.

I am not that familiar with other reserves where regular culls occur, eg Kama, the Pinnacle and Mount Painter, but imagine that silimar scenarios may apply.

A cull of spin doctors in TAMS’ media room seems well overdue.

A convoluted argument. Foxes have minimal impact upon kangaroo numbers. And that scenario you ‘imagine’ could only be imagined for very few of the reserves.

IrishPete 5:06 pm 29 Apr 15

For some of us, the problem is that this annual cull (which by its nature is cruel, and also isn’t cheap) has not yet been subjected to even the most basic evaluation. Is the cull controlling kangaroo numbers? Sounds of crickets. No-one will answer that simple question.

Let’s leave the more complex questions of whether controlling ‘roo numbers actually has the downstream “benefits” claimed for it – it can’t achieve those “benefits” if it’s not controlling numbers, and the rebound rates in the populations (as demonstrated by the need for the cull every year, albeit sometimes in different places) suggest that it isn’t even controlling the population. And it if is, the population may be recovering quite rapidly.

It’s your money folks – don’t you want to know if it’s being spent effectively (working)? Or are you happy for government to spend millions (five years now I think) and never report on effectiveness?

I don’t know why public servants would keep promoting a practice if they didn’t think it was working, but stranger things have happened. Any of you with experience of working in a public service organisation will know that other factors can come into play, like ego, budgets, empire-building…

And why are cattle allowed into culled reserves?

crappicker 4:16 pm 29 Apr 15

I do not think that we are being told the full story by the ACT government.

In at least one of the reserves I am familiar with, Callum Brae, there is ongoing fox baiting by TAMS. I imagine the fox baiting occurs in response to pressure from nearby sheep farmers. The baiting reduces a natural predator for the kangaroos, and so results in increased pressure on the grass supply for nearby farms. TAMS then is pressured for a kangaroo cull. At Callum Brae kangaroo culls have been going on for years.

I am not that familiar with other reserves where regular culls occur, eg Kama, the Pinnacle and Mount Painter, but imagine that silimar scenarios may apply.

A cull of spin doctors in TAMS’ media room seems well overdue.

Grimm 1:52 pm 29 Apr 15

dungfungus said :

I practice what I preach if that’s what you mean. I live within my means in all respects.

So, you don’t live in a house or apartment that sits on what was once uncleared bushland? Living within your means has nothing to do with a growing population requiring more land to be cleared and dwellings and amenities be built to accommodate that population.

dungfungus said :

While Obama says (pathetically) that climate change is the world’s biggest threat, unbridled population growth is a bigger one.

Probably not far of there at least.

dungfungus said :

What a shame that people in a subsistence environment still breed to compound the problem for themselves and the rest of the world who are obliged to help them.

What subsistence environment? There certainly isn’t one in Canberra. I certainly don’t know of anybody purely living a subsistence lifestyle. If you live in a house, have electricity and plumbing, and eat food you don’t hunt and gather yourself, you are not living a subsistence lifestyle or in a subsistence environment.

dungfungus said :

At least a Kangaroo can stop breeding in times of drought so that the offspring won’t starve to death.

Well apparently they are about as good as humans when it comes to self regulating their population, hence the need for the culls.

dungfungus 8:28 am 29 Apr 15

Pork Hunt said :

So Dungers, are you part of the problem or part of the solution?

I practice what I preach if that’s what you mean. I live within my means in all respects.
While Obama says (pathetically) that climate change is the world’s biggest threat, unbridled population growth is a bigger one.
What a shame that people in a subsistence environment still breed to compound the problem for themselves and the rest of the world who are obliged to help them.
At least a Kangaroo can stop breeding in times of drought so that the offspring won’t starve to death.

HenryBG 8:31 pm 28 Apr 15

Mysteryman said :

Not only do I support the cull completely, but I also feel that the people protesting it and complaining about it are somewhat detached from reality.

That much has been obvious for years – and yet our defective legal system allows them to lodge bizarre actions every single year, rather than dealing definitively with their delusional beliefs once and for all the first time they crop up.

You don’t suppose….lawyers actually *benefit* from allowing pointless legal actions to repeat in what seems like a never-ending loop, do you…?

Pork Hunt 5:27 pm 28 Apr 15

So Dungers, are you part of the problem or part of the solution?

Dame Canberra 4:34 pm 28 Apr 15

Roksteddy said :

Dame Canberra said :

perhaps it would be more effective to protest the method?

As Grimm said, what other method is there? Currently, it is the best method available.
Yes, there is a fertility control trial happening. Until that is finalised, then there really isn’t an alternative.

Ah, I didn’t realise the fertility control method was a trial. I thought it was a choice between that, shooting and a bunch of other options I’d assumed were at the government’s disposal. Apparently not! As you were, folks.

Roksteddy 3:49 pm 28 Apr 15

Dame Canberra said :

perhaps it would be more effective to protest the method?

As Grimm said, what other method is there? Currently, it is the best method available.
Yes, there is a fertility control trial happening. Until that is finalised, then there really isn’t an alternative.

And yes, of course we have the right to protest. You have the right to be opposed to the cull. I can understand you opposing culling of a species that is very visually prominent on the Canberra landscape. They are a beautiful creature. But if we do nothing then we are condemning other species that don’t get our attention because they aren’t so cute and cuddly. You should be opposed to their demise.

Evilomlap 2:20 pm 28 Apr 15

Given the chance, a kangaroo would shoot you without batting an eyelid, believe me. I spoke to one the other day who ended our conversation with the ever-so-unsettling “just be glad I don’t have opposable thumbs, boyo…” he then winked at me and made a clicking sound that I still hear in my dreams…

Seriously, I saw a thing on the news not too long ago that they were experimenting on some kind of medicinal sterilisation method to reduce/replace the cull? Anyone else see this?

And also seriously, the only person I have ever known who participated in the cull was a redneck who looked forward to it every year because it gave him a chance to act out his psycho tendencies, and the only person I ever knew who protested the cull was a hippie weirdo. Maybe if normal people participated in either side of the argument I’d be more inclined to get involved rather than feel the irresistible urge to back away slowly.

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