Million-dollar contract locks in kangaroo cull for next five years

Ian Bushnell 1 July 2020 16

Almost 2000 kangaroos will be culled from nature parks and reserves by August. Photo: File.

The ACT Government will shell out nearly a million dollars over the next five years for shooters to humanely cull kangaroos in the Territory’s nature parks and reserves.

The $880,000, five-year contract, awarded to Strathbogie Wildlife, includes this year’s cull of almost 2000 Eastern Grey Kangaroos currently being undertaken and options for the following four years.

The contractor must provide two teams of a shooter and driver each, plus vehicles and equipment for the annual culls that can be conducted between 1 March and 31 July.

The teams will operate at night with ATV and 4WD vehicles in uneven and sometimes steep terrain and remote locations under observation by a Territory veterinary officer and/or independent inspector.

The contract says the shooting may attract protestors, and intense media and political scrutiny that can cause delays, and the teams must operate covertly, entering and exiting sites without being noticed.

They must use telescopic sights, thermal and night vision technology to locate and shoot kangaroos with very high accuracy, as well as use silencers to avoid attracting attention.

Carcasses must be taken to a nominated spot so they can be disposed of by ACT officials. They cannot be used to supply meat for human consumption or by pets and will be buried.

In previous years a proportion of kangaroo meat from the cull was processed into baits for use in the ACT Government wild dog and fox control programs.

Kangaroo cull

Kangaroo conservation culling. Image: ACT Government.

The ACT Parks and Conservation Service says it is too expensive to commercially process the low number of carcasses generated in the culls.

However, the ACT Government has commissioned a paper on carcass utilisation options that will be completed by spring.

On-ground service teams will collect data including species, sex and number shot, GPS location of wounded and unrecovered animals, and the number of pouch young euthanised.

The teams must comply with the National Code of Practice for the humane shooting of kangaroos and wallabies for non-commercial purpose, and pass a knowledge test of the Code.

The current cull began on 15 June after being delayed due to coronavirus restrictions. The cull is expected to be over by 1 August.

The impact on vegetation of record-breaking heat and dry conditions over the past 12 to 18 months has meant the number of kangaroos in this year’s cull has been reduced. No culling will take place in the fire-affected Namadgi National Park or Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

The cull target of 1958 is just under half that of the 4035 kangaroos killed last year.

It will occur in nine nature reserves and adjacent territory land in the ACT. The sites are closed in the evenings from Sunday to Thursday, but are open during the day and on weekends from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon. The sites are Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve, Isaacs Ridge Nature Reserve, Mt Mugga Mugga Nature Reserve, Crace Grasslands Nature Reserve, Gungaderra Grasslands Nature Reserve, Mulanggari Grasslands Nature Reserve, Goorooyaroo Nature Reserve, West Jerrabomberra Nature Reserve and Callum Brae Nature Reserve.

The ACT Government conducts the culls to ease grazing pressures and protect grassland species but usually attracts protest from animal liberation groups.

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16 Responses to Million-dollar contract locks in kangaroo cull for next five years
George Watling George Watling 8:36 pm 10 Jul 20

Will Andrew Barr’s relentless war with nature never stop. 40,000 trees have been cut down and dozens of our green spaces have been built on since he an Mr. Rattenbury (the greyest green in in the history of the party) came to power.

Tim Böhm Tim Böhm 10:46 am 06 Jul 20

5 years is a long time. How about trying to find a better solution or is that too much to ask from our tied and out of touch Green/Labor Government?

chook58 chook58 3:35 pm 04 Jul 20

The RIOT article is more propaganda by the ACT Government. As a front-line protester and eye-witness there is nothing “humane” about the killing.

These mercenaries follow the national code of practice – what a JOKE. Mis-shoot and leave the kangaroo in pain for an hour before going back to deliver the fatal shot.

There has NEVER been a vet on any these reserves during the massacre.

The only environmental damage being caused is by the SHOOTERS. Entering a reserve after rain churns up the ground. Allowing sheep and cattle to graze also causes damage.

WAKE UP Canberra. This “cull” is about mass developer sprawl. Killing kangaroos damages the environment because it also removes all the other wildlife that rely on kangaroos to manage the grasslands.

Whitney Richardson Whitney Richardson 6:54 pm 03 Jul 20

Ten thousand or so killed in the last five years. Hardly any left in the reserves around me these days. Will be none left by the end of the five years. Disgusting decision by the government

Jorge Gatica Jorge Gatica 12:56 pm 02 Jul 20

Is this another one of the ACT government’s Covid-19’s economic survival package for struggling businesses??

Michele Woods Michele Woods 10:26 am 02 Jul 20

I drove to my mother's house and back the other evening and I normally see tens of roos at that time of night along what was formally Cotter Road and William Hovell drive between Weston creek and belconnen.

Didn't see a single animal. Not one.

I loved Canberra because it was the Bush capital. I miss that so much

    Steve Wood Steve Wood 11:21 am 02 Jul 20

    Michele Woods it still is Andrew Barr's concrete Bush capital.. If there is space he will built on it

    Jon Billows Jon Billows 11:45 am 02 Jul 20

    Unfortunately Canberrans now seem too selfish to really think of it as a country town where everyone pitches in

    Whitney Richardson Whitney Richardson 6:56 pm 03 Jul 20

    Michele Woods I love seeing them too around Canberra. I’m so appalled at this.

Louise Rogers Louise Rogers 10:08 am 02 Jul 20

The drought & bushfires have already had an impact on kangaroo numbers. It’s ridiculous to go ahead with the current cull. Complete waste of money. And only going ahead because the contractors have been paid to do something.

    Jay Kay Jay Kay 5:08 pm 02 Jul 20

    Mostly wrong, Kangaroo's can avoid firefronts generally okay. What they do have an impact on however is destroying new sprouting vegetation, condemning most other species and reducing biodiversity n the areas

    Mark Andrew Mark Andrew 8:46 am 03 Jul 20

    Louise Rogers they didn't come anywhere close to their kill quota last season because there isn't actually that many around.

    And that was before the bushfires.

    Louise Rogers Louise Rogers 9:39 am 03 Jul 20

    Camm Kelly I know about ecology & kangaroo biology thanks all the same.

    Louise Rogers Louise Rogers 9:43 am 03 Jul 20

    Mark Andrew do they try & meet their kill quota regardless of population? That’s my concern. Contracts seem to be awarded when there’s not a need for them in the short term at least.

Lynne Audsley Lynne Audsley 10:06 am 02 Jul 20

So that explains the large numbers of kangaroos taking shelter in suburban backyards in my suburb. The suburb backs a nature reserve. The same place we left out water troughs for the kangaroos during the bushfires...

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