In a Thank You Thursday post last month we wrote about the Australian Koala Foundation and the work they are doing to help save an Aussie icon, so when we recently heard some horrifying facts about another Australian icon we thought it only fair to discuss it here today.
The image of the Australian kangaroo is used by Government, our largest corporations (think, the flying kangaroo), sporting teams and our tourist industry, yet every day up to a thousand joeys are killed across the country. A thousand joeys are torn from their mothers’ pouch then clubbed to death, shot, decapitated or left to die from starvation, dehydration or attacked by other animals after their mothers have been killed.
The campaign ‘Save a Joey‘, an Australian Society for Kangaroos Initiative, is determined to get the message out to the public about what is happening and stop this unnecessary killing. The joeys are in fact the collateral damage of the Australian Kangaroo Industry, the by-products of an industry set up to inhumanely slaughter our beloved Australian marsupial, our mascot on the coat of arms, for pet food, shoes, tourist trinkets and gourmet burgers and sausages.
According to an Australian Government Report, almost 90 million kangaroos and wallabies have been lawfully killed for commercial purposes in the last 20 years (this does not include the joey deaths). The slaughter occurs at night when it cannot be monitored. It is the largest massacre of wildlife on the planet – happening right here in Australia.
Kangaroos are integral to the Australian environment they assist in the regeneration of native grasses, reduce the risk of bushfire and live in harmony with the landscape. Kangaroos have strong family bonds, a social structure similar to humans and have been observed to suffer severe grief when one of their mob dies.
The Australian RSPCA estimates that around 100,000 adult kangaroos are not killed humanely and some may temporarily survive with horrific wounds. While shooters are required by Commercial Codes of Practice to aim to shoot a kangaroo in the head and achieve instant death, factors such as darkness, distance, weather, the small size of a kangaroo’s head, unexpected movements of kangaroos who are startled from gunfire and the skill and experience of the individual shooter impede this.
Non-fatal body shots are unavoidable causing horrific and painful injuries. David Nicholls, a former commercial kangaroo shooter, challenges the view that the kangaroo industry is humane:
“The mouth of a kangaroo can be blown off and the kangaroo can escape to die of shock and starvation. Stomachs can be hit expelling the contents with the kangaroo still alive. Backbones can be pulverised to an unrecognisable state. Hind legs can be shattered with the kangaroo desperately trying to get away on the other or without the use of the other. To deny that this goes on is just an exercise in attempting to fool the public.”
It is a shameful reflection on human ignorance and lack of compassion for our fellow creatures on the planet.
So on this Thank You Thursday the Fish Chick would like to acknowledge the work of the Australian Society for Kangaroos and the ‘Save the Joey’ campaign – let’s get the word out there!
See you in the pond,
The Fish Chick.