Environmental Minister Matt Kean has been inundated by protesters outside his Hornsby office, demanding he put a stop to kangaroo killing.
Early November, leaked documents showed that members of his department have serious concerns that his management of kangaroo hunting is unsustainable and puts the animals on a path of extinction. MP Catherine Cusack, a member of Minister Kean’s party, lashed out on the 7.30 report stating.
“I’m now seriously alarmed that we have a big issue in relation to the sustainability of this species that’s iconic to Australia… It’s actually quite distressing to me that our kangaroos could be in such a predicament.”
Animal Justice Party’s Sydney North West Regional Group leader, Sheila Milgate, led the protesters and says the decline in kangaroo population and the savagery approved in hunting practices is of grave concern.
“We specifically expressed concerns about the competence of the Department of Environment – a department that he has ultimate responsibility for. He has refused to respond to our questions and concerns, and instead, he has referred us to the Department of Environment – the same department that we had already raised concerns about and the same department that was exposed by the 7.30 Report last week.”
This year has also seen the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Health and Wellbeing of Kangaroos and Other Macropods in NSW, which found kangaroo numbers in severe decline in NSW. Drought and bushfires contribute to the dwindling numbers, but the biggest culprits are land clearing, licensed killing for agricultural interests and the commercial harvesting industry.
Worse still, the inquiry highlighted that hunting damaged the emotional health of kangaroos, with joeys playing less if their mob has been affected.
The kangaroo industry has become a multimillion-dollar production, with Nike and Adidas being big buyers of kangaroo leather, and their meat has a high-profit margin. Even last year, over 200,000 farmers and landholders in NSW received licenses to shoot any kangaroo on their property – these numbers do not include recreational hunting.
Add to that, the animals endure drought, bushfires, and road traffic; Ms Milgate thinks MP Kean needs to take action.
“We want Matt Kean to know that his constituents are concerned about kangaroos. We have been writing to Matt Kean expressing our concern about kangaroo populations and cruelty since the start of the NSW Kangaroo inquiry in June.”
Main Image Source: The Animal Justice Party