Millions of kangaroos in Australia are processed into meat and leather.

Kangaroos are one of the most famous marsupials and are typical representatives of the Australian fauna. Farmers and landowners, however, claim they are pests and are cruelly slaughtered to secure farmland and feed for millions of livestock in the arid landscape. The killing of Australian kangaroos is the largest massacre of wildlife in the world: 1.5 million kangaroos are legally and systematically shot every year by the Australian Kangaroo Industry (Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia). Meat, skin and leather are traded internationally. There are also illegal killings by farmers, who see the animals as competitors. Especially the red giant kangaroo, eastern and western gray giant kangaroos and mountain kangaroos are hunted.



Germany as a market for kangaroo products

About 40 percent of the kangaroo meat is exported abroad and offered there either as a pet food or as an exotic delicacy. In the period from 2013 to 2016, Germany was the world’s third largest importer of kangaroo meat and leather, making it one of the kangaroo industry’s leading trading partners. Germany imported 19 percent of the world’s meat during this period. It is offered in well-known supermarket-chains such as Lidl, Netto, ALDI, Hit, REWE, Metro and Fressnapf as well as in restaurants predominantly as steaks or as dog food. In addition, Germany imports 10 percent of imports of kangaroo apparel and leather, as well as 14 percent of kangaroo skin used by, among others, Adidas, Nike and Puma for football boots or sold by companies other than outdoor and motorcycle clothing.

In 2016, about 1.5 million animals were legally killed, according to data from the Australian government. Scientists and animal rights activists in Australia complain about the extinction of populations from formerly rich areas. They fear that the mass killing endangers the long-term survival of the kangaroos. In large areas of Australia, such as Tasmania or Victoria, the stocks have fallen significantly: In 2010, the Red Kangaroo had disappeared in 56 percent of its original range, the gray giant kangaroo even in 69 percent.



There are fewer and fewer kangaroos

Exact population numbers are missing.
The official estimates of the government, according to experts are greatly inflated. But only on this official basis the shooting rates are calculated.
Thus, counts are made selective in areas of high population densities or low kill rates.

Environmental impacts, increasing habitat loss, and illegal shooting by farmers and landowners are not taken into account in the state-sanctioned pursuit of kangaroos:
Between 2001 and 2010 stocks fell dramatically, from an estimated 57 million to 34 million. Kangaroos are severely affected by environmental factors such as drought and exposed to ever-increasing pressure. Their habitat has already been drastically decimated in recent years, mainly due to urban development and increasing agriculture. Kangaroos are reproducing very slowly and the juvenile mortality rate is very high at more than 73 percent.

Cruel hunt at night

Notwithstanding all risks and criticisms, the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia continues to promote the expansion of international trade in kangaroo products.
The killing of the kangaroos is extremely cruel: the animals are mostly shot in the dark of the night in remote desert regions. The Australian government’s regulations require killing adult animals with a direct headshot in order to save them unnecessary suffering. But this is very often not the case. Investigations by animal rights activists in Australia have shown that not all shot kangaroos are killed by the head, but at night precise targeting is difficult anyway. Countless animals suffer a long death struggle by neck or body shots. Even pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are hunted, the killing or the unprotected leaving the young animals tolerated as collateral damage. According to the rules of the procedure, kittens are to be beheaded from the mother’s pouch or killed by a blunt brain trauma, but in reality, young animals are often left behind and starve to death or are hit with their heads against a car. It is estimated that about 800,000 juveniles whose mother was killed die each year.


The killing is also often under unhygienic and health-related conditions that challenge the processing into meat: The marsupials are often gutted without controls and by insufficiently trained personnel in the field and uncooled on open vehicles without protection against flying or dirt at large Heat transported. 75 percent of human pathogens originate from wild animals, and kangaroos also carry many parasites and diseases. Tests in retail and supermarkets often show high levels of coliform and salmonella. Also impurities by shot cartridges are not uncommon.

Russia therefore stopped importing kangaroo meat in 2014. In 2015, California also stopped importing all kangaroo products. Meanwhile, there are synthetic alternatives for the coveted kangaroo leather, which unfortunately is still used by many manufacturers, as in Germany for example, where the trade in kangaroo products is still booming!

In order to remove the lucrative basis for the cruel death of millions of kangaroos, import bans from other countries and the renunciation of kangaroo’s meat and leather are urgently required.

Translation: Venus – with best regards to all

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