Operation Kangaroo

Upfront I need to say I’m an environmental scientist. I need to say that because from what I’ve heard, the things I’m about to say will upset some people, so I want to be clear I am coming from a professional perspective.

Standing on a road with roos (and snow) in the background

Operation Kangaroo is an educational campaign being run by the Australian Government in the US. The reason it is needed is because apparently there is “a myth that persists that commercial kangaroo harvesting is a threat to the species”.

A mob of roos (common eastern greys) a few blocks from where I live in the suburbs

According to the information I’ve seen, the US animal-rights activists have managed to get law-makers on their side to ban Aussie imports of kangaroo products – their belief, that our culling programs are the “biggest slaughter of wildlife on the planet”.

Can I just say upfront, this is ridiculous. Australia has plenty of kangaroos, in some areas more than the environment can support (which is why they are culled). There are very strict controls about which species can be culled, the numbers, the method, the time of year etc. To put it bluntly, it is often more humane to cull than for the roos to starve, be killed by cars because they are forced to come into suburban areas looking for lawn etc.

A mob of eastern grey kangaroos relaxing in the shade

But the biggest thing, and this is incredibly important, is that Australia has no native hooved animals (unlike the US which has bison). This is a really important distinction, because our environment doesn’t cope with hooved animals. The damage horses, cattle, sheep and goats do to the environment is beyond the scope of this post. But we are a country that has adapted to the lack of hooves. And if you saw the damage that hooves do (and trust me, I’ve had a career dealing with things like this), it should make you feel differently about the harvesting of kangaroos.

I have said for a very long time now, Australia should invest more in the production of kangaroos (for meat and leather) for a myriad of positive environmental reasons, rather than the standard hooved meat/dairy/wool animals.

A male eastern grey kangaroo – bounding away without any damage to the ground

The animal activists in America have it wrong. Kangaroo harvesting is a highly sustainable and a better environmental option than other meat sources in a country where the kangaroo is native.

Unfortunately, a film opposing Australia’s kangaroo cull has been made by two Hollywood filmmakers and has been shared on social media by comedian Ricky Gervais (14.4 million Twitter followers) and other celebrities.

I wish people had the facts and didn’t let emotions and celebrities think for them.

What do you think?

13 comments on “Operation Kangaroo

  1. Giggling Fattie

    March 10, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    But why are the Americans making a fuss over something they don’t understand or have any stake in?

    I hate to say it but typical Americans….

    • I have no idea why they’ve decided to become invested in kangaroos. My experience is that most people overseas have no idea about them (in the same way Aussies don’t have much idea about bears).

  2. I live in the USA and never heard the bunny and butterfly crowd say anything about Roos. I am not a member of that crowd because I was also an environmental scientist with years of field work.

    The bunny and butterfly crowd always needs to bitch about mismanagement somewhere, and out previous president shot them down here. His only environmental thing was for his bitch about windmills, he hates windmills.

    That might be why they picked on y’all. Don’t sweat it, they are back home now and circling their wagons to go back to the culling of deer and bears, they still don’t understand that every new subdivision is encroaching on the wilderness and decreasing the size of the flocks that the land can support.

    • Haha, I hope they go back to whinging at home, rather than about what is happening here. We’ll see. Funny how they can’t see things from a balanced perspective.

  3. Those activist folks have no morals or ethics, and don’t really care what ‘true’ is. They did a similar hatchet job on wolves in Alaska.

    • Really? I hadn’t heard about the wolves. I bet they are like sharks in Australia – we aren’t allowed to cull sharks (all protected) and their numbers are going through the roof with the result we are getting more attacks on humans (because there aren’t the fish to sustain them).

  4. This is the first I’m hearing of this. It doesn’t surprise me that people are speaking with little experience. That seems to be the norm. And Ricky Gervais? ‘Nough said. (I can’t stand him.)

    • Wow, I thought for sure you would have heard of it, Liz, because California is at the forefront of the anti-kangaroo movement. There have been on-and-off laws in California since 1971 to ban kangaroo products. And I’m onboard with you re Ricky Gervais, although it was good to see him stand up to the anti-vaxxers after he got his first shot.

  5. We have the same thing in the US with deer (which, incidentally, are also native hoofed animals). If we didn’t have deer season, we’d be overrun with deer. It’s the Bambi thing: “how could you kill something that is so adorable?” Likewise, Americans and others who don’t live in Australia see kangaroos and think, “aw, they’re so cute, how could you even think of killing them?” when in fact they’re a nuisance when their population grows beyond a certain point.

    What does kangaroo taste like? Chicken?

    • Actually, kangaroo is rather gamey, so nothing like chicken 😉 It has a stronger flavour than beef, but it is really lean meat. I like it.

  6. Giggling Fattie

    March 13, 2021 at 11:33 pm

    I’m sure theres probably ONE person who has studied the habits of the kangaroo here, my friend did her masters in Australia on the effects of something on shark eggs. But like pffftt -ignore the crazies AJ. Lol

  7. I hadn’t heard about this, either. Wildlife management should be treated for what it is, a genuine environmental issue that needs science not just emotion. We have droves of elk and deer in Colorado, and with more habitat turning into residential space every year, managing the numbers is critical. Otherwise, they starve or become more susceptible to chronic wasting disease. We have annual hunting by permit, and although I’m not the kind of person to shoot a deer, I have nothing against people who do it responsibly.

    • Exactly the same here. You need permits etc and it’s managed taking into consideration a whole range of factors.

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