Animal Liberation spokesperson Carolyn Drew and member Jess Ferry in front of Callum Brae nature where the kangaroo cull will occur. Photo: Jay Cronan
Gates to seven Canberra nature reserves have been locked as protesters prepare to block a kangaroo culling they say will have unintended consequences.
Culling could begin as early as Thursday evening, after the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal on Wednesday gave the go ahead for 1244 kangaroos to be shot by the end of July.
Animal Liberation ACT spokesperson Carolyn Drew said protesters would do everything they could to disrupt the cull, even if it put them in harms' way.
Mob of Kangaroos near the Mount Majura Vineyard. Photo: Jay Cronan
“Obviously we can't discuss them, [but] we'll try and do what we've done in the last couple of years. Drag it out until the end of July,” Ms Drew said. “We do expect them to shoot all night, because they're in a hurry. But we'll be out there with them.”
Ms Drew said the cull would do more than just reduce kangaroo numbers, it would damage the family groups left behind.
“You're not just shooting a bottle off a shelf, like you do at a fair,” she said. “Kangaroos live in big family groups and you're ruining that whole group. It has a profound effect.”
Ms Drew said the ACT government needs to produce proof that culling helps.
“The problem with their research is that there is no evidence their culling since 2010 has made any difference,” she said.
She said their members know what they're doing could be dangerous: “Everyone does training, [but] nothing's guaranteed. They're prepared to accept that element of risk, because if we don't stand our ground, who will?”
Member Jess Ferry said the methods used by shooters during the cull were "horrific".
“One joey was taken from the pit last year and autopsied. It was shot, had its head bashed in and its throat was cut. An experienced vet said it would have taken an extraordinary time to die,” Ms Ferry said.
She said she would be out on the reserves to prevent more deaths like that. “It's a little risk to put myself out here on a reserve, in the cold, to stop that suffering,” she said.
In light of the continued culling, Ms Drew says Canberra might have to realise it isn't the progressive, environmental city it thinks it is.
“We have a surface of 'Green is Good' but there's an awful lot of green-washing going on,” she said. “On one hand, it's the great Bush Capital. But they don't appreciate it for the animals.”