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Support for roo move questioned

A proposed large-scale trial of relocating kangaroos from ACT nature reserves as an alternative to culling appears unlikely to go ahead next year.

Territory and Municipal Services Minister Shane Rattenbury agreed earlier this year to consider a proposal for kangaroos to be tranquilised and ''translocated'' to other parts of the ACT.

But translocation proponent Marcus Fillinger, who runs the animal welfare charity Alphadog Animal Army, now claims Mr Rattenbury's early support was merely a political ruse.

Mr Rattenbury said on Wednesday that he was still willing to work with Mr Fillinger to help determine if a trial was viable.

Mr Fillinger accused him of being unco-operative and telling him that culling would occur next year.

''The minister declared his interest in pushing for translocation as a responsible alternative to cruel and costly culls, but unfortunately he stopped answering our emails or taking our calls and it appears his big push was nothing more than a big ruse,'' Mr Fillinger said.

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Mr Fillinger ran as an Animal Justice Party candidate for the Senate this year and plans to stand as an independent at the 2016 territory election.

Mr Fillinger said Mr Rattenbury, who is a Green, had made it clear he would not support translocation.

''He still denies that it can done even though I've provided him with ample opportunity to come out and see it in practice,'' Mr Fillinger said.

The Alphadog founder said Mr Rattenbury's office had failed to provide him with information needed to finalise the translocation proposal.

Mr Fillinger said the government had estimated that the annual culling program cost about $270,000 but he believed the actual cost was probably close to $1 million.

Mr Rattenbury said he was disappointed by Mr Fillinger's criticisms.

''I am surprised by Mr Fillinger's comments today as my office has been in regular contact with Mr Fillinger since he approached us in May, the most recent conversation having occurred just yesterday,'' he said.

''I look forward to receiving Mr Fillinger's submission in relation to translocation of kangaroos and exploring options for kangaroo management in the future.''

Mr Rattenbury said Mr Fillinger had made several requests for substantial amounts of information that could not be provided immediately.

''Some information is not yet available or may take some time to co-ordinate,'' he said.

A spokeswoman for Mr Rattenbury later said a final decision had not been made about whether kangaroo culls would occur next year.

Environment Minister Simon Corbell has expressed grave reservations about translocation, arguing that scientific advice does not support the practice.

Mr Fillinger said the public would be outraged when they realised that a cheap, non-lethal alternative to kangaroo culling had been available to the government for years.

''Taxpayers are unwittingly funding government sanctioned animal cruelty in the ACT and I look forward to exposing the individuals who play a part in the unjustified and unwarranted killing of animals,'' he said.

Kangaroo culling in Canberra nature reserves was delayed this year due to legal action by animal rights activists.

More than 1100 adult kangaroos and 350 joeys were killed in the winter culling operation

More than 14,000 kangaroos have been culled in the Defence Department's Majura Training Area over the past four years.

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