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Roos get stay of execution

Date

Christopher Knaus, Peter Jean, Stephanie Anderson

An eastern grey kangaroo (right) and the guidelines on the humane killing of kangaroos.

An eastern grey kangaroo (right) and the guidelines on the humane killing of kangaroos.

The government has promised not to begin its cull of almost 1500 kangaroos until at least Wednesday, after a legal stoush with protesters was delayed to allow the warring parties to obtain more evidence.

The ceasefire with animal rights protesters, who have pledged to put themselves in the firing line, comes as graphic instructions were made public, detailing the correct procedures for culling.

The instructions detail how workers can kill orphaned joeys with a ''single forceful blow to the base of the skull'', if they cannot be shot.

From the Animal Welfare (Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies) Code of Practice 2013.

From the Animal Welfare (Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies) Code of Practice 2013.

The ACT government plans to cull 1455 eastern grey kangaroos from seven sites across the territory, the lowest number for an annual cull in years. The program is aimed at protecting various Canberran ecosystems, and minimising the impact of large kangaroo populations on other native animals and vegetation. The government issued seven licences for the shooting on Friday, and was expected to begin killing the animals on Tuesday night.

But protesters, who have consistently vowed to disrupt the cull, launched urgent legal action in the ACT Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal to temporarily prevent shooters beginning the program.

That legal action was adjourned on Friday after the tribunal found it needed more evidence on whether Animal Liberation ACT and the Australian Society for Kangaroos actually had the legal standing to apply for a temporary halting of the culling licences.

The government also said it needed more time to gather evidence to respond to the applications for interim orders made by protesters, one of which it received notice of at noon on Friday, and the other at 5pm on Thursday.

The hearing was adjourned until Wednesday morning, and the government has given undertakings not to start the cull until at least Wednesday night.

The government says protesters will need to argue their case for interim orders against each of the seven culling licences, which relate to varying kangaroo numbers and locations. The Territory and Municipal Services Directorate said on Friday the outcome of the tribunal was procedural, and had nothing to do with the science behind the cull.

Also on Friday, rules regulating the shooting of kangaroos came to light.

The rules, issued this week by Territory and Municipal Services Minister Shane Rattenbury under the Animal Welfare Act, require shooters undertaking kangaroo culls to adopt the National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Non-Commercial Purposes. The code states that shooters using rifles are required to aim for the kangaroo's brain. Shooters using shotguns must aim to hit the animal in the head or the chest.

''More than one kangaroo or wallaby in a mob may be shot before the carcasses are retrieved by the shooter, provided that the shooter is certain that each kangaroo or wallaby is dead before another is targeted,'' the code says.

''Where an individual kangaroo or wallaby is injured, no further animals can be shot until all reasonable efforts have been made to locate and kill the injured animal.'' Shooters are required to avoid shooting female kangaroos and wallabies where it is obvious that they have pouch young or dependent young at foot, except in special circumstances.

Dependant joeys must be shot or killed using another method as soon as possible after the mother is killed.

''Small pouch young retrieved from dead mothers which cannot be shot can be killed with a single forceful blow to the base of the skull sufficient to destroy the functional capacity of the brain,'' the code says. As an alternative, the joeys can be stunned followed by rapid decapitation.

Kangaroo culling in the ACT is carried out during the winter months to reduce the chances that mothers will have pouch young.

Protesters have vowed to disrupt the culling operation if it goes ahead and claim to have already carried out night-time training in local reserves and identified hiding places.

46 comments so far

  • Thank goodness these do-gooders are here to save the over abundant roos. Now they can die painfully of starvation instead of competing for the dwindling food sources. Nice work.

    Commenter
    RamRod - ACT
    Date and time
    June 07, 2013, 11:43AM
    • Exactly, and I don't see what's wrong with the culling of the young. Much quicker and more humane than Kosher or Halal slaughter.

      Commenter
      Andrew
      Date and time
      June 07, 2013, 1:30PM
    • Why can't we just give them all contraception?

      Commenter
      Angel
      Date and time
      June 07, 2013, 2:09PM
    • @Andrew, you obviously know nothing about Kosher or Halal slaughter. The animals are killed by specially trained butchers who use one quick stroke for instant decapitation. Get your facts right before you judge.

      Commenter
      Anita
      Location
      Rose Bay, NSW
      Date and time
      June 07, 2013, 3:56PM
  • We are no longer the bush capital, we should be known as the bush killers. Destroying these beautiful animals just so we have some more land for humans. It's enough to make me sick. Do you really think these gun men will give a damn about how to humanely kill these kangaroos? It will be fun, sport for them. People who can go out and kill an animal don't care less about killing humanely.

    Commenter
    Truth
    Location
    ACT
    Date and time
    June 07, 2013, 11:49AM
    • You do realise it's not about "more land". They are a pest that damage flora and fauna as their numbers grow, and they cause a lot of damage to cars in Canberra. Perhaps you should experience hitting one with your car and watch it writhe in pain with broken legs while you stand by, not being able to do a thing about it. Population control is the only option and as delightful as these animals are to see, they need to be controlled. Do-gooders like you contribute nothing to this, so please go and protest something worthwhile.

      Commenter
      BJ
      Date and time
      June 07, 2013, 12:15PM
    • @BJ - Well said

      Commenter
      westy
      Location
      ACT
      Date and time
      June 07, 2013, 12:57PM
    • I am extremely offended by your remarks about hunters or gunmen as you put it! I hunt and am not at all a blood thirsty sociopath as you would have everyone believe, I infarct care very much about making sure an animal is killed in the most humane way possible and ensure that there is no suffering, I regularly practice my shooting using targets to ensure I am as accurate as I can be and to ensure I have the skill to make a clean kill with every shot. I care for the enviroment and do all I can to conserve the natural beauty of this country my shooting of feral animals ensures that the unique Australian enviroment will be here for many years to come for my and YOUR kids and grandkids to enjoy. I do not shoot out of blood lust I shoot as I love being out in nature and I want the natural beuaty of this country to survive long after I am gone. If you took the time to meet and have a conversation with people such as myself instead of talking at us you would find that we have a great deal of respect and love for then enviroment and are keen conservationists. I hope this helps clear up some of you misconceptions about hunters.

      Commenter
      Milo11
      Location
      ACT
      Date and time
      June 07, 2013, 1:09PM
    • @BJ & westy. Perhaps a fraction of the cost could go towards fences along roads that are known for higher roo numbers. Or perhaps fertility drugs, as media has made a point of stating that ACT CSIRO has done succesful research. Or better yet leave them alone and pay attention while driving through their home.

      Commenter
      AAA
      Date and time
      June 07, 2013, 1:29PM
    • I too am extremely offended by your comment.
      Why would you assume that.

      Commenter
      Lukesington
      Location
      ACT & QLD
      Date and time
      June 07, 2013, 2:02PM

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