Too Busy For Words - the PaulWay Blog

Wed 2nd Apr, 2008

Kangaroos saved, who cares about anything else?

Once again the kangaroo cull at the old Belconnen naval signalling base has stalled again, with the animal liberation protesters calling it a victory. The pity is that these people are really protesting about the wrong thing.

On the one hand, they're protesting about the culling of 400 kangaroos. I wonder if they have realised that ACT Forestry has a license to cull 4,000 kangaroos - ten times that number - per year in the national parks. If I remember rightly, ACT Parks also has a license to cull 3,000 on other public land. So killing 400 as a once-off cull is hardly the great tragedy that it's being painted as.

On the other hand, there are animals and plants on that land that are highly endangered and under threat from the kangaroos. There's not only the Perunga Grasshopper and the Mouthless Moth in that area, but a rare species of grasslands flower that is being eaten by the kangaroos. While I'm a bit disappointed that the Liberals have chosen to make this one of those "if we were governing this wouldn't happen" issues, they're totally right - everyone's getting all upset because cute furry animals are going to die. And it looks like the Liberals are only making a fuss because Defence is flip-flopping, not because anything else might face extinction as a result of overgrazing by the kangaroos.

I got this information from a friend who wrote the policy on land care and kangaroo culling in the ACT. So I can't quote chapter and verse, because the conversation was informal and I didn't take notes. But I do think that the "animal liberationists" are way out of line. Don't get me wrong - generally I would like to avoid the kangaroos being killed at all. But to blow this out of proportion shows exactly the kind of loony-fringe unreasoning stupidity that these groups accuse their enemies of and that does their own credibility the most damage. And if you've got any species that is overrunning its ability to survive on the land, it's going to die off some way or other. Killing them quickly is far more humane than letting them starve, whether on a block in the ACT or elsewhere in NSW.

If only the human race would learn this and seriously consider population control of itself.

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