The EU must stop importing kangaroo products from Australia, animal advocacy group Eurogroup for Animals said in a statement.
Nine animal protection groups sent a letter to EU Commissioners Stella Kyriakides and Valdis Dombrovskis, asking them to ban the import of kangaroo products based on findings from a recent inquiry into Australia’s commercial kangaroo industry.
The inquiry revealed the cruelty of kangaroo hunting in New South Wales, one of Australia’s main kangaroo hunting states.
Kangaroos must be killed with a single headshot, but shooting in the dark and in remote areas makes that difficult. So hunters often injure but not kill animals with one shot, causing a painful death.
And sometimes, a kangaroo escapes and faces a slow death. “The mouth of a kangaroo can be blown off, and the kangaroo can escape to die of shock and starvation,” David Nicholls, a former kangaroo shooter, shared with the Australian political party Animal Justice Party.
“Forearms can be blown off, as can ears, eyes and noses. Stomachs can be hit expelling the contents with the kangaroo still alive,” Nicholls added.
If females are killed, dependent joeys are killed by hunters or are left in the field to starve or be killed by other animals.
Reineke Hameleers, CEO for Eurogroup for Animals, said that the inquiry report “clearly recognises that the prescribed method of killing in this industry – a single headshot – is sometimes not achievable in a real world scenario.”
“And that there is no monitoring mechanism to ensure the animals have been killed in the least harmful way,” she added.
The shooting of kangaroos also affected the mental health of kangaroo carers, rescuers and Aboriginal people.
“Between 2016 and 2019, EU imports of both kangaroo meat and skins have increased. The EU thus remains the first destination of Australian exports of kangaroo meat,” Hameleers said. Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and France are the main importers.
The letter demanding a ban on the import of kangaroo meat was signed by Eurogroup for Animals, World Animal Protection Netherlands, LAV, GAIA, Fondation Brigitte Bardot, Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals, Pro Wildlife, The Center for a Humane Economy and Kangaroos Alive Australia.
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