Animal welfare in the kangaroo industry

The kangaroo industry takes animal welfare very seriously. Over the years it has worked closely with Australian governments to put in place tight controls and monitoring to ensure welfare outcomes are optimal. Many commentators claim that the kangaroo industry is the most animal welfare friendly way there is of producing red meat, after all an animal taken humanely directly from its natural environment without interference from man is under much less stress than one penned for its life or trucked to slaughter.

Central to any discussion on the welfare outcomes in the kangaroo industry needs to be an understanding of what happens if kangaroo numbers are not controlled by a regulated harvest. If kangaroo populations are allowed to spiral out of control many, many more will die of starvation during times of drought.

Human and dingo predation have been a part of kangaroo biology for millennium. European settlement has largely removed these control mechanisms on kangaroo numbers. Many professional ecologists consider that the commercial harvest simply replaces Aboriginal hunting and dingo predation helping to maintain a natural balance.

Harvesting controls

All commercially processed kangaroos are taken by professional licensed Harvesters who must undergo training by government authorities in the animal welfare controls. They must be assessed by the regulators as competent in their knowledge and practices. Extensive regulations and monitoring ensure they deliver humane outcomes.

Commercial kangaroo harvesters are skilled professional harvesters who must comply with the Federal Governments ,   Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Commercial Purposes. 

The Code was developed after a long process of consultation involving industry, government, animal welfare groups, the scientific community and the public. The welfare outcomes of the harvest have been twice audited by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) as well as via direct in-field observations by the University of New South Wales.  
The actual welfare outcomes delivered by the industry have been independently monitored on several occasions. The latest in 2012 demonstrated that 99.6% of all kangaroos targeted by professional Harvesters are killed instantaneously according to the regulations. That’s an extraordinarily high level of compliance.
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