Filmmakers on a mission to save Australia’s kangaroos

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washington d.c.—Ahead of World Kangaroo Day on October 24, the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) collaborated with Australian filmmakers to help bring international attention to the relentless and cruel commercial killing of kangaroos.

Kangaroos Alive co-founder and filmmaker Mick McIntrye, who created World Kangaroo Day, calls for an end to the brutal treatment and inhumane killing of kangaroos for food.

“Commercial kangaroo killing is happening out of sight and out of mind when it comes to public awareness,” McIntyre said. “As a result, the killing of kangaroos has been permitted without review or the kind of regulation that covers the commercial killing of all other animals for meat. There is no oversight and regulation of commercial kangaroo shooters. at the point of death.

Researched and produced their 2017 hit environmental documentary, “Kangaroos: A Tale of Love and Hate“, had such an impact on McIntyre and his wife, Kate, that they embarked on a mission to help prevent future kangaroo slaughter by creating world kangaroo day.

“We couldn’t believe what we were seeing,” McIntyre said. “It quickly became clear to us that the government was turning a blind eye to the terrible mistreatment of kangaroos.”

Australia does not have a good record when it comes to protecting its native species. The nation has the highest mammal extinction rate in the world, with 54 native Australian animals facing extinction and another 400 listed as threatened.

“Many Australians are appalled by Japan’s slaughter of whales and dolphins or Canada’s slaughter of fur seals, but what we are doing to our kangaroos is far worse,” McIntyre said. “Contrary to what many might think, kangaroo numbers are rapidly declining.”

A New South Wales (NSW) parliamentary inquiry into the health and welfare of kangaroos and other macropods heard testimony about the oversight and regulation of commercial kangaroo shooters. The findings are expected to be released this week.

The Australian states of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia have been culling kangaroo populations relentlessly for decades, with millions killed each year for their skins and their meat for commercial purposes.

Kangaroo body parts are sold across Europe and the US for pet food, sausages and football cleats, but there has been pushback overseas to stop the slaughter .

the Kangaroo Protection Act, introduced earlier this year in the US Congress, would ban the sale of kangaroo products. It would impact brands such as Nike, Puma and Adidas, which have been criticized for buying hundreds of thousands of kangaroo skins a year to use for their soccer cleats.

“I have seen how brutally these animals are killed. It’s hard to support such an industry,” said McIntyre, noting that England soccer star David Beckham stopped wearing Adidas shoes after watching an activist group video of a young Joey and a mother being killed.

Beckham isn’t the only high profile person supporting the cause. He’s joined by Australia Zoo’s Terri and Robert Irwin, wildlife photographer Steve Parish and legendary cricketer and animal advocate Jason “Dizzy” Gillespie. Gillespie said he was shocked by the testimony given to the parliamentary inquiry.

“How can we continue to allow kangaroos to be treated this way?” he said. “The kangaroo is a native species; it belongs to our land. How can we continue to allow commercial kangaroo killing? Wildlife abuse, which is featured on the coat of arms, is a national disgrace. It’s time to stand up and show the world that Australians care about kangaroo protection.

Yuin Nation elder Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison told the parliamentary inquiry that animals have a right to be humane.

“The kangaroo predated our native culture over 80,000 years ago and has both the right to the land and the right to live above all other introduced species – the right to live free from cruelty and exploitation” , did he declare. “Defenseless animals are blinded with bright lights and then bullets put in. To me, that’s not slaughter. It’s slaughter.

DJ Schubert, wildlife biologist at AWI, added: “Australia is world renowned for the rigorous science, compassion and ethical considerations it brings to global debates on commercial whaling, but it refuses to apply the same level of management control. of its kangaroo population.

Schubert continued: “NSW and other Australian states that allow these cruel commercial slaughters should stop hiding behind allegations of drought, competition with livestock and overpopulation of kangaroos, and accept a legitimate and objective examination of their practices of management by an independent international body of experts.”

World Kangaroo Day is also supported by Animals Australia, World Animal Protection and Australia Zoo, among other wildlife organisations.

For more information, visit worldkangarooday.org.

About the Animal Welfare Institute
The Animal Welfare Institute (awionline.org) is a non-profit charitable organization founded in 1951 and dedicated to reducing human-caused animal suffering. The AWI engages policy makers, scientists, industry and the public to achieve better treatment for animals everywhere, in the laboratory, on the farm, in commerce, at home and in the wild. follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and instagram for updates and other important animal welfare news.

About World Kangaroo Day
October 24, 2021 is World Kangaroo Day – a day to celebrate one of the world’s greatest icons and recognize the importance of kangaroos to Australia. Although kangaroos are an integral part of Australian culture, they are also victims of the largest slaughter of terrestrial wildlife in the world. Kangaroos Alive, the non-profit organization that created World Kangaroo Day, aims to rally support around the world for a moratorium on the commercial killing of kangaroos.

To celebrate World Kangaroo Day, the World Kangaroo Day Photo Contest attracted over 800 entries. Professional and amateur photographers from across Australia sent in photographs. Wildlife photographers Robert Irvin and Steve Parris will judge the competition. The winner will be announced on October 24.

About live kangaroos
Kangaroos Alive is a global movement for the ethical treatment of kangaroos. It’s the brainchild of Mick and Kate McIntyre, producers of the award-winning Kangaroo: A Love-Hate Story. The McIntyres teamed up with Diane Smith and Greg Keightley to create Kangaroos Alive, which provides funds for emergency response and ongoing care for kangaroos injured by commercial shooters, fires, and road and fence accidents. . World Kangaroo Day was launched to push for a moratorium on the commercial killing of kangaroos.

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