#Animal Welfare

In May 2007 the media exposed a covert plan by the Department of Defence and the
Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government to shoot to kill up to 3,200 Kangaroos at two Defence sites in the ACT.

The reasons given at the time: to ‘save’ the kangaroos from starving and to prevent them from competing with certain endangered grassland species reported to be on these sites: the golden sun moth, a legless lizard, and the earless dragon.

Around 500 of these kangaroos are trapped by a 2.5 metre high fence on a 116 hectare parcel of land at the former Belconnen Naval Transmission Station (BNTS). Of these, the plan was for 400 to be killed and have the remaining kangaroos forcefully sterilised. Somewhat extreme and barbaric measures to protect a moth, and unlikely to be the real reason why the ACT Government is so keen to clear this site, as the area around it is earmarked for housing development.

Following an immediate public outcry and subsequent consultations between Defence and a range of interest groups, Defence agreed to consult more widely. Members of Wildcare, a local volunteer wildlife rescue organisation with over 15 years of hands-on experience rescuing and rehabilitating kangaroos, submitted a proposal to Defence recommending a whole-of-ecosystem approach to the kangaroo issue. This preliminary proposal also detailed a workable strategy for the translocation of kangaroos.

Finally in September 2007, after consultations with Wildcare and a panel of experts, Defence announced that it would implement a kangaroo management plan in the ACT designed to promote sound ecological management and a responsible approach to animal welfare. The plan was to use a mix of translocation, fertility control and – only where necessary – euthanasia to bring the kangaroo population into balance with the ecosystem at the BNTS site. The contract to the successful to implement this strategy was awarded in early 2008.

Suddenly on 29 February, the ACT Government announced that it would block any application for a permit to allow the 'export' of kangaroos from the BNTS site. Not coincidentally, the ACT’s official kangaroo ‘culling season’ (killing season) recommenced the very next day.

This is EXTREMELY URGENT! Defence has gone back on their word, and tthe slaughter of these kangaroos on the site STARTED YESTERDAY (19 May 2008) and will continue over the next few days until they've killed more than 400.

These kangaroos are healthy and there is currently ample grass on the site following good rains over summer, and higher than average rain predicted over the coming months. There is absolutely no need for this slaughter to proceed. There are viable alternatives available, including translocation, but Defence has ruled this out as being too expensive. A number of suitable properties in NSW have been proposed to the contractor. The ACT Government’s decision to withhold these permits and mandate the killing of these kangaroos equates to brutal and unnecessary murder of Australia’s most important native species.

Photos of what is happening right now to these kangaroos can be viewed at www.kangaroolives.com and a video news report from yesterday's killing fields is can be viewed here.

Please help us send the ACT and Australian Federal Governments a clear message by signing this petition now! Let these kangaroos live!

We, the undersigned, call on the Government of the Australian Capital Territory to
remove the ban on translocating kangaroos from the former Belconnen Naval
Transmission Station to suitable properties across the border, and thereby remove
the perceived need to have them slaughtered cruelly and unnecessarily.

The Save The Belconnen Kangaroos! petition to ACT GOVERNMENT was written by Brett Clifton and is in the category Animal Welfare at GoPetition.