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The Forum > General Discussion > Harvesting the Kangaroo

Harvesting the Kangaroo

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Australia is unique in many ways, especially in its native animals.
It is also subject to drought and harsh conditions generally and these have helped to produce a unique animal, the kangaroo.

An animal which can fight predators, travel great distances to water, thrive on native vegetation and pasture and does not degrade its habitat.
Can carry its young when travelling or if there is any danger and can regulate its birth rate to suit prevailing nutritional conditions.

Its meat is very low in fat and tasty and its skin makes superb leather; both for shoes and garments.

Why is this resource not farmed for human consumption?
Why does Australia continue its love affair with mutton and beef and consequent harm to the enviorenment?
Why do we relegate this rich food resource to the specialty market and to dog food production?
Posted by Is Mise, Tuesday, 6 March 2007 12:48:34 PM
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Is Mise, farming is a problem in that the cost of Kangaroo proof fences would be large, as well as disruptive to wildlife. Roos are currently harvested, under culling quotas, for human consumption. you will find roo on many menus around the country but most of the meat is exported.
Animal rights groups have curtailed the expansion of roo meat to a certain extent by the "how can you eat your national emblem" arguement.

Probably the most important reason is that our meat animals like cattle, have been bred over thousands of years specifically for meat production and not for hopping at 60clicks.
Posted by rojo, Tuesday, 6 March 2007 10:02:29 PM
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Rojo
You are right Kangaroo meat is available here in AU and exported worldwide. There is not much meat for human consumption on a carcass so most of it ends up as pet food.

To put it in simple words Kangaroos are wild spirits and can not be farmed, herded and transported like domesticated animals.

Kangaroos are docile territorial animals but because of the ongoing culling and the drought they have to move on to survive.

Kangaroos are under a lot of pressure from culling, drought, loss of habitat, fires, floods and other elements.
Kangaroos raise one joey per year.

Kangaroos footprints make good seedbeds for our native plants.
They keep the grass other animals can not eat low and therefore lower the fire hazards.

They can suffer from diseases that can wipe out a whole mob- like blindness, Coccidiosis, Lumpy Jaw disease, Toxoplasmosis, Myopathy a Vitamin E defieciency and many other diseases.

If you keep on killing only the largest males and females you risk to wipe out a strong and healthy gene-pool. This is already happening and scientifically proven with fish.

The nature of the cruelty inflicted on kangaroos can not be ignored.
The fact is that thousands of kangaroos are shot every night.
Maimed animals do not receive a mercy shot when they get away and die a slow and agonizing cruel death.
Joeys depend on their mother for up to 24 months. When the joey loses its mother it loses its life line.
Letís talk about what happens to the joeys, shall we?
The joeys still in pouch and fully dependent on their mother are being bashed to death with an iron bar, or bashed against the bull bar of the car etc. or just left to die an agonizing slow death, only to be eaten alive by predators, or ants.
Older joeys fully out of pouch and depending on their mother die of shock, depravation, starvation, exposure to the elements, or are being killed by predators incl. dogs etc. etc.

Its worth having a look at http://www.awpc.org.au/

Antje Struthmann
Posted by People Against Live Exports & Intensive Farming, Wednesday, 7 March 2007 5:16:31 AM
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I buy Kangaroo meat all the time. The roasts are great and I use kangaroo mince isntead of beef mince.

If the cost of fencing is prohibitive, we need a different approach to farming them. Either larger farms so fencing costs less per unit area, or we need to manage them as we manage our fisheries.
Posted by freediver, Wednesday, 7 March 2007 11:26:33 AM
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Actually Kangaroos can have up to 3 joeys on the go at once - an embryo, one in the pouch and an older semi-independent joey. They can produce milk of differing qualities to suit them all.

The difficulties with farming roos is the problem with fencing, combined with general handling. Eg they must be shot - cant be herded onto trucks and taken to the abbatoirs. This effectively puts a cap on how many can be culled -I doubt you could replace beef and lamb. The more you shoot at a herd, the flightier they get (naturally) - professional shooters know this and manage their runs accordingly.

Also you face the disease problems - these cant be effectively controlled in a wild population and let me tell you that I dont fancy trying to get a mob into the yards to drench them!! Dogs are next to useless as a handling tool, as roos can kill them quite easily.

Perhaps going forward we can gradually domesticate the roo?? A job for the genetic engineers??
Posted by Country Gal, Wednesday, 7 March 2007 12:27:42 PM
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It does seem rather logical to go with what works best.. Roos for meat and leather products.

I suppose in some ways we are culturally set in our ways with beef and mutton. We tend to define ourselves in terms of the things we eat and its not easy changing direction mid life.

Speaking of animals and what comes naturally, I hope you will all have a look at this 'David and GOLIATH' vid and see where the dog 'bull terrier' gets its name from.
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=f1e4b_4607

One man owes his life to a doggy which deserves the Victoria Cross for bravery above and beyond the call of duty.
And Pericles has the nerve to suggest that the keeping of domestic pets is 'SLAVERY' ? sheesh.
Posted by BOAZ_David, Wednesday, 7 March 2007 6:36:21 PM
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