Upper House MP for the Animal Justice Party Mark Pearson has introduced a controversial bill to New South Wales Parliament that would ban the killing of kangaroos.
The bill is an Act to amend the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, and would prohibit the issue of licences under that act which currently authorises lethally harming or commercially harvesting kangaroos.
“It is absurd and shameful that I have to bring a bill to protect this animal which is part of our image to the world,” Mr Pearson began his speech on Wednesday.
“We have been slaughtering kangaroos in their millions since the first grifters and chancers laid claim to Aboriginal lands and declared the kangaroo, an Australian native of some 20 million years, a pest,” he said.
Mr Pearson criticised the state government’s “unholy alliance” with the kangaroo industry for facilitating the exploitation of kangaroos.
“The Department, in an obvious conflict of interest with its native animal protection obligations, oversees the commercial killing of millions of kangaroos each year, treating them as economic resources rather than as sentient beings belonging to a keystone species critical to environmental biodiversity,” he said.
Mr Pearson slammed the Government’s “flawed” kangaroo population data, pointing out that localised extinctions already occurring and that industry kill quotas are set above the maximum biological reproductive rate of kangaroos.
“What reason could there possibly be for the industry to fail to fill 70 per cent of its quotas, year in year out? The kangaroos are simply not there,” he added.
Mr Pearson also condemned the cruelty of both commercial and non-commercial kangaroo killing.
“This bill is for the untold number of joeys bludgeoned to death, the mothers with non-head shots left to die in the field, the missing alpha males and for the decimation of the iconic mobs that once proudly roamed the open plains of this country,” he said.
Mr Pearson tabled his bill in honour of the late Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison, Yuin Elder, who gave a testimony at the 2021 NSW kangaroo inquiry, and quoted him in closing his speech: “How long have those kangaroos been hopping on this land? They are not intruding on farmers, or developers, or roadways. My people have lived beside the kangaroo for thousands of years and we never considered them as a pest.”
Elena Wewer – 0428 444 132 – text preferred