An eyebrow-raising public notice has called on farmers, shooters, and kangaroo haters and lovers alike to join a nation-wide project, the Aussie Summer Kangaroo Count.
“Hate kangaroos? Love kangaroos? Shoot kangaroos? No matter your opinion, we need to know how many kangaroos you’ve seen this summer,” states the notice, placed in the February 25th edition of rural newspaper The Land.
The public notice was authorised by Upper House MP for the Animal Justice Party, Mark Pearson.
“Our aim is to give everyone the chance to tell us what they’ve seen, especially people who hate or shoot kangaroos,” Mr Pearson said.
“Campaigning against kangaroo killing and raising concerns about declining kangaroo populations, I inevitably get frantic messages from farmers who say kangaroos exist in ‘plague proportions’ and need to be killed, but they never provide proof of these claims.”
Since its launch in December, the Aussie Summer Kangaroo Count has collected almost 600 responses.
“The vast majority of those submissions are confirming what we fear, that kangaroo populations are plummeting, so before the survey closes I’m doing everything I can to encourage those who think kangaroos need to be killed, to get their numbers in.”
The Aussie Summer Kangaroo Count is running until March 31, 2021, and began in response to growing concerns about the sustainability of kangaroo populations.
“The stark reality is, we have no idea how many kangaroos are left, and yet the NSW Government continues to allow the slaughter of kangaroos for products like meat and shoes,” Mr Pearson said at the time of the project launch.
With over 3 billion animals killed in the Black Summer bushfires, it is not known how many kangaroos are left in Australia.
“The aim of the project is to gather as much anecdotal evidence about kangaroo populations as possible, so we can take that to ministers in NSW Parliament and convince them once and for all that we have a problem on our hands that needs addressing now,” Mr Pearson said.
“It’s a secretive, cruel industry and it’s largely unregulated, yet it’s the largest commercial slaughter of land-based wildlife in the world.”
As well as being slaughtered for commercial purposes, kangaroos are killed across NSW and beyond for “recreation”, agricultural purposes, and through the use of exclusion fencing.