ANIMAL activists have headed to Europe in an attempt to destroy Australia’s $200 million kangaroo meat industry, potentially killing off thousands of jobs and ruining millions of dollars worth of investment across rural Australia.
Inner-city Sydney based Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon is spearheading the promotion of the controversial movie ‘Kangaroo: A love-hate story’ in Brussels, which claims kangaroos are a “disappearing resource”.
That’s despite official estimates placing the kangaroo population at almost 45 million head, numbers that have significantly increased since the start of the century.
More telling is that only 3 per cent of the kangaroo population is harvested by an industry strictly regulated by the federal government.
As reported in the Australian newspaper on Monday, The movie has already been screened in the US and Europe is scheduled to be released in inner-city Sydney on March 13.
Senator Rhiannon traveled to Brussels with kangaroo ecologist Dr Dror Ben-Ami and Animal Justice Party MP, Mark Pearson.
She said many who had seen the movie likened the culling of kangaroos to what happened to baby fur seals.
“As the kangaroo industry lines up to attack myself and and the conservationists it is a clear reminder of why it is the Turnbull government that needs to comes clean on the priority question,” Senator Rhiannon said in a Facebook post on Wednesday morning. “Will it stop putting the profits of the kangaroo industry before human health, animal cruelty and conservation?”
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the green movement was trying to destroy the kangaroo meat industry.
"It is absolutely disgusting to think that we have an Australian Greens’ senator trying to destroy the industry when there are nearly twice as many kangaroos in this country than there are Australians,” Mr Littleproud said.
“Senator Lee Rhiannon has not even come to Western Queensland or North Western NSW to see the plague proportions these kangaroos are in.
“They are out there propogating false information.”
The kangaroo harvesting industry is regulated by a code of practice, managed by the federal department of environment.
Former Nationals Senator Ron Boswell said the Greens were disgracefully ill-informed.
“It is not just deceitful, it is incredibly damaging to rural communities and especially to the environment the Greens claim to represent,” Mr Boswell said.
“What the Greens aren’t acknowledging is that kangaroos numbers are out of balance in the environment and will be destroyed whether there is a meat industry or not.
“They will either be culled under the proven, regulated conservation program where they have value for their meat and leather, or they will be killed under damage mitigation permits where the carcases will be left to rot.
“The Greens appear to pushing for the latter.”
Meat processor Cliff Dee from Wild Game Resources said the promotion of the Kangaroo movie was part of a long running campaign to undermine the kangaroo meat industry.
“This is more of a long campaign that includes sabotaging and bad mouthing Australian scientists, bureaucrats and department in many parts of the world,” Mr Dee said.
“The relationship between kangaroos and the grazing industry are very well understood and based by excellent science,” Mr Dee said.
“There is also no doubt the industry is very aware of the important of animal welfare and takes that responsibility very seriously.”
Activists have previously disrupted the kangaroo industry. The state of California reintroduced a ban on the import of kangaroo products at the start of 2016, after it had been suspended in 2007.