You are here

Iceland: Viva! statement on male-only shooting

Iceland have issued a statement to us that they do not source kangaroo meat from females – and so they are claiming that our statement that “Mum has gone to Iceland” is incorrect. This statement was issued to us late on Friday in a clear effort to try and disrupt our Day of Action against them. It is not a claim they have made to us – nor via any replies to customer/supporter complaints – up until this moment.

If it is true that they source meat from males only then this would mean that the baby and adolescent joeys will not be killed. However, the industry has been saying this for years and it is a standard excuse we have heard many times before. We have not yet been provided with any evidence that this is true. Tesco said the same then backed down immediately when challenged back in the late 1990s. Lidl tried to claim a male bias – but then admitted that some of the meat they sell was from females.

Even if it was true then killing just one sex of a wild animal makes no sense whatsoever from a conservation point-of-view. Shooters tend to take the largest males (most meat/skin). In effect, this means you are removing the strongest animals and those with genetic superiority. That leaves weaker males to mate and, in the long term, could threaten the very survival of the species.

At this moment in time, we remain unconvinced by this 'male only' statement – and have requested information from our friends and colleagues in Australia. Iceland have also requested to meet Viva! – and we will seek to do so as soon as we can. We know that both males and female are both shot by itinerant killers in Australia every night.

In the meantime, it is fine to go ahead with your action but please be aware that Iceland may hand out leaflets to counteract some of the claims on the Viva! materials.

However, to help you answer any questions here are some valid points that can be made:

We have not been provided with proof that only males are shot for Iceland.

Iceland IS selling kangaroo meat – and this trade is not sustainable. Populations in parts of Australia have collapsed recently and popularising the meat in Britain will put further pressure on them.

It remains the largest slaughter of land-based wild animals in the world today. The trade is obscene.

Kangaroo shooting is unmonitored and at night. Non-fatal body shots are an unavoidable part of the industry, causing horrific and painful injuries. Anywhere from 120,000 to over one million kangaroos are mis-shot annually.

Even if Iceland is not selling meat from female kangaroos it is popularising this meat in Britain and females (with joeys) are killed in Australia each year in the ways we describe on the leaflet (up to a million joeys a year are shot or decapitated/brained and then discarded).

Kangaroo meat can be hazardous to human health.  It has more L-carnitine than any other type of red meat (which is linked to increased risk of heart disease and other ailments). High level of Salmonella and E.Coli have been found in kangaroo meat (Russia has an existing ban of kangaroo meat).

Tell Iceland to dump kangaroo meat – and call on consumers to not buy it.

Thank you