Mother’s Day in the Australian outback is brutal and bloody – but then so is every day. Away from questioning eyes, in the dead of night, millions of kangaroos are slaughtered every year, including mothers and their babies.
There is no scientific justification for Australia’s mass slaughter of its unique wildlife. It cynically denigrates kangaroos as ‘pests’ simply to earn foreign exchange from their body parts.
And now, in an attempt to boost falling sales, budget chain Iceland has started selling kangaroo and other so-called ‘exotic’ meats. We have been here before! Many years ago we ended this barbarism – and we’re determined to do it again.
In truth, female kangaroos are amazing mothers. They reinforce the maternal bond with their young by grooming them as they suckle. She will often have an adolescent at foot and a baby in her pouch and produce different types of milk for each. Her pouch is a safe haven for her young but sadly, it offers no protection from bullets!
Every night, large trucks career through the outback looking for kangaroos. The shooters are not interested in baby joeys and so when the rifles crack, it is the adults who are shot. They may be killed instantly or their jaws or limbs may be shattered by the bullets.
Imagine the helplessness of a dying mother unable to protect her young. She will watch as the hunter pulls her baby from her pouch and decapitates him or beats him to death. She may see her adolescent flee into the dark in panic where he will be utterly alone, waiting for almost certain death from predators.
This is the world’s largest massacre of wild land animals and around six million kangaroos are earmarked for slaughter each year. This figure does not include the million or so joeys and adolescents as they’re just trash. So, it’s likely that for every female kangaroo in Iceland’s freezers, two other lives will have been snuffed out.
Our Australian colleagues have sent us horrific photos of the aftermath of the killing. A decapitated female lies surrounded by her own ripped-out entrails and mammary glands, her bloody paw almost touching the lifeless body of her joey. There is the severed head of a young kangaroo, his eyes still bulging in terror from when an axe split his face in two. Who could do such a thing? Back in the 1990s, Viva! stopped every major British supermarket from selling kangaroo and other ‘exotic’ meats. More recently, we stopped the big sports companies such as Adidas from using kangaroo leather and this has hurt the industry badly so they’re now trying to flood the market with cheap meat to keep themselves afloat. We cannot let this happen.
National Weekend of Action:
Read about our recent National Weekend of Action (14-15 March) for Mother’s Day. You can still order materials to support a demo outside Iceland, which include leaflets and postcards for people to sign. If you can’t hold a demo, you can return your postcard to us to forward on. And you can order leaflets for door-dropping. Whatever you do, it will help us to stop kangaroo Mums going to Iceland.
We are planning a media blitz, liaising with activists in Australia to secure new footage and printing 100,000 new leaflets. This all costs money so again can I please ask you to consider a donation. Whatever you can spare will help us save lives and all will be gratefully received.
Yours for the mothers
Juliet Gellatley Founder and director