Celebrations all round as Bristol’s gourmet burger restaurant The Burger Joint removes kangaroo meat from their menu!
Viva! Campaigns Manager, Lex Rigby, met with The Burger Joint earlier this year to discuss the kangaroo meat industry. Shortly afterwards, managing director Dan Bekhradnia confirmed that The Burger Joint would be dropping kangaroo meat from their build-a-burger menu at both the Clifton and Bedminister sites.
The kangaroo meat industry is one of the most brutal and violent in the world. Wild kangaroos are hunted at night using four-track vehicles and powerful searchlights. The startled animals are supposedly shot in the head, but many are miss-shot and die a slow, agonising death. Baby kangaroos are pulled from their dying mother’s pouch to be clubbed to death while dependent adolescents are either shot or left to die from predation or hunger without the protection of their parents.
Although no statistics are currently available on the number of wounded animals the Australian RSPCA estimates that 100,000 adults are inhumanely killed with some temporarily surviving with horrific wounds, such as shot off jaws. Since kangaroos are a slow-breeding marsupial with low reproductive rates wildlife experts are concerned that turning them into just another commodity is not only cruel but also unsustainable.
In addition to the serious animal welfare concerns around kangaroo meat, experts from both the UK and Australia have expressed concerns about the health implications of consuming kangaroo meat, warning that the meat could be “riddled with pathogens”. Five years ago, independent testing found dangerously high levels of salmonella and E. coli.
The Burger Joint’s decision to remove kangaroo burgers from their menu is particularly timely, as eastern Australia experiences a period of extreme drought, adding an additional threat to kangaroo populations. The kangaroo killing industry claims that the current lack of food and water caused by the drought has increased competition between kangaroos and livestock. In response, the New South Wales government has removed many of the regulations protecting kangaroos. Many hunts will go unchecked as farmers will no longer have to tag dead kangaroos to keep a record of numbers killed. Landowners now have easier access to shooting permits – applying over the phone instead of in person. These policy changes will have devastating effects on the kangaroo population, rapidly increasing the number of kangaroos being needlessly and ruthlessly killed.
“Viva! has campaigned against the sale of kangaroo meat for over two decades. We have achieved numerous successes and are proud to say that all UK supermarkets are now kangaroo meat free. It was fantastic to see a popular gourmet restaurant –such as The Burger Joint –making the ethical choice to stop supporting the kangaroo meat industry, alongside offering improved vegan options on their menu. We are hopeful that this decision will encourage other restaurants to consider where their meat comes from and develop compassionate options. In the meantime, we continue to support Australian wildlife groups to end this merciless and bloody trade.” -- Lex Rigby, Campaigns Manager
“Once we had met with Lex and she explained the ethical and health concerns with regards to consuming kangaroo meat, removing it from our menu was an easy decision to make. Although it was popular with our customers, we care deeply about serving responsibly sourced food, and it was clear that we could not be sure of this with kangaroo meat.” -- Dan Bekhradnia, Managing Director at The Burger Joint
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