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STOP THE SLAUGHTER

23 May 2008

My heart did flip flops when I heard from Peggy yesterday.  I remembered being back in Australia, at Caversham park, walking around among the herd of kangaroos, watching the little babies hopping in and out of their mothers' pouches, having the roos stand up next to us, begging for food, looking at the big round eyes, seeing the littlest babies learning how to walk, laughing as they stuck their heads into Mommy's pouch for a quick swig of milk before going off to explore the world again.

joey.jpg (38994 bytes)

I remembered sitting on a bench in the cemetery, watching the roos lounging about in groups on the graves.  I remember laughing at the kangaroo fart and the roo seeming to wipe the bad smell away.

I remembered watching the roos hopping through the bush, with Chippa in hot pursuit, never able to catch them (and not knowing what she'd do with one if she did).

I hadn't thought about kangaroos before going to Australia.  I'd only encountered them in zoos.  They were OK, but I didn't have any real sense of protectiveness about them (they way I did about apes and elephants).  But Australia changed my opinion about kangaroos.

After I returned home, Peggy started volunteering at a kangaroo rescue place and began sending photos of the babies they were working with, babies who have lost their mothers to who knows what sort of disaster, babies who sometimes aren't even old enough to leave the pouch, and who need that security that the Caversham babies had

joey2.jpg (59437 bytes)

But Peggy's message caused my heart to do flip flops because she was asking me to sign a petition, something she almost never does.  It seems that the Australian government is beginning a massive kangaroo kill and a group of people are trying to raise awareness in the hopes of stopping it. 

The following appeared on the Care2 web site, where people can sign the petition:

Australia's military has just begun killing kangaroos at the Belconnen Naval Transmission Station, a decommissioned military base, to protect the land on the baser from overgrazing. The Australian government refused to relocate the animals, claiming the cost was too high, even though activists estimate the 600 kangaroos at the base could be relocated for much less.

The military plans to kill 400 kangaroos in the coming days - at least 70 kangaroos have already been rounded up and killed, including mothers and their joeys. Sign this petition to tell Australia's government to immediately halt this kangaroo cull. Your signature will be delivered via email to Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon. Learn more and watch video.

The video is particularly emotional.  It doesn't show the actual killing of the roos, but you can sense their terror, and hear a woman speaking about the alternatives that they have been begging the government to consider.

Think about it--Australia is an entire continent which is mostly uninhabited.  Would it be so impossible to think of moving the roos  to the center of the country, where they might have a fighting chance.

I try to imagine the outcry that would go up if there were suddenly open season in this country on the bald eagle.  The kangaroo is Australia's national emblem. 

Today, Peggy writes that the slaughter has already started in Canberra.

I've been sitting here fuming over our government and their decision to cull kangaroos in our capitol city of Canberra.  They are saying there are too many but what they are NOT saying is that they really want the land to use for something else, so they organised professional shooters to come and kill them all.

joey3.jpg (40160 bytes)

Seventy roos were murdered yesterday and the slaughter is expected to continue daily until 400 of them, including the babies are dead.

If you are an animal lover, I would urge you to educate yourself, and if you are as outraged as I am at what appears to be a senseless slaughter, when there are viable alternatives, to do something to try to stop the killing. 

The following is from Brett Clifton, of "Save our Kangaroos":

What you can do to help - please write to, fax or call any or all of the following Australian Federal Government politicians, and urge them to order a stop to this inhumane slaughter now:

The Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd
Tel: +61 (0)2 6277 7700
Fax: +61 (0)2 6273 4100
Queensland numbers:
Tel: +61 (0)7 3899 4031
Fax:  +61 (0)7 3899 5755
Website: http://www.pm.gov.au/contact/index.cfm

The Minister for Defence, Joel Fitzgibbon
Tel: +61 (0)2 6277 7800
Fax: +61 (0)2 6273 4118
Email:  J.Fitzgibbon.MP@aph.gov.au

Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support, Dr Michael Kelly AM
Tel: +61 (0)2 6277 4840
Fax: +61 (0)2 6277 8556
Email:  ParliamentarySecretaryDS@defence.gov.au

The Minister for the Environment, Peter Garrett
Tel: +61 (0)2 6277 7640
Fax: +61 (0)2 6273 6101
Website: http://www.aph.gov.au/house/members/memfeedback.asp?id=HV4

joey5.jpg (51592 bytes)These kangaroos did not have to die and have done nothing to deserve this fate. They are trapped behind high fences and despite their public statements, ultimately the local government has other plans for
this land.

The option of conducting a scientific trial relocation was rejected by the Department of Defence as being too expensive. However, the cost quoted for the relocation effort was ridiculously over-inflated. Other groups with experience in this field had offered to undertake the work for less than a quarter of the cost. Ether way, the cost is a fraction of the windfall the government will get when they ultimately sell off this land for future development.

Links for more information and photos from today's horrific events, and ways that you can get involved:

    www.kangaroolives.com
    www.canberraroos.com

This was a very dark day in the history of the Australian Capital Territory. Please help us put a stop to this unnecessary slaughter now.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

joey4.jpg (60563 bytes)

Thank you for helping my friends

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