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Your thoughts on a Vic Governemtn Kanga Cull


Jerry_Atrick
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I was a little shicked to read this: https://www.theage.com.au/environment/conservation/locals-and-developer-decry-culling-roos-to-make-way-for-new-homes-20200806-p55j4l.html

 

There is a quote in there that after the bushfires, where Australia lost 3bn animals, every little bit helps in preservation... That is I think not applicable to the Eastern Grey, as I am sure they are still in plnty supply, but some group is offering to tranquilise and relocate the mob without any expense to the taxpayer and the relevant department still is ordering a cull. Even the land developer doesn't want them culled.. So, what gives?  Is there a problem with relocation (e.g. is there not enough land after the bushfires that will result in mobs beying for each other until one is left standing?) Is it health and safety gone mad (too much risk of being sued if one of the volunteers hurts themselves?)

 

The Department of Environment's minister's words do not seem to echo the reality of their actions... I recall when I had to race back to Aus for a funeral.. My brother picked me up from Tullamarine and we drove through the outer North Eastern and then Eastern suburbs to get to my Mother's place.. and we saw a few of them in the sports grounds of Eltham college (though on the edges - I think they knew not to get on the fields).. it was a great sight to se...

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Twenty-five Eastern Greys? When I saw the topic title I thought that it involved hordes of them, no doubt relocating themselves after the bushfires. I wonder if anyone has done any research on the territorial habits of these animals.

 

Like Jerry, I know of a place in western Sydney where there is a school complex and retirement village. There is a mob a 'roos there which do a bit of edge trimming around the playing fields and buildings. This mob never seems to leave the property to travel to similar food sources across the fence.

 

It is clear that the Lillydale 25 have inhabited their own piece of Heaven for ages, and live in harmony with the humans. I can see that, if a housing development was completed, the 'roos would be in danger from the hoons who usually move into these new estates with their asthmatic Subarus and Toorak tractors.

 

It is good to see that the developer has gone to the trouble to develop a relocation plan. After the bushfires, there's plenty of country they could restock without warring with existing mobs.

 

There's only one thing to do. Name and Shame the bureaucrat who advised refusing the application to resettle the 'roos.

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The attitude of the breauracy beggars belief. Lets get rid of them , they're not endangered. Well bureaucrats aren't endangered either so lets get rid of them. There are 1.4 million Roos in Victoria & they culled 136,000 last year. There are nearly 5 million people in Melbourne which is about 2 million too many. We could start culling the bureaucrats here.

 

We have Eastern Greys here. We took over their habitat & they used to wander up the street. No-one I know was ever offended or wanted them removed. They have moved over the past 10 years and mainly graze the sports grounds, caravan park and cleared areas on the bush line. Everyone seems to like having them around. Luckily the authorites are not complete Fxxxwits like they have in Lillydale.

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How many times do your web-pals overseas ask you if there are kangaroos near where you live? Unfortunately we usually have to tell them that there are no kangaroos because most of us live on "acres of tar and cement". Over-development for residential purposes is endangering the koalas in one of the few disease-free groups in the Sydney area.

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5 hours ago, Subria said:

Roos are bloody pests!

Animal are pests and plant are weeds depending on your point of view at the time of viewing.

Roos are pests to the grain grower, no doubt. The are a bit troublesome to cattle and sheep graziers. They are a damned nuisance to drivers, but are cash cows to the tourism industry. 

Blackberrys are a weed to graziers, but a joy to pie makers.

 

If the range of a mob of kangaroos is adjacent to housing, then they are a welcome part of the environment. What these urban dwellers are complaining about is the killing of otherwise innocuous fauna in their community. 

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The biggest pests on this planet are human beings. There are now 7.8 billion of us so anything that is around us and interferes with our life is a pest in the eyes of many, whether it is part of the natural ecosystem or not. Of course where this involves money it only accentuates the problem.

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The opinion that Yenn offered, jells with what I was told by old settlers. They relayed the information to me 50 years ago, from their ancestors, that there wasn't a lot of 'roos to be seen in the early days of the colony.

The Aboriginals hunted them mercilessly as their primary food source, and the 'roos were restricted by limited water supplies.

The white settlers arrived, displaced the Abo's, who went onto a white mans diet, the 'roos got hunted much less, the native vegetation was cleared wholesale, water points installed in multiple places, and crops were planted. It was 'roo Nirvana!! They've bred like rabbits ever since.

 

Just on the outskirts of a North Eastern Perth suburb (Bennett Springs), bordering on grazing land, I've recently seen a mob of probably 200-300 'roos in a pasture paddock, that was probably only about 50 Ha in size. There is an adjoining large National Park.

 

I can remember in July '69, a mate and I were travelling West on the Eyre Hwy on the Eastern end of the Nullarbor Plain. There was drought conditions in the Red Centre and the 'roos were moving South looking for food and water.

We came across a massive mob of 'roos crossing the hwy in open country, the likes of which I have never seen since. There must have been 800-1000 Reds in this mob, all on the move. I'll wager a lot of them simply died of starvation and thirst.

Edited by onetrack
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I'm often dubious about the official kangaroo count; a lot hinges on how they do it and what sort of country they are surveying. I remember quite a few years back in western Queensland, the government was doing aerial kangaroo counts in heavily timbered country. They were doing it in a light aircraft with pilot and observers and were staying in the closest pub to the target area. They had quite a bit of flying time to get to the site and were leaving the pub in daylight after having breakfast. By the time they got there, the sun was well up in the sky and most roos had gone to ground under the trees after grazing early in the morning. The time to get an accurate count is early morning and late afternoon when they are thick as thieves, but in a lot of areas, that would involve flying in the dark to get there. So in the bush, there would be a lot  more than the official count.

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The sad fact is that we White fellas are now the custodian of this land and have to manage it wisely, without being overly influenced by the developers' dollar or over-sentimental animal lovers. 

That means we need to cull thousands of beautiful brumbies, eastern grey kangaroos and millions of camels, donkeys, goats, etc.

It also means new residential estates should not be allowed to displace endangered species like our koalas.

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Too true. Once the sun gets high, you'd think there aren't any roos at all. They are hard enough to spot when you are quietly walking among the trees because they are all lying down.

 

I recall driving on the highway near St George just after last light. There must have been thousands of greys crowding along the road. The roos were so thick that I was reduced to driving at a walking pace, running over the tips of their tails to get them to move out of the way. Worse than the mobs at Bunnings on a Saturday morning.

 

But during the day, there wasn't a roo in sight.

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The brother and I purchased a partly-cleared farming block just West of Wandering W.A., in 1977 and the brother and SIL moved onto the property to live, in 1982. 

One day, in mid-1982, the brother was walking through the bush on the property, doing some fence planning - and he walked straight into a "nest" of 'roos - about 8 or 10 of them, all lying down, resting in the middle of the day.

 

The funny part was, they never heard or saw him coming, and he didn't realise they were there, either - right up to the point where he nearly fell over one.

That 'roo bounded to its feet in a panic - followed by all the others - then they all just stopped. This was probably because the brother stopped dead in his tracks, and stood still, too.

 

All the 'roos simply stood there, looking around nervously, and twitching their ears - without seeing the brother - for a good minute or minute and half.

The brother reckoned you could practically see them saying to each other, "What did you jump up for?" .. "I thought I spotted a human? - didn't you?" ... "Nope, I didn't see or hear anything, I thought you did!" .. "Well, I'm sure I spotted a human!!"

 

Then, suddenly, one 'roo woke up - that there WAS a HUMAN standing, RIGHT THERE!! - amongst them!!

That 'roo bolted in a panic, instantaneously followed by all the others. As the brother said, what you wouldn''t give to have a movie or video camera, right at that time!

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I've never been that close to them, but once got to within about thirty feet of a group of three roos. It was thick timbered country and I was walking on a soft graded track, so they didn't see or hear me coming. It's the only time I've seen roos boxing in the wild. I hid behind a tree and saw the two males putting on a bit of a show to impress the lone female in the group. It reminded me of Thai kickboxing. One roo would would kick the other once in the stomach and then land a some quick combination jabs to the head with his paws. The other roo would defend like a boxer with his paws. Then they'd swap around and the second roo would have a go. And so it went on until they saw me and all three bolted. They weren't seriously trying to hurt each other; more like trying to impress the girl in the group.

 

It's something you rarely get to see as we are usually in a noisy vehicle and not on foot.

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Asa city slicker, my first encounter with roos in the wild was on school holiday at Wyperfeld National Park in 1979. It was a great camp and we used to get up at dawn and head off to known spots armed with cameras, gaiters on to apparently protect against snakes, which I thought was a little useless given we were crouched down for most of the time. Mobs came through... I think they were reds from memory. Anyway, it was quite exciting for a young bloke who had only seen them at the zoos and sanctuaries..

 

There is (or was) a fauna park on the eastern side of ballarat... you walk amongst the roos and they are very tame (you can walk amongst them at Mlebourne zoo and when we were there, they were still quite timid). Problem withthe Ballarat Fauna Park is that the emus are also walking around and are quite assertive of getting their feed, when one is attempting t feed the roos. Can't blame them.. no-one offers the emus any food and they do have to eat!.

 

The roo is definitely not endangered.. I haven't fact checked, but a yank who is doing yootoob videos of his life in Aus said there was an estimated 65m of them.. They definitely have benefited from white fella being in Aus. My point was the government were willing to spend money to fix the prob (or remove what appears to be a theapeutic presence) rather than have someone do it for them and keep them alove. Also,, I understand roos are generally safe in the sense they would rather move on than tussle with humans. There are cases where roos have attached humans - apparently one bloke got beaten up pretty bad at La Trobe unoversity's Bundoora campus quie a few years ago - can't find the article though (apparently people attack the roos there a bit.. they are the articles that came up on search). I would imagine this would be in breeding or at the time joeys are around.

 

Funny story - when I left Aus at the end of '96, eating Kangaroo (well in Vic, anyway) was not really popular. I had roo twice; once at the Rosstown Hotel in Carnegie, Melbourne in about '94 I would think; and once at Brown Brothers Winery in Millawa in about Jan '98. The roo at Rosstown was tough and tasteless. Did not like it at all. SWMBO (who wasn't at the time, but a UK girl who holidayed with me and I was trying to impress) ordered it against my advice.. After her first bite, it became my meal and I had to surrender a rather nice Scotch Fillet steak (not really Scotch.. it's just what it was called then). It was a lot better than the Rosstown's but still tough and more taste - gamey..

 

Later in 1998, I was working in nucelar power stations in the Czech Republic. On the way from one of the power stations to our hotel, one of the translators had the minivan driver deviate past an old white dilapidated building in the middle of nowhere. The translator explained to me that the building was a restaurant and that the hand written texta wording translated to Kangaroo.. "Is that the name of the restaurant?" I asked thinking an Aussie decided to ride the then new wave of capitalism. "Nope.. that is the main meat on their menu!" he beamed back proudly... "I thought I would bring you here so if you miss the taste of your food, you can have it.." Bless him, I thought to myself and then responded, "We don't really eat kangaroo in Australia... I think it mainly goes into pet food!. It was a matercard moment.. the look on his face was priceless!

 

 

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Jerry, it would be interesting to find out where the Czech "kangaroo meat" actually came from and what meat it actually was! Meat substitution is a huge business, and it seems more so, in Europe.

I can't imagine any Australian processor exporting kangaroo meat to the Czech Republic. To export meat requires a considerable market to make it economic, and there are many regulatory hurdles to overcome.

 

However, horse meat has been passed off for many other types of meat - and old horses have to be got rid of! They don't all end up in glue factories!

I remember when we were touring Portugal in 2013, we went to a restuarant in a back street from the Marriot Hotel in Lisbon, where we were staying. I selected a cut of "the finest beef from Argentina" that was on the menu.

 

My God, I have never eaten such a terrible piece of meat in all my life!! I'm sure it was horse that died of old age after being used as a carthorse for 35 years!!

I was absolutely disgusted with the meal, and made my poor opinion of the meat known to the restaurant owner. I don't think he cared too much, I think he was a pretty unscrupulous cafe owner.

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1 hour ago, onetrack said:

Jerry, it would be interesting to find out where the Czech "kangaroo meat" actually came from and what meat it actually was! Meat substitution is a huge business, and it seems more so, in Europe.

I can't imagine any Australian processor exporting kangaroo meat to the Czech Republic. To export meat requires a considerable market to make it economic, and there are many regulatory hurdles to overcome.

onetrack, the Czech Republic is one of our many European customers. At the time Jerry is referring to, exports to the Czech Republic would have been about 50 tonnes per year. One of our biggest trading partners for roo meat exports was Russia, who used to take 75% of our product. That was until the 2014 coup in Ukraine and the subsequent Crimean re-unification, after which we placed Russia on the naughty list and sanctioned them. One of the Russian counter sanctions was to ban Australian kangaroo meat imports. Not very long before all that happened, Russian trade delegations were out here and one of the big items was to be a big increase in roo meat imports from Australia. It would have been a big thing for the roo meat industry if politics had not killed it. These days, the EU is the biggest market.

Edited by willedoo
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Tesco (a big supermarket chain sort of like Coles over here) was found to be selling their own pies that contained horsemeat. My guess is that they didn't know the manufacturer was putting horse meat in, but my guess is also that they were screwing the manufacturer down so far on price that they had to resort to substitutes, or the manufactuere was unscrupulous or a bit of both.

 

Re the restaurant in the Czech Republic - nope never did go in or try kangaroo there.. so have no idea.

 

Willedoo's account is pretty informative, though.

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I reckon Roo is a really nice flavoured meat. It has very little fat, so it has to be lightly cooked to prevent it drying out and being like leather, but the same can be said about good steak, never let a Victorian barbecue a good steak.

Feeding roos is what will cause them to attack you, they get so used to feeding that if you have food they want it. If you don't give it to them, they can try to take it and if that doesn't work, they grab you with their front paws, then bring up the rear legs and can rip your guts out. Painfull.

I have surprised them on my place and one only had  the dam as his escape route. One roo looks like an athletic team practicing butterfly stroke, but they get a move on.

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Don't you remember the 2013 Findus horse meat scandal in Britain?  It seems that horse meat is regularly used in pre-prepared meals like this, but is only sold on the Continent. The Findus product of the same name sold in Britain is beef-based. It came out that the horse meat lasagna was incorrectly packaged and should have been packaged for Continental markets. The EU is really keen on protecting the regional origin of food and drink products through a quality schemes. The stated purpose of the quality schemes is to protect the reputation of regional products, promote traditional and agricultural activity and to eliminate non-genuine products, which may mislead consumers or be of inferior or different character. I wonder why lasagna, which originated in Italy during the Middle Ages and has traditionally been ascribed to the city of Naples in the early 14th-century does not have protected designation of origin.

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