Australia: Foster’s lager, barbeques, beaches, and larrikinisms. Well, at least that’s what is sold to you. Steve Irwin and Crocodile Dundee. Amazing wildlife found only in Australia.
What they don’t tell you, and is sadly not restricted to Australia, is that our government does not care about our wildlife. We’ve battled debilitating drought and exhausting fires that have decimated millions of native animals and fauna. The iconic koala and kangaroo are at risk of becoming extinct.
Cue Covid-19 and now the Victorian government has approved a kangaroo cull (slaughter) for pet food. Just when our native wildlife needed a break.
The once world-class golf greens of the Heritage Golf and Country Club ordered a slaughter of the mob of kangaroos that call this land their home. What separates this mob from other mobs is that the golfers and community live in harmony. The majestic ‘roos are welcomed and even have a yearly calendar made featuring them lounging in the gated community.
The community and Club lived harmoniously with the kangaroos until new management took over in early 2021. Long term residents, staff and patrons of the Club and hotel have expressed their love for these kangaroos. They describe a placid mob that cause no damage and who are part of the very reason they love the property. Many have described the strong attachment they have for the mob which was deepened during the recent lockdowns. The mob includes a local celebrity, Big Al (aka Mr Scarface), a gentle giant who was recently rehabilitated from a hand injury with the community anxiously following his progress.
Yet greed and a government-approved kangaroo meat program, meant disaster. On the 27th April local residents were shocked to receive a notification from the Heritage Golf & Country Club in Chirnside Park, Victoria, that their beloved local kangaroos would be slaughtered during the night. The Club had received authority under the ‘Victorian Kangaroo Harvest Management Program’ to sell the kangaroo carcasses for pet food.
Kangaroo shooting is brutal and should never be an option. Inevitably not all kangaroos will be killed ‘cleanly’ and there will be stress and suffering. Pouch joeys will be bashed to death or decapitated (as per the Code*) and at-foot joeys will often escape to die slowly without their mothers. It is an appalling assault on our sensitive, family-oriented kangaroos and the Club needs to know the community won’t stand for it!
A protest was held out the front of the golf course gaining media attention, while dedicated teams including Melbourne Hunt Saboteurs took position in the darkness within the grounds of the course to prevent any killings.
A two-week standoff with rescuers, Wildlife Victoria and their dedicated vet team saw an end to the slaughter. Sadly though in the last two weeks, kangaroos have been found dead on the course, chased by the owner’s large dogs into dams and drowned. Some even displaying signs of covert shooting at night.
The community have come together to voice their anger, which sadly falls on the deaf ears of the wealthy owner. So again, teams are back in action to prevent and sabotage any shooting.
It makes you wonder that, if such brutal cruelty is displayed to our native wildlife, what hope for the fox, who was introduced specifically to provide ‘sport’ for hunters.
Melbourne Hunt Saboteurs exists to end all such cruelty. Our team needs your help to stay in the fields.