UK ban on roo meat debate proves controversial

An eastern grey kangaroo pictured in its natural surrounds.
An eastern grey kangaroo pictured in its natural surrounds.

The Australian Society for Kangaroos (ASK) has thrown its weight behind calls to ban kangaroo products being sold in Europe, accusing Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, of being a “propagandist” due to comments he made in the Daily Liberal this week.

The ASK holds beliefs that wander outside the mainstream including the assertion that kangaroos are “facing extinction” and their culling is “the world’s largest wildlife slaughter”.

But the group believes hard dollars and sense should prevail, estimating that kangaroos are worth between two and $5 billion dollars as a tourist attraction far outweighing the $270 million kangaroo harvesting industry.

“Kangaroos are worth more alive than dead,” an ASK spokesperson said.

“Our Australian symbol is being exploited for pet food.”

Mr Coulton said he was “alarmed” by the call for a boycott and said it could decimate the industry, which had already faced a ban from Russia last year.

“It is very misguided, and with the nation’s kangaroo export industry worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year, it is also potentially very damaging.

“The industry employs more than 4000 regional Australians. Many of these jobs would be immediately threatened if such a ban were to be imposed.”

The ASK replied with a letter to the Daily Liberal accusing Mr Coulton with using “unfounded propaganda” to prop up a failing industry in our native wildlife.

“He accuses wildlife groups of being selective with the facts, while making baseless statements that kangaroos wreak havoc on vulnerable ecosystems and cause erosion,” an ASK spokesperson said.