News from the ACT

I’d much prefer it if the news about the passing of the law making same-sex civil unions legal was getting half the press that the kangaroo cull is getting.

I’m much more interested that at least one of the tiers of our Federal government system has taken a step forward in recognising family relationships that extend beyond heterosexual couples, watered down though the legislation ended up being. Same-sex couples who intend to build a life together should be able to be confident about legal recognition of their shared assets, rights and obligations without having to have ten times the number of legal documents organised as any heterosexual couple is required to by law. Congratulations to the ACT legislature for persisting despite discouragement from the Federal Government of both the previous and the current Prime Ministers.

So what about the roos? Well, what about them? The population of Eastern Grey Kangaroos around Canberra is at pest levels: culling 400 humanely won’t endanger the species and will ease some pressure due to over-population. While roos are cute the cuteness of mice and rats doesn’t stop me putting down rat-poison when needed, and none of them offer the environment at large a fraction of the benefit that the bees who made a hive in my verandah ceiling did, and I had them poisoned as well because there were way too many of them. The naked sentimentality on display regarding the roos repels me, frankly, and I’m with the Herald-Sun columnist Gary Linnell for once, who pointed out how little the plight of China and Burma victims of natural disasters moved most of us by comparison.

This misplacing of priorities doesn’t reflect well upon us.

Categories: environment, ethics & philosophy, law & order, media, Science

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9 replies

  1. It is VERY hard to express an opinion that is pro-roo culling in Canberra. It’s wonderful to read this post.

  2. Oodles of eastern greys where I live. I took a photo of two going the biff in my back yard recently and they took no notice of me at all. They are becoming more and more emboldened by the day so I commend the ACT for this pre-emptive strike.

  3. The irony is that they wanted to relocate them to an area in NSW that is actively culled anyway. Out of sight out of mind perhaps?
    I didn’t see anyone offering to adopt a kangaroo either.

  4. Yep, totally agree. Like the Linnell article as well.

  5. I was a bit in love with this website, so I’m really disappointed to read a post along the well-trodden lines of “If you care about animals you’re a hypocrite who doesn’t care about humans”.
    In the case of kangaroos, human intervention has replaced huge areas of bush with pasture, causing the extinction of some native animals but creating the conditions for kangaroo numbers to rise.
    Doing that and then culling the kangaroos is sort of like my old flatmate who left food all over the house and then got indignant when cockroaches appeared.
    I was even more disappointed to read that you use rat poison, which causes slow death by internal bleeding in whatever unfortunate animal ingests it, often native Australian bush rats, which don’t spread human diseases as introduced rats do.
    I’m inspired by the articulate and just comments I read here about equal rights for same-sex couples. Or at least I was in the past. It makes me feel a bit sick when I see the old fallacy, usually used by people I know to justify apathy, that caring about one thing makes makes you less than sufficiently supportive of another. You don’t have to poison animals to care about human rights.

  6. I was a bit in love with this website, so I’m really disappointed to read a post along the well-trodden lines of “If you care about animals you’re a hypocrite who doesn’t care about humans”.

    I do feel that’s an over-simplistic reading of my post, but you are entitled to your view.
    Of course people can and do care about both. I was referring more to the media coverage, as I said in the very first paragraph.
    As to my use of rat poison: I live in the inner-city, so bush rats are quite safe from the occasional poison that I put down to get rats out of my roofspace every now and then. (3 times in 17 years in this house.)
    I still think that the cull was as humane as it could be, and I don’t find it particularly disturbing. If another solution could have been found I’d be happier, of course, but I’m not outraged that no better solution was found.

  7. I’ve been poking around the coverage trying to figure out why the culled roos aren’t going to be eaten – something about killing/eating game being illegal in the ACT, or something?
    400 roos could fill a lot of hungry bellies. What a waste.

  8. It’s because they used drugs to tranquilize the roos I believe, so the meat was unusable.

  9. Sorry – because of the drug used. Actually, apparently it was the drug used to euthanise them that made them inedible.
    Had they been allowed to have licensed shooters cull the kangaroos the meat could have been used. I should point out that the shooters would have had to have the skill to hit a 20c piece at 100 yards distance, with 100% accuracy to be given the job of culling.
    Katarina – no one is saying that we don’t care about animals, but the fact is if the kangaroos had been left there they would have starved to death. People protesting preferred not to think about the fact that they were condemning the kangaroos to a slow death.

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