University of Technology, Sydney



Sustainable use of kangaroos has become synonymous with their exploitation for meat (for pet food and human consumption) and hides. Such exploitation raises a number of concerns. The consumption of kangaroos is largely ex situ and therefore removes nutrients and energy from the rangelands. There are substantial community concerns over the animal welfare consequences of harvesting to dependent young and miss-shot adults. Hygiene standards have found to be lacking in this under regulated industry. Strong correlations exist between abuse to wildlife and social dysfunction. Furthermore, over twenty years of kangaroo harvesting has failed to yield measurable outcomes of sheep replacement, the primary environmental benefit to be derived from sustainable use of kangaroos. 

Patchy Rain From Thunderstorm Over Stony Downs Of Sturt National Park

In contrast, ecotourism has been shown to be a viable non-lethal form of sustainable use that can retain value for pastoralists. Emerging awareness to the value of carbon credits may renumerate pastoralists for reduced stocking rates. New low impact sheep grazing sheep management techniques may alleviate grazing pressure. The test of time, an emerging knowledge base and changing social attitudes indicate that the case for, and manner of, sustainable use of kangaroos needs to be re-evaluated: