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KIAA Newsletter

January 2021

Welcome to the KIAA newsletter. We wish you a Happy New Year! Last year brought many challenges for Australian agriculture with drought, bushfires and the coronavirus. We are starting this year with a bit more rain and high hopes that Australians' increased interest in native ingredients and materials continues to put the spotlight on kangaroo. In this issue, we introduce the recently released Code of Practice, look at the findings of a report into male-only harvesting and reveal our updated website and educational materials that will help to correct misconceptions about the kangaroo industry.

Changes to the Code and what it means

At the end of last year, AgriFutures Australia released The National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Commercial Purposes following an independent review to incorporate new animal welfare research, changes to harvesting strategies and public perception of the industry.

The Code sets an achievable expected standard for the commercial industry backed by evidence-based policy. The review gathered extensive and diverse input from leading animal welfare and kangaroo harvesting experts, state and federal government, kangaroo and pastoral industries, harvesters, animal welfare groups and the public.

The 2020 Code includes:
  • Updated standard operating procedures.
  • Clearly stated and numbered requirements of harvesters.
  • The principle of 'duty of care' whereby the harvester has an obligation to harvest kangaroos and wallabies in a humane manner in compliance with the Code.
  • Minimum requirements and conditions for shooting accuracy testing.
  • Updated and additional definitions of key terms.
  • Detailed explanations of the euthanasia methods and why they are considered humane.
The 2020 Code sets a benchmark for kangaroo harvesters to follow and provides a basis on which to develop and enhance their knowledge and skills. It can also be used to help audit harvesting practices, to inform policy decisions and to educate the general public. The Code was last reviewed in 2008 and will be reviewed every five years.

The new Code and a report on the review process are available on the AgriFutures Australia Kangaroo website.
One of three new animated explainer videos that will go a long way to answering questions around sustainability, animal welfare and food safety. Click on 'Settings-Subtitles' to pick a different language. View the other videos on The role of commercial harvesting in kangaroo conservation and How traceable are kangaroo products?

Our updated website and resources will help address emerging international debate around ethical meat and leather consumption

As part of our ongoing awareness-building and stakeholder activities at home and abroad, we've been working to update the KIAA website and resources to more clearly respond to common questions and misconceptions. We have also translated the website into a range of languages to make it more accessible to key markets. Links to research, government materials as well as new KIAA factsheets and mythbusters can be found in the Library.

New research reiterates sustainability of industry but reveals there are no benefits to male-only policy

A new study conducted by research scientists and kangaroo management experts Steven McLeod and Trudy Sharp, who led the revision of the Code of Practice, examines the impacts of a male-only harvesting policy and reassesses the animal welfare impacts of kangaroo harvesting. The aim of the report was to assist the kangaroo industry in making improvements to harvesting methods and strategies, while delivering balanced outcomes for landholders, government agencies, non-government organisations, animal protection groups and the general public.

The study found that commercial kangaroo harvesting, as currently practiced and according to the Code of Practice, was both sustainable and produced the best animal welfare impacts for kangaroos compared to other management methods. However, more effective and targeted communication with the public was needed.

In terms of male-biased harvesting, the policy was found to skew the sex ratio of harvested populations in favour of females, resulting in fast population recovery and higher average densities. Consequently, graziers have argued it does not sufficiently reduce kangaroo numbers and ease grazing pressure.
Read report
Gamilaraay man Corey Grech selling kangaroo pies outside Sydney Cricket Ground. Photo: Louise Kennerley, Source:
The Bounce
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Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia · PO Box 963 · Warwick, Qld 4370 · Australia

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