A PERMIT is being sought to “humanely” remove kangaroos from a Cape Schanck property, instead of killing them.
The land manager has agreed to wait an extra eight-weeks before the cull was about to start and, in the meantime, seek a permit under the Wildlife Act to move the kangaroos back through a fence into Mornington Peninsula National Park.
The reprieve for the “several hundred” kangaroos was due to “determined work” by Mornington Peninsula Shire councillors and “tireless negotiation” by CEO John Baker, according to Paul Saunders of the Mornington Peninsula Greens.
The first stay of execution was due to end last week (3 December).
“This release [of the kangaroos into the national park] needs to happen within the next few weeks if the health of these animals is to not be further compromised,” Mr Saunders said.
“Animal welfare experts and community members have offered to assist with this process which may require a group of individuals to calmly encourage the kangaroos to leave the property.”
Mr Saunders said the land manager blamed vandals for breaking down fences which saw the kangaroos enter the property (“Weary tracks tell tale of trapped kangaroos” The News 4/10/21).
“Community members condemn such actions and support the council and land manager in calling for a halt to any such vandalism,” he said.
Western Victoria Upper House Animal Justice Party MP Andy Meddick, said the system for controlling wildlife was “outdated, flawed, and sees our native animals cruelly killed by simply ticking a box”.
“I’m calling on the Victorian government and Minister for Environment [Lily D’Ambrosio] to do the right thing and explore humane, non-lethal alternatives – such as relocation. This is what the local community wants,” he said.
Cape Schanck resident Sally Baillieu said methods used to count kangaroos on the peninsula were based on “highly inaccurate information”.
She said the Department for the Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP) had estimated there were 7000 kangaroos on the peninsula “without taking a single local observation”.
“DELWP also have refused to accept, or even investigate, on-the-ground citizen-science observations demonstrating that the population is actually around 2500 animals. Far smaller than their estimates,” Ms Baillieu said.
She said there had been no commercial activity on the property where the kangaroos were stranded “for almost two decades”.
“Both the inaccurate population estimate, and this lack of agricultural activity invalidates the issue of a culling permit,” Ms Baillieu said.
“Despite being informed of this, DELWP have refused to retract the permit and indicated that the slaughter will go ahead.”
“DELWP is charged with managing and protecting wildlife across Victoria. Sadly, they have failed badly in this situation.”