The ACT government has revealed that a recent trial sterilization program to attempt to stem breeding of kangaroos within the state has cost $612,000 to date with only 135 kangaroos sterilized. That’s approximately $4,500 per kangaroo. From the article:
“The trial was announced by then minister Shane Rattenbury in early 2014 as a two-year project to vaccinate 500 kangaroos. A year later, in early 2015, then minister Simon Corbell said field trials were about to begin on about 200 kangaroos, with a two-year budget of $530,000.
Ms Wimpenny said in mid-2016, funding had been extended for a year, for a total over three years of $612,000 “plus some in-kind support”. It is unclear what happens after June this year.”
“In 2015, Mr Corbell said it was already well known that the contraceptive, GonaCon, was effective when administered by hand, rendering kangaroos infertile for up to six years.”
It’s not even a permanent vaccine.
Now comparatively speaking, a 40 box of 55 grain Winchester .223 costs around $50, approximately 80 cents a shot. For the price of 135 kangaroos being sterilized for 6 years at a cost of $612,000 by omnipotent bureaucrats, hunters could potentially eliminate 765,000 kangaroos and an actual impact on the problem would be made. Even allowing for the numerous variables associated with hunting, 50% of that number would be a significant impact.
But, remember who you’re dealing with – Australian bureaucrats.
It’s also perfectly fine to commercially harvest kangaroos for export but the thought of licenced hunters culling them to control their numbers and ethically harvest meat is apparently outrageous. This is also the same ACT government that was recently caught illegally using suppressors but suffered no consequence.
The same Bambi effect met Bob Katter MP recently when he called for hunting safaris to cull the out of control crocodile population in North Queensland. It was also on display when the NSW government announced a cull on brumbies in the Blue Mountains. Some of those responses on the Sunrise FB page really are worth a look. Or not.
So whose idea was this? Aside from the ACT Government, you might want to ask the Australian Society for Kangaroos and ask them why aren’t they footing the bill? We already sort of know the answer to that.
This is precisely what happens when you let emotional Animal Rights Activists dictate policy – the same ilk of people that advocate rehoming foxes and sterilizing feral cats and releasing them, without addressing the small fact that the cat still has to eat.
The kangaroo population has exploded mainly because they enjoy protected status and a lack of natural predators. Unfortunately, the prevailing ideology in Australia (key word: ideology) when it comes to wildlife management seems to be that species will observe arbitrary, invisible human constructed boundaries and regulations. Or in simpler terms “don’t worry boys, the feral animals can’t get you in here – this is a national park. There’s three staff covering the entire area and there’s sign posts, we got you covered.”
This nonsense ideology only exacerbates the problem and the Greens and their ilk have a lot to answer for. But, being the Greens, accountability and responsibility are forever the domain of someone other than themselves, they just want the ‘credit’ – especially when they’re calling for snipers to protect penguins.
Logic would dictate that aside from the kangaroo issue, invasive species would be best dealt with by introducing a deregulated, reasonably priced permit hunting system, relaxing restrictions on access to hunting areas (ie crown land) and relaxing firearm regulations for licence holders.
New Zealand has it a lot better –permits, hunting tourism and has turned some of it into a business model while at the same time doing their best at protecting the environment. Rugby is still not the only thing New Zealand does better than us, although the horrors of 1080 are a blemish on their record.
Sure, there’s a definite place in species management for sterilization. However, the overarching reality with the current kangaroo issue and invasive species overall in Australia is quite simple: Man created the problem – man must step in and correct the problem or lose it all. That means, animals must be culled in number, in order to restore the balance.
Whether or not the ACT program continues remains to be seen. However, the justification for said expense at such small ROI needs a serious rethink when there are cost effective alternatives available.