Condemned to an Unnecessary Death.



Above: the place at Lawson, ACT., Australia, where 500 kangaroos were herded and killed. We urge you to sign the petition (gopetition) Note; THIS PETITION IS NOW CLOSED june 1 08.

We also urge you to read and consider signing the statement of philosophy if you are in agreement and you have studied the philosophical positions on ecology. ( Only with an ideological change will animals like this be safe. Public apathy and acceptance of a neo-cartesian philosophy which sees wild animals as mere objects or commodities allows the killing to go on until 'resources' run out.

Front page of The Canberra Times on April 30: a map of the land to be developed for housing. The area called Lawson, just under word 'BNTS' (my addition) is a 'land development site'.  It covers the entire naval base. So much for the government's worry about vulnerable species being in this area - the reason they gave why the kangaroos had to be killed.

HOWEVER, (oops!) the Canberra Times printed a small 'correction' notice the next day, saying that the actual base would NOT be developed, only the land beside it.  Even if that is true (and it stretches credibility) - this land, too, has 'vulnerable species' on it. The scientists who demanded the roos be killed to save the golden sun moth are strangely silent. Why aren't they complaining about the planned housing in the area?



Go to to see Wildcare's assessment of the situation.


Above: this kangaroo was earmarked for 'research' . Note the wet arms (from arm licking) and the wet snout, signs of extreme stress. She is in the same enclosure as 400 other kangaroos marked for death. She was trapped between temporary fencing without shelter and water, all part of the ACT's 'humane' cull.


arm lickingbehindTO MORE KANGAROO PIX





May 29, 2008. The kangaroo cull appears to have been completed. All the kangaroos photographed at the base and shown here have been killed.

May 19, 2008 The Kangaroo cull has begun. For the latest news see the home page.

May 15, 2008. The Department of Defence abandons plans for translocation, stating that it is too expensive. Pressure from the ACT government is no doubt a factor in this decision. The ACT government has a policy which opposes translocation. Panels of scientific 'experts' garnered by the government also support killing rather than translocation.

Normally, kangaroos are killed in their millions in Australia by licensed shooters operating under cover of darkness. The public remain blind to the process. However, in this case, the animals are on an old naval base in the middle of suburbia, and killing them here is a bureaucratic nightmare. It is therefore likely they will be darted at a time when press and public are least likely to be around - a rushed job in darkness or semi-darkness, with large numbers of security guards patrolling the boundaries.

May 5, 2008. Plans for translocation are well underway. Scientists have been studying methods of managing the move and looking at private and public sites that may take the animals. The local ACT Government has still made no positive statement endorsing the translocation. Talks are still underway. The possibility that an about-face will occur and some, or all of the animals, will be killed is still very real.

Meanwhile, press reports have announced that new housing developments will proceed in the land next to the boundary fence on the base -- more grassland. This suggests that the concern for the Golden Sun Moth and other endangered grassland species which the kangaroos were allegedly threatening is no more than a propaganda exercise by a government which intends to build houses in the area. We hear that the naval base itself -- minus kangaroos -- must be handed over to the ACT government within 18 months - in order for more houses to be built? The local paper, The Canberra Times, even printed a front page story about 15000 new houses to be built in the ACT - plus a map showing the naval base area in gold - the colour code meant 'land development site.' The next day, the Times printed a 'correction' at the bottom of page 2 - a mistake had been made. Development was not proceeding ON the base, but next door. Mmm.

Unfortunately the bad behaviour of governments, state and local, regarding kangaroos, is increasing. A camapign continues by those with vested interests to declare kangaroos pests -- and commodities. Despite global warming, drought and bushfires, they are all working hard to turn even more kangaroos into pet food, hides, scrotum purses, and so on - even as the Australia-wide numbers plummet. From ABC news May 5, 2008: "John Kelly, from the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia, says (new culling in Victoria) 'would be good for regional employment and crops." In direct income to the state, it's worth about $5.5 million," he said. "In indirect benefits, such as improved agricultural productivity, decreased levels of road accidents, and other such benefits - you add them all up, and you start talking about something approaching $15 million per year."

(It's worth noting that Kelly, who runs the kangaroo killing business, even implies (like many kangaroo-hating Australians) that kangaroos cause car accidents. We may as well say that pedestrians who get in the way of cars cause car accidents. One driver even wrote to a newspaper complaining that a kangaroo 'attacked' his four wheel drive while he was quietly driving along the road. Kangaroos are one of the most passive animals in the world, but they are easily blinded by car headlights when crossing roads at night. Speeding, unattentive drivers kill kangaroos, not the other way around. Nor have we solid evidence that kangaroos are destroying crops in a substantial way, The real reason Kelly wants kangaroos killed is that he makes money from dead wildlife.)

April 13, 2008. The kangaroos at this site have had a reprieve. Pressure from petitioners in Australia and over 60 overseas countries has been successful. Defence will now examine the option of translocation and with expert help, conduct a trial of that option. But the ACT government, backed by the RSPCA, still prefers them killed. As they are on Defence land, they are presently safe. But please sign the petition to help ensure they are spared, and send a message to the RSPCA and the ACT government that they should agree to move, rather than execute, the animals.



March 22, 2008 (Sat) 6 pm.

A dull day, with no activity at the site apart from patrolling security guards, some in cars. Looking at the site from near the corner of Gininderra and William Slim Drive, with a lake in the foreground, one can see that a quite large gap in the temporary fencing has been made, allowing some kangaroos to come down to the lakeside (to the left of the green area at bottom) for water. However, most of the animals are still at the top of the picture in far distance (the speck just under the trees far right is one). To get to water they have to get around the maze of fencing, then find the gap.

We are kept in the dark about the time the kill will commence. It is likely to be on the 25th, observers say, but the government has made no formal announcement - nor will it, as it wishes to keep its plans secret.

It appears (we are not permitted on site, so can only judge from a distance) that the 'funnel' through which the kangaroos will be forced into the killing area is actually three arcs of fencing that then funnel into one 'run' leading to an enclosure where they will be darted and killed. Experts who have witnessed similar kills state that the sensitive animals panic, sometimes dying of fright, while others throw themselves at the fencing in an attempt to escape. It is anything but 'ordered.' Aware of this, the government will do its utmost to ensure that the public do not see or know how the kangaroos will meet their end.Doomed family

March 23, 2008 (Sun) No discernable movement at the site. Essentially, the same as yesterday. It now seems to be clear that unless the government has a change of heart, or else delays for strategic reasons, the killing will start this week.

The only other news, media-wise, is the sensational headline in the local Sunday Canberra Times: 'WHO WILL RESCUE RSPCA? Kangaroo Cull leads to verbal attack, donation withdrawals.' The story claims that employees of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which supports the kill, are under verbal attack from anti-kill protestors, and donations are being withdrawn by former supporters of the organisation. The paper's leader says 'RSPCA attack hurts those who need help most.' The local CEO of the RSPCA, in a separate feature, is reported to have said, 'What I would say to those people (anti-kill protestors) is with 3.6 million kangaroos being culled across the country every year, why choose those 500 (on which) to wage your war?' (p.25, Mar 23.)

One answer, of course, is that these 500, unlike the other 3.6 million, have been offered sanctuary elsewhere, which the RSPCA and ACT government oppose. A second reply might be that these kangaroos reside in captivity in our local area, while the others are shot at in the wild, often in the outback, by licensed hunters. The protesters oppose that slaughter as well, with court action forthcoming to try and halt it. This is, to our shame, a country which recommends that joeys (baby kangaroos) that survive slaughter be killed by slamming their heads against the bull bar of a 4 wheel drive.

)security g


March 24, 2008 (Mon) More security guards at the site, including a night patroller with multiple floods on a Hilux. No sign as yet that the kill will commence tomorrow, as several of the fences are still down. No sign today of contract shooters on site. But unless a last minute reprieve occurs, killing should start this week. Petition: over 4100 signatures from 62 countries. Comments from petitioners range from disgust at the ACT government, great disappointment at the RSPCA, and a demand to move the kangaroos to the NSW site.

March 25. Fortunately, heavy rain has delayed proceedings. This also allows time for more people to sign the petition, which is now approaching 5000 signatures.

You may have signed the petition and read the details of the case on -- yet you would like also to e-mail the individuals in government or the CEO of the RSPCA who have demanded or (in the case of the RSPCA) backed the cull/kill.

Here are the e-mail addresses: Chief Minister of the ACT, who has blocked translocation of the animals on the grounds the it is 'government policy'. -- CEO of the RSPCA, who supports the cull/kill. Minister for Defence OR Secretary of Defence. Defence now (April 2) supports a pause while translocation and other options are studied.

The kangaroos are trapped on Defence land and Defence has hired the contractors to kill the kangaroos. Defence did support relocation but could not gain permission to move the animals from Chief Minister Stanhope's government, so will proceed with the kill immediately. The exact date for the kill remains unknown, but the latest information suggests March 27 (Thursday), if the weather is fine. On the other hand, because it is an area locked within suburbs and near to local schools, some suggest it will occur next Saturday and Sunday, when children are less likely to accidentally witness proceedings.

March 26 The rainy weather has ended. Examination of the side at 5.30 pm shows less security, no work being done on the fences. The latest (10 pm) opinion of those who have looked at the site is that it is still incomplete, so the kangaroos have another, perhaps brief, reprieve. However, police, and others, have visited the site. They are obviously concerned how to protect the huge boundaries of the 292 acre base. Activists are still writing to MPs and other public figures seeking acceptance of the translocation offer.

March 28 (Fri) 2008 2.30 pm AEDST Continued lack of activity at the base suggests that Defence may have decided to delay action, if not change course. A press report: -- indicates that Defence have been considering other options but the Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, is not at all happy and wants them to start the kill now. Emails to Stanhope and Defence informing them of your opposition to a 'cull' can only help the kangaroos' plight.

March 29 (Sat) 2008: Quiet at the site. Press reports that The Chief Minister has ridiculed Defence for not going ahead with the kill and for delaying it for talks on other options. Because the infrastructure is still in place, the killing can still proceed with only a few hours preparation. So protesters are watching the site for signs of change 24 hours a day.

March 30, 2008: Although still quiet at the site, evidence is mounting that the kill will go ahead. The ACT, and its 'expert' panels, remain recalcitrant. A meeting of a panel last Friday agreed to go ahead with the kill. Protestors are forwarding new scientific evidence in favour of the option of translocation, but it appears that it may fall on deaf ears. But there is perhaps a deeper battle going on here, between instinctual life, and the elements who wish to forever cage, manipulate, or destroy it.

March 31, 2008. Fine and windy. The Base is quiet. This week we wait to see if workers and shooters appear on site. The protest petition approaches 5000.

STOP PRESS: The Defence Department has issued a press release stating that the proposed kill has been placed on "hold," while study into other options, including translocation, is made. AAP has just run the story "Australia halts roo cull." This is a huge victory for those who have signed the petition and protested, but it is still only a first step. The ACT government and the opposition conservatives oppose translocation. Defence also requires a positive response from the local government to proceed. The NSW state government and some vested interests -- graziers, for example -- may try to block translocation. We shall probably see a savage backlash against this Defence decision from pro-kill lobbyists. Many Australians repeat the farmers' mantra, 'there are too many kangaroos and they are a pest,' (while, of course, ignoring the plague proportions of sheep and cattle) while others have come to love and respect this beautiful and unique animal. This battle is merely a small example of a the much wider problem of the murder of wild animals in Australia and a culture that supports it.

humans! run!

Kangaroos run from an official in a vehicle on the base.The driver, incidentally, drives straight across the 'vulnerable' grasslands. (Sunset, March 31, 2008)

April 5, 2008: This account of the protest will now be closed -- please return to the 'latest news' and news flashes above.


10 April, 2008: Pic (below) of the Northern side of the Belconnen Naval Transmitting Staion - a mob of approx 50 kangaroos can be seen, They now have much freer access to the entire base now that some temporary fencing has been removed following protests. There are about 400 kangaroos at the base.

panorama April 10

Kangaroos on the western side of the base move to a wet area near Lake Gininderra at dusk and at night, Most lie in long grass or shelter under trees during the day.

The essential purpose of my animal sites is to allow people to see, through these images, the beauty and the intrinsic value of Australian wildlife.

Ray Drew

To contact Ray Drew, email: