Animal culling is the selective removal of animals so that some can live comfortably and reduce the amount of disease. Animal culling is often the answer to overpopulation. However, uncontrolled culling may lead to the endangerment to species and wildlife. The numerous kangaroos at Puckapunyal should be culled, as they are becoming a menace to the neighbouring Puckapunyal community.
Dr Graeme Coulson, a kangaroo ecologist and senior lecturer in zoology in the University of Melbourne, said that, as a general rule, 100 kangaroos per square kilometre was a sign of trouble. The number is now reaching 200. If we do not control it, we get widespread land degradation and widespread plant biodiversity loss because the country gets overgrazed. Trapped inside the 18-metre electric fence that surrounds the 45 000-hectare site, the kangaroos have over bred, eaten themselves out of food and denuded the base of its native grasses.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environment issued the Department of Defence a 3-month permit to cull the kangaroos. The RSPCA has backed the cull, saying thousands of kangaroos are in poor condition because of the lack of food caused by the drought in the area. A DNRE spokesman said the permit would be part of a long-term plan to manage the kangaroo population explosion. Mr Bracks said the cull was approved for the sole purpose of reducing the number of animals to stop most of them from dying of hunger this winter.
National Farmers’ Federation president Ian Donges described the move to cull the kangaroos as “eminently sensible” in light of a recent rapid explosion in kangaroo numbers. Mr Donges said while farmers recognised the need for balance between sheep, cattle and kangaroos, in some cases, kangaroos were capable of causing tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to farmers’ crops and fences.
Local farmers complain that dry conditions are forcing the animals to invade their land in s