Stop the import of kangaroo meat and leather in Europe! Support for initi­ative Party for the Animals

23 februari 2022

Thanks to an adopted proposal by the Party for the Animals, the Dutch government is going to push for a European ban on the import of kangaroo products. The large-scale kangaroo hunt in Australia causes horrific animal suffering and poses major health risks due to the awful hygienic conditions in the kangaroo meat industry. For years, the Party for the Animals, together with its Australian sister party Animal Justice Party, has been calling for an end to the 'largest slaughter of (wild) land mammals worldwide'.

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Trailer of the Australian documentary 'Kangaroo. A Love-Hate Story' (2017) about the animal suffering and food safety risks caused by kangaroo hunting.

In Australia, millions of kangaroos are killed every year in one of the largest commercial hunting practices in the world. The European Union is the largest market for kangaroo meat and skins, followed by the United States. The Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Germany are the largest importers within the EU. While the meat is mostly used in restaurants and in dog and cat food, kangaroo leather is popular with manufacturers of sports shoes such as Nike, Adidas and Puma. Kangaroo leather is used for skates, motorcycle suits and phone cases as well.

Political action: EU import ban
The Dutch Party for the Animals and its Australian sister party Animal Justice Party – as well as animal protection organisations in Australia, Europe and the United States – have been calling for an end to kangaroo hunting and a ban on the import and sale of its products for years. While Russia and California have already imposed a ban, the Netherlands and other European countries still import large quantities of kangaroo meat and skins. This makes them partly responsible for large-scale animal suffering and increased risks to public health. The Party for the Animals wants this to end.

To achieve this, the party screened the revealing documentary 'Kangaroo' in the Dutch parliament – a documentary in which former party leader Marianne Thieme and her colleagues from the Animal Justice Party Australia feature as well. After repeated proposals for an import ban, a majority of the House of Representatives joined the party in their latest motion this month: the Dutch minister must make a case for a ban at the European Commission.

A European ban on the import of kangaroo products is the only logical thing to do according to the Dutch Party for the Animals. There is already a European ban on importing dog, cat and seal fur because of the gross animal suffering associated with its production. If the Party for the Animals has its way, an import ban on kangaroo products gets added as soon as possible.

Insanely cruel

'Every night baby kangaroos are clubbed to death. Minister Ley, you can stop this'. Billboard of the Animal Justice Party with appeal to the Minister for the Environment.

As several studies have shown, nightly kangaroo hunting is accompanied by horrific animal suffering. Whistleblowers revealed how kangaroo babies are taken out of the pouch and are beaten to death or beheaded. Motherless, young kangaroos are left to their fate, to be killed by predators or to slowly die of hunger and thirst. And as only the meat of animals killed by a 'head shot' can be sold, severely injured adult animals that have been hit elsewhere are left for dead - according to estimates up to 40% of animals shot or about 65,000 to 652,000 animals per year. A parliamentary inquiry in the Australian state of New South Wales also showed that the code of conduct is systematically violated during hunting.

Danger to public health
Besides serious damage to animal welfare, kangaroo meat poses major risks to public health. As research by the Australian Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority has shown, the Australian kangaroo meat industry does not adhere to the most basic hygiene rules. Much kangaroo meat is therefore contaminated with large quantities of pathogenic bacteria such as E-coli and Salmonella. The unsanitary conditions and the international transport of kangaroo meat and skins also increase the risk of the onset and spread of infectious diseases transmissible from animals to humans, and thus of the outbreak of new pandemics such as corona.

Sign: stop the kangaroo hunt!
The Animal Justice Party Australia advocates for the rapid phasing out of the commercial hunt for kangaroos and the associated processing industry, and for regulations to protect kangaroos and wallabies. After Australia's devastating bushfires in 2020, which killed billions of animals and destroyed much of the kangaroos’ (and other animals’) habitat, the party called for an immediate moratorium on the killing of kangaroos in the state of New South Wales.

A petition calling on the European Commission to immediately end the European import of kangaroo meat and skins has been signed by more than 46,000 people. Sign this petition too!