Australia has announced its annual culling of kangaroos starting from Monday. Over 1,900 kangaroos will be killed this year across the Australian Capital Territory. As per reports, ten reserves falling in the region will be shutting down each evening to conduct the killing. Initiated two years ago, the act is a necessary evil. The rapid increase in the population of the eastern grey kangaroos poses a potentially devastating threat to the environment. When the kangaroos reach a very high number in terms of population, due to uncontrolled feeding, the local environment undergoes vast de-vegetation.
This is followed by degradation of plant, soil and water quality which negatively impacts several life cycles and disturbs the balance of the mini-ecosystem. Keeping the detrimental environmental impact in mind, a culling, or a controlled killing of a few animals to maintain a safe sustainable number while causing minimal damage to both, the environment and the kangaroo population, is conducted. Over the last two years, 4,000 kangaroos have been killed. The culling is expected to be concluded by August 1.
A humanitarian argument to the culling is the unfairness of one species of animals having to be killed to protect another. It is also seen by some, as the meddling of humans with nature’s mechanisms. All in all, while it certainly is inhuman to kill animals, even in a methodical manner, it is an unavoidable act. If not for a controlled population, the environment will face severe repercussions. Although not the perfect solution, the annual culling is essential, and, currently, the only way of preventing greater environmental damage. An ideal situation would be an effective method to control the population of kangaroos to keep them from rising to numbers that necessitate killings.
For this purpose, trials testing the efficacy of fertility drugs, which act as contraceptives are being conducted. The use of these drugs will prevent the kangaroos from reproducing to large numbers, and provide a better, more humane, preventive method to control the population. We hope the trials are successful, and an effective drug with minimal side effects is soon developed, ensuring neither the living kangaroos nor the environment is harmed.