Jump in culling

Jump in culling  despite protests from animal rights groups, Australia's annual cull of kangaroos shot up by more than a quarter this year. Citing substantial population increase, environment minister David Kemp raised the annual commercial quota for killing kangaroos by around 1.5 million to 6.9 million.

However, many term this practice as "cruel and inappropriate slaughter of a national symbol'. Says Pat O'Brien, president of the Wildlife Protection Association of Australia, "We don't support any form of culling at all as there are plenty of non-lethal methods of controlling kangaroos.' "Electric fences, solar powered, can keep kangaroos off farming land and the government should be looking at other ways of control,' he feels.

On the other hand, kangaroos and wallabies are seen as a threat to standing crop. Besides, Australian states argue that increase in culling was needed because strong vegetation growth had seen kangaroo populations leap.

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