More than 1,600 kangaroos due to be shot in Australia for eating too much grass

The annual cull in Canberra has been delayed by animal rights groups

More than 1,600 kangaroos are due to be killed in Australia because they eat too much grass.

The annual cull in the capital, Canberra, has been delayed amid continued protests by animal charities but is still expected to go ahead.

Adult kangaroos are shot by marksmen but baby joeys still in the pouch are often killed by a blow to the head.

Conditions in the Australian Capital Territory have been perfect for the marsupials this year and parts of the region now have the highest density of kangaroos in Australia - over 500 per square kilometre in some places.

They are regularly seen hopping around parks and reserves and the lush grass of golf courses, as well as the manicured lawns of Government House, are a favourite spot for grazing.

But encounters with kangaroos, which can be up to 7ft tall, are not always friendly for local residents.

In 2009, one reportedly crashed through a window into a family home and ripped furniture to shreds, and in 2010 a jogger was knocked unconscious after he was allegedly hit in the face by an angry marsupial.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip view grey kangaroos in the grounds of Government House, Canberra, in 2011. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip view grey kangaroos in the grounds of Government House, Canberra, in 2011. According to authorities, the cull is necessary to reduce the population of eastern grey kangaroos because they damage grassland habitats, threatening the survival of some species.

Large numbers of kangaroos can eat down the ground layer vegetation so there is no food and shelter for reptiles, insects and birds., they said.

The government is looking into an alternative to the controversial cull – contraception.

A sample of 500 kangaroos is being used this year to test fertility control, which animal rights groups argue is a more humane and cost-effective way of reducing the population.

Scientists have been studying the effects of a vaccine that stops the animals breeding for three seasons.

Animal charity Alphadog has been working with the local government to implement fertility control.

A spokesman claimed it can be delivered at “one fifth of the cost” of a cull, when the government pays thousands of dollars to marksmen.

 “We prefer not to interfere with kangaroos in any way,” he added.

“We acknowledge however, the only way to successfully advocate for the immediate end to unnecessary, brutal annual culls is by presenting non-lethal solutions and alternatives.”

After a legal challenge by animal rights groups, a tribunal has ordered a temporary stay to the killing until a hearing on Thursday.

Representatives from Animal Liberation ACT argued that the government's data does not support the supposed benefits of a cull.

Read more:
Injured kangaroo in Melbourne airport
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test