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
News
Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
people
News
The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
News
peopleHere's what Stephen Fry would say
Sport
David Silva celebrates with Sergio Aguero after equalising against Chelsea
footballChelsea 1 Manchester City 1
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Proust as Captain Laure Berthaud in 'Spiral'
tvReview: Gritty, engaging and well-acted - it’s a wonder France’s biggest TV export isn’t broadcast on a more mainstream channel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
Laura Carmichael in still from Madam Bovary trailer
film
News
i100
Sport
Serena Williams holds the Australian Open title
sportAustralia Open 2015 final report
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: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links