Letter: Kangaroo meat

Sir: In case your readers gain a false impression about the killing of kangaroos and the processing of their meat from your report "Ostrich, kangaroo and other exotic meats off the menu" (9 October) it is important to point out that the sale of kangaroo meat is a by-product of Australia's necessary annual cull.

Because of the dramatic increase in the kangaroo population we need to control their numbers to protect the fragile environment and the many other native species it sustains.

Last year 3.1 million kangaroos were culled from a population of more than 50 million of the four main species. In addition to protecting the environment, the cull saves millions of kangaroos from dying from thirst and starvation during Australia's frequent droughts.

The government cull is carried out by professional shooters who are licensed and must comply with strict laws. The processing of the meat is subject to controls which are as rigorous and strictly policed as any of the more traditional meat industries in Australia.

NEIL BLEWETT

High Commissioner

Australian High Commission

London WC2

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