The Dutch Party for Animals in alliance with the Animal Justice Party in Australia are pushing the European Union to ban the import of kangaroo products. In February 2022 the Dutch parliament passed a motion from the Party for the Animals MP Frank Wassenberg calling on the government to “address the problem of access to the European market of controversial products such as kangaroo meat and kangaroo products with the European Commission.”
Europe is the largest market for kangaroo meat and leather products, but animal welfare activists argue that the way the animals are killed in Australia is cruel. About 1.5m of wild eastern grey, western grey, and red kangaroos are shot annually by commercial hunters. Most female kangaroos of breeding age will have a joey in their pouch or at foot, who are killed by blunt force trauma.
Mark Pearson, New South Wales MP for the Animal Justice Party, said to The Guardian Australia: “They don’t know how many kangaroos are out there, they don’t know how many they have killed, they don’t know how they have been killed, and they don’t know how many joeys have been killed…How can we be assured that these animals are being killed with a clean shot to the brain, when their heads are left on the ground for the pigs and foxes to eat.”
In the US there have also been moves to ban the sale of kangaroo products. In August 2021 Rep. Carbajal introduced the H.R.917 – Kangaroo Protection Act of 2021, but it did not progress. It is likely the move to ban imports in the EU will fail too, as there are currently negotiations between the EU and Australia regarding a new trade deal, and such a ban may affect it. So, it seems that the work of hunt saboteurs trying to save kangaroos will have to continue for some time.