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300 kangaroos saved from slaughter as city reaches 'very rare' decision

Three hundred kangaroos facing slaughter now face a bright future, following a ground-breaking decision in Western Australia.

The mob are set to be moved to a new home after a Perth council voted eight to one to trial a translocation program.

The decision follows revelations by Yahoo News Australia in November that City of Canning management was considering a draft plan to shoot the beloved animals.

A mob of three kangaroos at the Canning site, separated by a fence.
Three hundred kangaroos were scheduled to be shot in Canning. Source: Supplied

It advised culling on the 67-hectare Canning Vale site would be more cost-effective at $30 per head, compared to up to $1600 to move them.

Community members and City of Canning councillors, who said they were previously unaware of management’s plan, were left outraged.

They scrambled to save the kangaroos, and by late December they had secured $250,000 to protect them.

Councillor Amanda Spencer-Teo, who has been instrumental in efforts to stop the cull, successfully presented a notice of motion to trial translocation on Tuesday night.

“It’s a relief. It’s been six months of hard work, but we got there in the end,” she told Yahoo News Australia.

Translocation trail 'very rare' in Australia

The mob are unable to stay at their current site due to ongoing development pressures, which could see them stressed and short of food and water.

Approval of kangaroo translocation in Australia is rare, and Ms Spencer-Teo believes the program, if successful, will “put Canning on the map”.

Source: Yahoo News / Getty
Source: Yahoo News / Getty

Initially, a family of between six and eight animals will be moved to private land.

Translocation does have an element of risk, as stressed kangaroos can develop a fatal condition called myopathy, but council is determined to ensure the mob survives.

Measures to keep the kangaroos calm include:

  • Tranquillising the animals at sunset

  • Ensuring there is zero wind and the temperature is between eight and 26 degrees

  • Initially trialling a group of between six and eight

  • Keeping family groups together

  • Housing the animals in a large enclosure until they adjust to new surroundings

A separate translocation trial involving a large mob of kangaroos, displaced by the Kinley development project, east of Melbourne, was successfully completed in 2021.

Why shooting kangaroos is more common than translocation

By documenting the process in Canning, Ms Spencer-Teo hopes the outcome will counter previous advice that moving macropods results in poor animal welfare outcomes.

“We're going to prove them wrong and show that it can be done and it should be done,” Ms Spencer-Teo said.

“Translocation is very rare, because honestly it’s much cheaper, quicker and convenient to just kill the kangaroos.”

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