Kangaroos at a crossroads: Environmental law and the kangaroo industry

Lawbook Co.
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Environmental and Planning Law Journal, 2013, 30 (2), pp. 162 - 181
Issue Date:
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Australias kangaroo industry represents the largest commercial kill of land-based wildlife in the world. The environmental law and policy that governs the industry primarily seeks to facilitate the killing of kangaroos on the basis that they damage agriculture and provide a renewable natural resource. The need to conserve kangaroos acts as a limiting factor to temper the commercial interests of landholders and shooters. This article identifies a number of problems with the current regulatory framework, particularly the lack of adherence to the precautionary principle. It highlights key measures of reform that could be introduced to enhance the regulatory framework and conserve kangaroos, such as density trigger points. Finally, the article argues that, on the basis of current scientific knowledge and difficulties in adhering to the precautionary principle, there is a pressing need for Australian governments to reassess the reasons for and against management of kangaroo populations through commercial killing
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