Australians believe kangaroos should be protected from commercial killing as EU remains one of the biggest importers


Australians believe kangaroos should be protected from commercial killing as EU remains one of the biggest importers

24 October 2023
Press Release
A new poll has found out that Australians want to protect kangaroos against commercial killing as non-profit organisations urge the EU, one of the biggest importers of kangaroo products, to ban imports.

98% of Australians think it’s important to protect kangaroos as part of a strategy to safeguard Australian ecosystems, while 64% believe that Australians should take a stance against commercial killing of kangaroos, a poll has found. More than 75% think it’s both unacceptable and inhumane how an estimated 400,000 of joeys are killed annually as part of this commercial killing.

Every year, approximately two million kangaroos fall victim to commercial slaughter for their skins and meat, with Europe wielding immense influence over what has become the largest commercial terrestrial wildlife slaughter on the planet. Kangaroo leather is used to produce football shoes, motorbike suits and other luxury fashion products while kangaroo meat is sold in European supermarkets, served in restaurants and used in pet food. 

Big businesses are however moving away from using kangaroo products, including Nike and Puma, who both announced that they will move on to synthetic materials instead.

67.3% of Australians agree that other nations should refrain from driving the commercial slaughter of Australian wildlife if it entails cruelty or ecological threats, akin to the EU's ban on seal products. In addition, 64.2% believe that the trading of kangaroo body parts should stop. 

The EU has a key role to play to stop the massacre of millions of kangaroos, including dependent joeys. Just like the EU banned the import of seal products in 2009 because of cruel hunting methods, it is now time to act to end the suffering of these national Australian icons. This survey is a clear reminder that EU policy has an impact on animals and people beyond its borders and can champion a compassionate and sustainable movement.

Reineke Hameleers, CEO, Eurogroup for Animals

The Eurobarometer results that were published last week are unequivocal: Europeans want the EU to protect animals and their welfare. On behalf of all Europeans, we ask for ambitious animal welfare legislation now. This also means the end of kangaroo products imports. This cruel hunt does not align with the values of Europeans, nor Australians, and it is time for the EU to act.

Manuela Ripa, MEP (Greens/Efa)

This wildlife trade is poorly regulated, jeopardising kangaroo populations, and the brutal fate of countless healthy joeys is nothing short of barbaric. The Australian government is failing to protect our kangaroos from the legalised commercial wildlife trade, but this new national survey demonstrates that Australians genuinely care.

Mick McIntyre, Founder, Kangaroos Alive

The EU and Australia are nearing the end of negotiations for a free trade agreement, with both sides expecting talks to conclude soon. It is therefore critical that the partners take the opportunity of these final stages to achieve ambitious provisions on animal welfare in the agreement and put an end to cruel trade.

Nine out of 10 Australians said kangaroos should remain part of the Australian landscape and believe that co-existence is key, compared to a mere 9.7% that considers kangaroos to be a pest, mostly due to road hazards.

The survey was commissioned by Kangaroos Alive, a non-profit organisation committed to  campaigning nationally and globally for a moratorium on the killing of kangaroos. The organisation has been part of an ongoing campaign in Europe lobbying to stop kangaroo imports into the EU.