Kangaroo: A love-hate story

Department of Environment and Science disappointed in its portrayal in ‘Kangaroo: A Love-Hate Story’.

Wildlife Queensland is aware of the film ‘Kangaroo: A Love-Hate Story’ being screened currently. Wildlife Queensland has been contacted by the Department of Environment and Science advising of concerns with how their cooperation has been portrayed in the film.

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (now incorporated in the Department of Environment and Science) was approached by the makers of this film in 2015, to provide input from an environmental regulator’s perspective about the management of commercial macropod harvesting in Queensland.

The department was advised at the time that the film’s intent was to provide a balanced view of human interactions with kangaroos. Participation was agreed upon on that basis, and it was considered an opportunity to provide detailed information on the department’s survey methods and highlight its best practice approach to commercial harvesting. The department agreed, in good faith, to be interviewed during the making of the film and parts of the interviews were featured in the final release.

Upon viewing the film however, the department believes it does not accurately represent the information that was presented during the interviews, and is disappointed in the content and portrayal of the macropod survey methods used in Queensland.

As you’d be aware, the commercial harvesting of macropods is strictly regulated in Queensland, through monitoring populations, setting of harvest quotas and overall management of the harvest. The count is conducted by experienced staff within the department. In particular, the methods employed to estimate the population sizes of species are based on best scientific practice and are well-documented in aerial surveys on the Queensland Government website. Macropod management staff ensure that commercial harvesting in Queensland is conducted in a way that is both humane and sustainable.

Wildlife Queensland brings this to the attention of our supporters. Wildlife Queensland is not opposed to the commercial harvest of macropods in Queensland as the management plan is underpinned by science, animal welfare issues are adequately addressed and there is a strong compliance and enforcement program in place. Contrary to some beliefs, the three macropod species harvested are not at risk in Queensland, with populations occurring throughout their range. It is Wildlife Queensland’s view that there is need for a strong commercial macropod industry in Queensland to minimise the potential animal welfare issues that could take place should the commercial harvest no longer occur.

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