Sydney, Oct 23: On World Kangaroo Day, a recent national poll revealed that 98 percent of Australians consider it crucial to protect kangaroos as part of preserving Australian ecosystems.
In contrast to koalas, kangaroos are still commercially hunted for their meat and skins, prompting heightened awareness of their protection.
The independent survey, conducted by Pure Profile, highlights that 64 percent of respondents believe Australia should take a firm stance against the commercial killing of kangaroos.
The survey was commissioned by Kangaroos Alive, a leading wildlife not-for-profit organization, to gauge public sentiment on kangaroo conservation.
The survey also underscores the iconic status of kangaroos, with 82.7 percent of participants considering them as Australia’s national symbol.
Kangaroos’ image is featured on the country’s coat of arms and serves as a prominent symbol in Australian tourism.
A significant 77 percent of Australians support exploring the economic benefits of kangaroo eco-tourism over commercial hunting.
Despite their iconic status, approximately two million kangaroos fall victim to commercial slaughter each year, and their products are utilized in items like soccer shoes, pet food, motorbike suits, and specialty game meat.
Notably, global brands such as New Balance, Nike, and Puma have ceased the use of kangaroo leather due to ethical concerns.
The survey further reveals that over 75 percent of respondents find it both unacceptable and inhumane to kill hundreds of thousands of baby joeys as part of this commercial practice.
Europe stands as the largest importer of kangaroo products, exerting substantial influence over the world’s largest commercial wildlife slaughter.
Moreover, a significant 67.3 percent of Australians agree that other nations should abstain from contributing to the commercial slaughter of Australian wildlife when it involves cruelty or ecological threats, paralleling the EU’s ban on Canadian harp seal products.
These survey results have been presented to Members of the European Parliament in response to inquiries raised during last year’s World Kangaroo Day debate in the EU parliament, which discussed the potential imposition of a ban on kangaroo products in the EU.
Kangaroos Alive continues its global campaign for the ethical treatment and protection of kangaroos.
On this occasion, celebrity wildlife ambassador Robert Irwin released a special video message emphasizing the importance of protecting kangaroos, underlining their iconic status in Australia.
He praised the role of the World Kangaroo Day youth competition in raising awareness about kangaroos’ significance and awarded Libby Jervis, a 14-year-old from Queensland, for her compelling kangaroo image captured on K’gari (Fraser Island).
Irwin’s message resonates with the need for respect and protection for kangaroos, who represent an integral part of Australia’s natural heritage.
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