Greenpeace urges kangaroo consumption to fight global warming

MORE kangaroos should be slaughtered and eaten to help save the world from global warming, environmental activists say.

The controversial call to cut down on beef and serve more of the national symbol on our dinner plates follows a report on curbing greenhouse gas emissions damaging the planet. Greenpeace energy campaigner Mark Wakeham urged Aussies to substitute some red meat for roo to help reduce land clearing and the release of methane gas from flatulent cattle and sheep.

They said nearly a quarter of the planet's greenhouse gases came from agriculture, which releases the potent heat-trapping gas methane. Report author Dr Mark Diesendorf said reducing beef consumption by 20 per cent and putting Skippy on the dinner plate instead would cut 15 megatonnes of greenhouses gases from the atmosphere by 2020.

"Kangaroos do not emit greenhouse gases. They are not hooved animals either so they don't damage the soil," Dr Diesendorf said. Dr Diesendorf said he was aware of the controversy encouraging people to eat Australia's national emblem would create, but that kangaroo was very healthy and low in fat.

"There's a small sub-set of environmentalist who see the kangaroo as a cuddly animal which should be left alone. They are entitled to their view but more and more people are moving towards eating it."

Roughly three million kangaroos are killed and harvested for meat each year. They are shot with high-powered guns between the eyes at night. Australians eat about a third of the 30 million kilograms of roo meat produced annually. The delicacy is exported to dozens of countries and is most popular in Germany, France and Belgium.

Australia's kangaroo population has halved to 25 million in the past five years as the drought has taken a toll on breeding and the animals' food sources, Mr Kelly said. Under a quota system, 10 to 12 per cent can be killed for the meat and leather industry. Aerial surveys estimate their numbers.

Today's report by Dr Diesendorf, from the University of NSW, says greenhouse gas emissions need to be slashed by at least a third by 2020 to avoid a climate change catastrophe.

A major report by the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology released this month warned average temperatures will rise 1C by 2030 and could increase as much as 5C in Australia by 2070 unless global greenhouse emissions are cut dramatically.

 

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