June 8, 2016 – 7:14PM
Sports Writer for The Age
One of the dead kangaroos found on Wednesday. Photo: Supplied
There were shooting in the arms, in the back.
Christine Litchfield, owner of the Pastoria East Wildlife Shelter
An approved cull that has put at risk kangaroos nursed back to health from bushfire injuries has been inhumanely conducted, wildlife rescue groups claim.
Despite a public appeal by the wildlife groups, the kangaroo cull in Pastoria East began on Tuesday night
It is claimed that kangaroos died from body wounds, instead of being shot in the head, and two joeys were allegedly left to die in the pouches of their mothers.
Under the federal code of practice, head shots must be used for the quickest and most humane way of killing the kangaroos, although heart shots are allowed for killing wounded animals.
Christine Litchfield, owner of the Pastoria East Wildlife Shelter, told Fairfax Media rescuers had found and taken pictures 23 dead kangaroos on Wednesday morning.
“Nearly all of them were shot in a way that did not comply with the code of practice,” Ms Litchfield said. “They were shooting in the arms, in the back.”
Hundreds of animals were killed and four houses destroyed last year when a planned burn at Lancefield signed off by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, jumped containment lines. Many kangaroos were badly injured in the bushfire, but nursed back to health by volunteers.
Last week, the department approved a land owner’s application for a cull in the area where many of the rehabilitated kangaroos were released.
Manfred Zabinskas, owner of Five Freedoms Animal Rescue, claimed one of the shot kangaroos was still warm when found by rescuers.
“It had actually been injured all night before it passed away,” Zabinskas said.
“Not one of the 23 was shot in the head. There were probably four that were identified as definite heart shots and all the others were in various parts and the sides of the bodies, through the back and one of the photos I saw was a female kangaroo with a shot through the side of the body and the legs of a joey sticking out.”
Mr Zabinskas said it was too early to tell whether any of the rehabilitated kangaroos were among those killed.
A department spokesman said the allegations were being taken seriously and officers were investigating.
Source : The Age