1. What is The 2020 National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Commercial Purposes?
The National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Commercial Purposes (the Code) is a national document intended to guide regulation of humane harvesting practices for the commercial kangaroo industry in Australia. The 2020 Code sets an achievable expected standard for the commercial industry that is backed by evidence-based policy and reinforces the commitment of all parties to the welfare of kangaroos and wallabies.
2. Why did it need to be updated?
The previous Code was published in 2008 and was due for review in 2013. Since the 2008 Code was written, there has been new research that warrants inclusion to ensure the industry maintains best practice. The revised Code includes more detail on best-practice harvesting procedures and clearer guidelines for harvesters with particular regard to minimising the suffering of dependent young.
3. Why did AgriFutures Australia oversee the review and how was the project reference group chosen?
AgriFutures Australia was asked by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to oversee the review because of its similar work for various rural industries and its foundation in scientific research and evidence-based programs.
The project reference group included representatives from all the major stakeholder groups: the Australian Government, state and territory regulators, animal welfare groups, the kangaroo industry and the pastoral industry.
The review and consultation process was conducted by leading animal welfare and kangaroo harvesting experts Dr Trudy Sharp and Dr Steven McLeod. The review report outlines the process in more detail.
4. How was the general public consulted and informed about the consultation process?
The final Draft Code was made publicly available for comment from Monday, 25 November 2019 to Friday, 24 January 2020. People were informed via a dedicated website, an email, several news publications and through the networks of the project reference group.
The public consultation comprised two surveys with the same questions – one a representative survey of the Australian public and the other an open sample survey. Members of the public could also comment via email submission.
The results of the consultation can be found in the Consultation report available on the AgriFutures Australia website.
5. When will the next review be?
The Code will be reviewed every five years from the time of adoption.
6. What revisions were made to the Code? And what changes were rejected?
The revisions remove any ambiguity and address the minimisation of harm to dependent young, the requirements and qualifications of harvesters and the restrictions on firearms and ammunition.
The 2020 Code sets a benchmark for kangaroo harvesters to follow and provides a basis on which to develop and enhance their knowledge and skills. It can be used to help audit harvesting practices, to inform policy decisions and to educate the general public.
See Factsheet 1 – How the has Code changed
7. What happens if the standards in the Code are not met?
This code of practice has no legal standing until it is written into state or territory regulations. However, all commercial kangaroo harvesters must comply with the Code as a condition of their licence or permit issued by state and territory regulators. The Code is supported by all jurisdictions, and state and territory legislation and auditing procedures are designed to reflect the standards in the Code. If standards are not met, it would impact the industry’s ability to sell its products both domestically and internationally. The Kangaroo Industries Association of Australia only supports code-compliant harvesting.