Act now to stop the terrible loss of wildlife

By Geoff Adams

This is an urgent open letter to environment ministers:

Your time to step up is now.

With fire having killed more than a billion animals just in Victoria and NSW, the long-lasting effects on surviving animals of smoke in the air and ash in our waters, the deliberate slaughter of our iconic wildlife such as kangaroos across the state must cease.

Like most of our neighbours in rural Victoria, we feel blessed with the wildlife we are lucky to have. They are assets to our property.

Compared to non-native animals, kangaroos are easier on the land, eat and drink very little, require no shearing or crutching and are quiet, gentle, adorable creatures who not only bring us much joy, but income from paying guests delighted by them.

But we are powerless to stop the few who want to shoot them; the spotlights intruding into our homes at night, the high-powered rifle blasts terrifying all nearby and the gut-wrenching sight of our amazing wildlife strewn twisted and lifeless along the fence next day.

Of 16 kangaroo species, seven are already extinct. Three more are on the brink. This was before unprecedented fires.

Now, more than ever, it’s time these beautiful creatures were not fugitives in their own homeland but protected and cherished.

To not do so is what gives farmers a bad name, enrages constituents about apathetic government pandering to minority groups and only strengthens Australia’s position as the laughing stock of the globe killing off our unique native wildlife — our true assets.

Why aren't we providing water and feed in forests to not only help these creatures survive, but keep them away from roads and farmers who may not want them?

Why aren't we constructing underpasses/overpasses in wildlife ‘crossing’ areas, which work well overseas to minimise road collisions?

Such activities not only preserve our precious wildlife but are a tremendous source of regional jobs.

It’s time to show we value our unique amazing wildlife before they are no more.

Chris Jacobs