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Belgian supermarkets ban kangaroo meat

© ABC TV

More supermarkets have joined in the self-imposed ban started by Carrefour on kangaroo meat, in light of the situation in Australia and the boycott campaign launched last month by animal rights organisation Gaia.

Last week Carrefour announced it was stopping the sale of kangaroo meat “for environmental reasons”. A similar decision had already been taken by Delhaize, Colruyt, Aldi and Lidl. Now, Makro and Cora have joined the list.

But Gaia, in a new statement welcoming the supermarkets’ decision, said it was still concerned at the way kangaroos are hunted in Australia, even in the current disastrous circumstances for animals.

Each year in Australia, approximately 1.6 million kangaroos are hunted and killed under extremely cruel conditions,” said Gaia director Ann De Greef. “This makes kangaroos the most widely hunted wild animals on Earth.” And Belgium, at least until the ban, was one of the world’s major customers for kangaroo meat, importing more than 630 tonnes in 2016. But the marsupials are not hunted only for their meat.

Kangaroos are considered a pest in Australia, and are hunted and killed as vermin. And that hunting goes on, De Greef said.

“Even the forest fires haven’t kept kangaroo hunting from going on as usual (with the exception of Victoria, where kangaroo hunting has been temporarily suspended),” she said. “And that’s despite not having the faintest clue as to how many kangaroos there are left.”

The organisation admitted that the ban, set against the background of the loss to the fires of at least one billion animals, can be seen as a meagre victory. “But it’s a step in the right direction. We won’t stop until kangaroo meat has been removed from the shelves of every supermarket in Belgium”.
Gaia now has its sights set on the two remaining supermarket chains yet to ban kangaroo meat: Match and Spar. “It is an absolute disgrace that they continue to sell kangaroo meat,” De Greef said.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

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