Melbourne: Australians are being urged to eat kangaroos after the population of the animals reached double that of humans.
The kangaroo population in Australia is nearing 50 million, while the human population is 24 million, according to latest data. Experts are now asking Australians to hunt, eat and cull the native animal.
In recent years Australia has been a boom in the kangaroo population which rose to 45 million last year from 27 million in 2010, news.com.au reported. The huge rise in their numbers is due to an abundance of food after high rainfall. Many fear millions could starve if a dry summer produces a drought.
Since kangaroo is the national animal of Australia, eating its their meat remains stigmatised. Kangaroo meat has been legal across the country since 1993 .
There are strict regulations for killing the animals and each state has rigid quotas on commercial shooting licences and species culling, the BBC reported.
David Paton, associate professor at the University of Adelaide, told ABC News communities needed to support kangaroo culling programmes and eat their meat to avoid wasting carcasses. A large kangaroo population could also pose a threat to biodiversity, professor Paton said. “It’s not the kangaroos’ fault they’re overabundant, it’s probably we’ve just been too reluctant to take a stick to them, remove them out of the system sooner, to actually prevent the damage being caused,” he said.