Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:35 pm Post subject: Stop Kangaroo Meat Sales to China
Dear Animal Activist
A hiccup in Australian exports of kangaroo meat to Russia has inspired the Federal Government to explore further afield - to China. Federal Agriculture Minister, Tony Burke, who is currently visiting China, says he has detected a real Chinese enthusiasm for kangaroo meat.
Mr Burke says the range of meats eaten in China is much broader than in many other countries, so the export potential is big.
"This is a problem in arriving and trying to deal with changes to an old quarantine barrier; you're not actually allowed to provide the sample because the first challenge before you're selling the product is to actually get it in here," he said.
"But the reason that we had potential buyers and went through the discussion with them is one of the ways of helping to advance the market here in China.
"And to help make sure that the approvals process is seen as something more immediate is to make sure that there are buyers keen to take the product on."
Kangaroo is a very strong tasting meat and even in Australia a lot of people will not touch touch it, plus the fact that it's part of the national emblem.
In spite of these possible psychological barriers that could stand in the way of Chinese adopting kangaroo meat onto their menu, Mr Burke says the best strategy is to focus on getting the meat across the Chinese border before marketing it.
"When something has a current quarantine barrier, there's really no easy way of having it in the country and asking them to try it before you can tick the quarantine barriers," he said.
"Step one: try to get it into the country, and were' making some considerable progress there. Step two is actually sell the product."
Kangaroo meat is more difficult to get through quarantine processes because it is classified as a game meat, not standard farm meat.
There is also a second issue: many people overseas have the misguided impression that kangaroos are a protected species.
"We've had to explain to the Chinese here the issues of the fact: that not only are kangaroos certainly not an endangered species in Australia, they're actually in such numbers that in some parts of the country they're a threat to other endangered species," he said.
"To explain the way it ticks all the environmental boxes has been part of the discussion we've been having here too."
Mr Burke cannot give any indication how long it will be before kangaroo meat is allowed into China.
"You can't put a timeline on these things," he said.
"We would love to be able to have an Australian stall at expo in Shanghai next year. So the sooner we can get it in here, the better."
Based on an interview with AM's Alexandra Kirk.
Now it's our turn to stand up for the kangaroos.
Please write to:
Embassy Of The People Republic Of China
15 Coronation Drive
Yarralumla ACT 2600
Tel: 02 6273 4780
Please politely explain that kangaroos are not in plague proportions, and in fact, Animal Liberation recently investigated the 'industry' in Adelaide and found the shooters themselves can't even find any kangaroos to shoot, and they haven't for about 7 months!
Not only that, please also explain that Russia has recently banned kangaroo meat from entering the country due to the high levels of bacterial contamination of the meat. The kangaroo industry provides no on-site management of kangaroo carcasses once they have been shot.
Shooters are managing the hygiene of kangaroo meat. The cleaning of the carcasses is done on the side of dirty roads, in the middle of no-where at 1am-3am when it's dark so any obvious contamination can't be seen and the conditions are less than hygienic.
Animal Liberation has witnessed kangaroo shooters-trucks not being cleaned properly one night, but then used again the next night to transport more dead kangaroos to the chillers. The industry is a hygieinically messy one, and due to the nature of kangaroo shooting, it will never be able to change these practices as that would require one quarantine officer for every kangaroo shooter, that is not only impossible, but also uneconomical.
For further information or to obtain a DVD to send to the Embassy Of The People Republic Of China along with your letter, please contact Angie at firstname.lastname@example.org
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