IN THE NEWS: On MAR 7, 2018
The man behind a controversial documentary criticising kangaroo culling in Australia has defended the film, saying it's an issue that needs to be put in the spotlight.
The film Kangaroo: A Love-Hate Story has been screened in various cities in the US over the past six weeks and questions whether Australia is at risk of pushing the kangaroo to extinction.
The film has been heavily criticised by those who work in kangaroo industry who have labelled it a "beat-up" and fears it will cripple the kangaroo export market.
Filmmaker Michael McIntyre said there has been an "incredible" response to the film in the US.
"I suppose what we're hoping with this film is that we can at least start a discussion, because clearly there are a lot of people that are concerned about the future of kangaroos," Mr McIntyre said.
He said the idea that kangaroo populations are healthy and that it is a pest are explored in the film and questioned by scientists.
"We did find that there are scientists in Australia that are very concerned about the methodology used to estimate these populations," Mr McIntyre said.
"If there's nothing to hide, if there's nothing to worry about then let's have the discussion, but that hasn't happened and that's what we learnt in making this film."
'City people don't understand'
Lindsay Packer's family has been in the tanning business for more than a century.
He has questioned the factual basis of the film."I think it's dealing with facts that aren't correct," Mr Packer said.
Mr Packer said there is a management plan and quotas set by the Federal Government to ensure the safe culling of kangaroos.
"For city people that don't know what goes on in the bush, it's sad because they're just presented with emotive facts but as far as we're concerned the facts are the facts," he said.
Mr Packer said reduced production from the kangaroo industry would make the animals suffer more.
"When the next drought comes they're a lot more exposed and then after the end of a drought you've got animals dying and that's just a waste of a resource," he said.
Ethicist Peter Singer said he participated in film to try and raise awareness of culling.
"I was speaking about the amount of suffering that is inflicted on kangaroos through the inhumane killing of them," he said.
Mr Singer said hundreds of thousands of joeys die as part of commercial kangaroo killing each year.
But he did not think the population was at risk of extinction.
Roo row gets political
NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon is in Europe to speak at a premiere of the film along with activists.
Her promotion of the film has been labelled as "disgusting" by Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud.
But Ms Rhiannon said her trip has been paid for out of her own pocket and stands by her decision.
"The commercial shooting of kangaroos is linked with serious contamination and cruelty issues," she said.
"The fact that Russia has suspended imports of kangaroo meat three times demonstrates that there is a problem with how the Australian government is managing the commercial kangaroo industry."
The film will be aired in Australia for the first time at a cinema in Sydney next week.