Pet food company Purina implicated in kangaroo cruelty

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated 30 September 2011

Pet food company Purina, producer of brands such as Purina One, Beneful, Ruffs, Supercoat and Bonnie, has come under fire for using kangaroo meat — a “product" of the largest land-based wildlife slaughter on the planet.

Purina is openly using kangaroo meat in its canned dog food variety Supercoat Casserole with kangaroo, vegetables and rice and in Ruffs Kangaroo Trick Sticks and Hide & Snack with Kangaroo. But kangaroo is also an ingredient in other products that don’t carry it in the product name, such as Bonnie Puppy and Bonnie Working Dog.

The commercial slaughter of kangaroos is a cruel business. Each year around 4 million kangaroos are killed in Australia’s outback by the commercial industry. A large portion of the kangaroos end up in pet food products. This large scale killing puts pressure on the population and with shooting taking place at night in remote locations it is impossible to effectively monitor this industry or the welfare of the kangaroos involved.

A National Code of Practice requires that a kangaroo be killed by a single shot to the head, but evidence shows that in tens of thousands of cases the shooter does not succeed in doing so, causing injury and prolonged suffering.

Joeys are of no commercial value to shooters, but a 2009 report by wildlife ecologist Dr Dror Ben-Ami estimates that some 440,000 young kangaroos fall victim to this industry regardless. After their mothers are shot, joeys may be killed by the shooter, but many will escape, only to die from predation or starvation. Smaller ‘in pouch’ joeys are allowed to be killed by decapitation or a blow to the head. It is common for them to be whacked against the tow-bar of the shooter’s vehicle to deliver the blow.

You can help stop the suffering of kangaroos in this brutal industry by letting Purina know that cruelty to animals is not a good ingredient for ‘pet food’. Please contact Purina to speak up for kangaroos:

Nestlé Purina PetCare
Level 6, 123 Epping Road
North Ryde
NSW 2113
Purina online contact form

Some other ways in which you can help kangaroos:

  1. By not buying Purina products that contain kangaroo meat you will give Purina the strongest message that Australians don’t want to buy into cruelty. But kangaroos are not the only animals that suffer for the production of pet food – you can assist to reduce cruelty to other animals too by giving your pet a healthy diet free of animal products.
  2. Keep kangaroo meat off your own plate. There is no ethical or safe way to obtain kangaroo meat. Try one of these delicious, cruelty free dishes instead.
  3. Don’t buy products made from kangaroo skin. Even sporting great David Beckham refuses to wear soccer boots made from kangaroo ‘leather’ because of the cruelty of the hunt. There are many synthetic, cruelty-free alternatives to leather available.
  4. Please write to the Australian Environment Minister to voice your opposition to the ongoing commercial killing of kangaroos.

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