Shire to cull roos despite petition

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VideoPilots have had several near-misses with the Roo's on the runway.

An online petition opposed to the Shire of Denmark’s plans to cull kangaroos near the town’s airport has more than 1700 signatures.

Wildlife carer Maggie Van Santen started the petition and claims the Shire has options other than culling.

“The Shire has said it could build a fence, but it’s not willing to put the money towards it at this point — so it decided to just kill the kangaroos,” she said.

“To me it’s their home — they’re an Australian animal and they are our emblem.

“I don’t think it’s right that we should just kill these animals.”

Shire of Denmark chief executive Bill Parker said near-miss incidents involving kangaroos at the airport led the Shire to organise short-term culling.

“Kangaroos pose a serious threat to aircraft, particularly when landing in the late afternoon,” he said. “Given the risks, our immediate options are very limited to a cull.”

Meanwhile, WA College of Agriculture principal Kevin Osborne said the campus, south of the airport, had also been affected by increasing kangaroo numbers.

But Ms Van Santen insists there are other options the Shire could consider rather than culling.

“If it’s an emergency and the plane needs to land quickly there is a group of people who are happy to walk with their dogs to send the kangaroos off into the bush — if they happened to be on the runway,” she said.

“Why kill an animal whose habitat we’re taking over to stop a plane from taking a quick loop?”

But Ms Van Santen said despite the public support she has received from her online petition, the Shire was still going to cull the kangaroos.

Mr Parker wrote to Ms Van Santen to say that the proposed culling would continue until April next year.

“Although the comments have been taken into consideration, the Shire will continue with the proposed course of action,” he said in the email.

“The Shire has a licence to take 20 animals from the airport reserve and the licence will expire in April 2019.”

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