Market Forces and Kangaroos: The New South Wales Kangaroo Management Plan

In: Society & Animals
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In contemporary times, wildlife managers attempt to provide solutions to problems arising from conflicting uses of the environment by humans and nonhuman animals. Within the Kangaroo Management Zones of New South Wales (NSW), the commercial culling "solution" is one such attempt to perpetuate kangaroo populations on pastoral land while supporting farmers in continuing inefficient sheep farming. Because wildlife management rests on a distinction between the "nature" of humans and animals, then humanist attention to standards of individual welfare need not interrupt the process whereby individual animals are killed within an economic framework designed to improve habitat management for the conservation of their populations. Building on Thorne's (1998) discussion of the meanings scripted onto individual kangaroo bodies, this paper explores the utilitarian underpinnings of the commercialization approach and considers the ethical implications of constructing the population as resource, even if this results in an improvement in the welfare of individual kangaroos.

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