Mansfield Courier

Silent slaughter of roos in Barwite

Rogue shooters kill fifteen kangaroos on private property without permission

- By SHAUN McMAHON

BILL Fraser was away at his daughter’s place between lockdowns in early August for about three days.

When he returned to his farm in Barwite, a cattle property that’s been in the Fraser family for several generation­s, he was stunned at the sight of a marsupial massacre in the paddocks adjacent to his driveway.

“There were about 15 dead kangaroos on the property,” said Bill.

“Everywhere you went there was a trail, another three or four past the first big one I saw near the fence.

“They were dotted here, there and everywhere, with another five or six down by the creek.”

The creek is in a gully which doesn’t have a line of sight unless you’re on Bill or his neighbour’s property.

The kangaroos found down there had likely been shot and wounded on higher ground closer to the road, and then retreated and died later on the creek bed.

“It didn’t appear that anyone had come onto the property.

“They might have gone down the neighbour’s driveway, but I’d say they’ve shot from the roadway across the paddocks,” said Bill while pointing to a spot on the road.

At least 15 and probably many more shots were fired, but upon speaking with his neighbours, who are some distance away but well within earshot of extended gunfire, none of them heard any shots.

“It’s likely they used a silencer, which again is illegal,” said Bill.

“I know roos are a problem for a lot of farmers, but they don’t eat much grass or bother me here.

“But if you’re going to shoot something do it properly, legally and humanely.”

Profession­al kangaroo shooters have attended Bill’s and many other local properties before, but on those occasions were paid to do so, acted profession­ally, and took the bodies for pet food processing thereafter.

If the unauthoris­ed shooting wasn’t enough to irritate Bill, the trouble didn’t stop there, when only days later he found the carcass of one of his calves eaten by dogs.

“I’d say the smell of the kangaroos has attracted them down,” said Bill, nodding towards the Tolmie Hills.

“They can travel miles during the night and they have plenty of cover there.

“You’ve got the Broken River down there and they’d come across that without a problem.”

While he’s only lost the one calf so far and hasn’t heard any dogs at night, this is the first time he’s had an issue with wild dogs for many years.

It highlights the broader domino effect a rogue shooting spree can have on farmers and their livelihood­s.

He informed police and the ranger who are keeping an ear to the ground for reports of anything similar, suspicious vehicles seen in the area, or anyone talking about the shooting.

“I’m disappoint­ed about losing the calf,” said Bill, “but I’m more annoyed about the people who shot across my property without permission.”

 ??  ?? SLAUGHTERE­D: Fifteen kangaroos were inhumanely shot and killed on Bill Fraser’s farm in Barwite without his permission.
SLAUGHTERE­D: Fifteen kangaroos were inhumanely shot and killed on Bill Fraser’s farm in Barwite without his permission.

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