Eating more kangaroos, and cutting back on beef and sheep consumption, is being advocated by Australian Wildlife Services in Canberra as a possible solution to climate change.

A recent study by Dr George Wilson of AWS says that increasing kangaroo numbers to produce the same amount of meat as cattle by 2020 would provide substantial conservation benefits.

“Sheep and cattle constitute 11% of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Kangaroos, however, produce relatively little methane because they are not ruminants,” said a statement.

Kangaroo

The study showed that an increase in the kangaroo population to 175m (from about 30m now), with a 30% reduction in total cattle and sheep populations by 2020, would lower Australia’s annual greenhousee gas emissions by 3%, or 16 megatons.

But UK based animal welfare group Viva says kangaroos are already subject to the largest massacre of land mammals on the planet and any further slaughter for meat would “spell disaster for these gentle animals”.

“Any trade that encourages meat to be flown from the other side of the world (to the UK) can in now way ever be described as green,” said Viva campaigner Justin Kerswell.