16 May 2009

Kangaroo cull halted by court

6:38 am on 16 May 2009

An Australian court has ordered a temporary halt to the killing of thousands of kangaroos on Defence department land near Canberra.

It wants a full scientific review of the damage the government says the animals are causing to the environment.

Civilian marksmen have so far killed about 4000 out of 7000 kangaroos intended for destruction.

Animal welfare groups argue that the kangaroos pose no threat to endangered wildlife and grasslands.

Officials contend there is an overpopulation of kangaroos, and that they are damaging the environment at a disused military base.

The BBC reports an appeals tribunal has suspended shooting permits until a three-member panel can hear scientific evidence on 2 June.