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167Kangaroos:         The    Non-IssueLorraine      Thorne1UNIVERSITY       OF BRISTOL,      UNITED     KINGDOM    The int...
168buildings, and other living organisms -          thereby introducing symmetry as a keyconcept (Law, 1994).      Thus an...
169rather, a civilizing face onto all they encountered (Muecke, 1996).     Ignorant of the fragile soils, European settler...
170      The viability of the historically embedded kangaroo trading network dependsupon continued access to bodies in qua...
171      The first of those aims is "to maintain populations of kangaroos over theirnatural ranges" (CONCOM,          1985...
172      in its own right as the user of a valuable renewable natural resource and thus      it serves not only the needs ...
173    ruin crops and damage fences. They also compete with livestock for food    and water. Landholders can lose income a...
174     For some, the fact that the damage component is now available for commercialuse may provide an incentive for pitch...
175    What     is happening in the moment of each death? Each is a performancewhereby   the agency of the kangaroo, in it...
176one participant organization noted: "It seems even at a conference convened todiscuss cruelty to kangaroos, any discuss...
177Virtual     AbundanceThe vision of kangaroos extending over a vast compass collides with a landscapeshadowed by the civ...
178      I note from the minutes of the Queensland         Macropod Management      Advisory   Committee of last 16 July t...
179such as droughts, floods, and diseases. At that point, they will be accorded thedivine rule of Death and Disappearance ...
180Notes 1. Correspondence should be sent to Lorraine Thorne, School of Geographical Sciences.University of Bristol, Unive...
181Edwards, G. P., Croft, D. B., & Dawson, T. J. (1996). Competition between red kangaroos     (Macropus rufus) and sheep ...
182United Nations. (1992). Convention on Biological Diversity. Nairobi, United Nations     Environment Program, Article 2....
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Kangaroos the non-issue

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Kangaroos the non-issue

  1. 1. 167Kangaroos: The Non-IssueLorraine Thorne1UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM The international trade in kangaroo skin and meat has been contested on ecological and ethical grounds for several decades. Yet, it continues unabated. This article reviews the constitutive practices of the kangaroo network, drawing on Actor Network Theory to provide insights into why and how this trade continues. Questions of agency, network, and space are explored in this account, which looks at the real and imagined geographies of the kangaroo trade.The bodies of nonhuman animals have long been drawn into trade as living flesh,raw material, iconic body part, and genetic assemblage. In the newly industrializingworld, domesticated animals fuelled the development of international trade -Europe readily ate Argentinean beef or tender New Zealand lamb and clothed itselfwith antipodean wool. But even animals designated as "wild" have stretched theboundaries of many empires (Whatmore & Thorne,1998). Today, wild animals areimplicated in many kinds of trading networks, encompassing not-for-profit organi-zations and commercial enterprises alike. Social science interest in animals is relatively embryonic (Arluke & Sanders.1996; Wolch & Emel, 1995), and analyses sensitive to the animals caught up intrading networks are thin. In the past, this topic has been studied in ways that frameanimals as passive resources, cultural symbols, or taxonomic groupings.- Aninvigorated study of wild animals in trading networks requires diversion fromstandard practice. Taking as its focus the largest trade of wild mammals in the world- the international kangaroo trade - this article offers some moves in that direction.It challenges the fiber of the kangaroo trading network, its historical legacy, and thespatial imaginaries that it espouses. Actor Network Theory (ANT) is employedhere as a lens through which frequently ignored aspects of the kangaroo trade canbe seen. ANT derives from studies of the social construction of science and technologyelaborated during the 1980s by Callon (1986), Latour (1988), and Law (1986).ANT holds that society and nature are not neatly divisible into easily identifiablecompartments. Rather, the theory gives analytical significance to different kinds ofmaterial forms (material heterogeneity), such as humans, machines, devices,
  2. 2. 168buildings, and other living organisms - thereby introducing symmetry as a keyconcept (Law, 1994). Thus an actor network comprises materially heterogeneouslinkages where agency is multiply performed among various materials, althoughthose who speak (humans) may make claims to "power" over those who or that donot (Callon and Law, 1995). Recently infusing into European human geography(Bingham, 1996; Murdoch, forthcoming; Thrift, 1996 and Whatmore and Thorne,1997), ANT has offered a rich suit of "spatial metaphors," refusing "to impose asingle conception of undifferentiated space upon variable landscapes of relationsand connection" (Murdoch, forthcoming). These metaphors, moreover, bring intoview all manner of material spaces, irreducibly "real" and "present." My purpose here is to facilitate analytic recovery of the (dis)connectionsrunning through the human-nature "hybrid" of the kangaroo network, using ANT.Documenting this kangaroo network reveals the discrete connections betweenspaces of calculation and spaces of killing often overlooked and dismissed asunconnected with our lives. Since the European settlement of the "great south land"200 years ago, kangaroos have been hunted and killed as an ongoing legacy of thekangaroo drive. The contemporary international trade in kangaroo products is anhistorically specific, complex set of (attenuated) relationships between hiddenspaces, sites, and actors. Spatial metaphors help legitimate the kangaroo industry ;in particular, deployment of spatial imaginaries has tangible, material impact uponthe animals lives. The taxonomy of abundance fuels public acceptance ofkangaroo slaughter, underpinned by widespread popular images of "virtual"kangaroo hordes bounding across a flat, virtual landscape. Ultimately, by castingkangaroos as large, abundant "pests" now repackaged to serve the lucrative causedcelèbre of biodiversity, the kangaroo trading network profoundly delimits theoptions for agency of the commercially targeted species. Kangaroo slaughter is thussrendered justifiable - a non-issue.The Legacy of the Kangaroo DriveThe gradual exploration and mapping of the Australian continent by whiteEuropean explorers is reflected in place-names and statistics. Yet, the opening upof the country was a more dispersed affair: "True European exploration ... was notdone by a handful of men called explorers, but by women, sealers, travellers, anddrovers" (Ryan, 1996). A siege mentality accompanied the exploratory push. This mindset kept thenew country always at bay, protecting the white settlers from experiencing the landand water, the animals and the aboriginal peoples on their own terms - projecting.
  3. 3. 169rather, a civilizing face onto all they encountered (Muecke, 1996). Ignorant of the fragile soils, European settlers began practising agriculture asat home, and by the 1830s, a major expansion of pastoralism had begun in earnest.So great was the livestock deployment that, by 1900, pastoral lands eclipsed onlythe harshest desert environments (Russell & Isbell, 1986). Many plant speciesperished, intolerant of browsing and grazing by the introduced herbivores (Caughley.Shepherd, & Short, 1987). Also, from early in the European colonization, indig-enous fauna became the direct targets of hunters: "Out of the squalor of Melbournethe diggers marched...and, casually and indifferently, shot all the wildlife they met"(Lines, 1991, p. 91). The largest wild animals, kangaroos and wallabies, were hunted for sport.Kangaroo drives ensued where horsemen with whips mustered the animals intocorrals and slaughtered them en masse. The cruelty of these practices was, in someways, an outworking of frustration with the difference of the place, and perhaps asoothing of imperialist angst. Throughout the 20th century, a transition hasoccurred from the colonial killing regimes to kangaroo programs institutionalizedthrough state and federal departments: [L]arger kangaroos were seen as a serious threat to the livelihoods of the rural community from as early as the 1850s. [The] laws at the time required farmers to kill kangaroos and many millions were destroyed. Fifty years ago, the large kangaroos were not protected. Governments did not think this was necessary. Kangaroos were valued for their skins. Governments began to realize that while rural production still had to be protected so too did the kangaroo. Commercial operations...had to be controlled [for] the survival of kangaroos...During the 1950s and 1960s [they] passed laws to control harvesting. Since then, a person must have a permit to kill kangaroos (Environment Australia, Biodiversity Group, 1996).However, while all kangaroo species were eventually assigned legislative protec-tion, only Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, and Western Australiawent the route of espousing a commercial industry. In Victoria, where the naturalrange of kangaroos intersects with agricultural areas, no industry operates. Neither,in the Northern Territory (NT), where kangaroos bound among the states grazingcattle, are the trucks and containers of traders to be found. Although kangaroos inVictoria and the NT are not commercially slaughtered, in another state (or part ofit) the same density of animals renders them "fair game" (Caughley, Shepherd, &Short, 1987, pp. 9, 10, 13).
  4. 4. 170 The viability of the historically embedded kangaroo trading network dependsupon continued access to bodies in quantities reminiscent of the kangaroo drives.It also requires that a civilizing face be put upon the commercial kill of Australias snational symbol, which is the responsibility of Australian High Commission staffworldwide. Further, there must be expert witnesses prepared to argue for slaughter,overlooking the anomalies of geographical comparison. These witnesses, theirdocuments and devices, create spaces of calculation.Spaces of CalculationThe kangaroo trade is a network that includes at least 32 government departmentsAustralia-wide with oversight responsibilities for the five commercially-soughtkangaroo species (Australian Wildlife Protection Council, personal communica-tion, January 8 1997). To elaborate the killing of kangaroos, one must begin withthe less obvious spaces animated in the trading network - those of specialistcalculations and discourse (wildlife service departments state-wide, the B iodiversityGroup of Environment Australia, science faculties of universities, and the officesof consultants) - where science and management are materially practised amongpeople, documents, and devices. A further-flung set of actors infuse these spaces,from those flying aerial transect surveys to participants of wildlife symposia world-wide.Kangaroo Management ProgramsUltimately, the specialist spaces of calculation deliver Kangaroo ManagementPrograms (KMPs), which each state must prepare on an annual basis. To examinethe details of each KMP would take a long exposition. Briefly though, each KMPis informed by a standardized division of labor for matters wild, namely with regardto the prescience of scientific and management authority respectively. For exam-ple, at a federal level, Environment Australias Biodiversity Group is segmentedinto the Wildlife Population Assessment Section (the Australian CITES ScientificAuthority) and the Wildlife Protection Section (the Australian CITES ManagementAuthority). The scientific authority alleges that designated killing quotas are based on goodscientific grounds and the management authority testifies that procedures are inplace to ensure program compliance. Their task is to follow the two aims ofkangaroo management set out by the Council of Nature Conservation Ministers(CONCOM) in the mid-1980s.
  5. 5. 171 The first of those aims is "to maintain populations of kangaroos over theirnatural ranges" (CONCOM, 1985). Within a country so radically altered sinceEuropean occupation (Lines, 1991; State of the Environment Advisory Council. 1996), the natural ranges of various populations are already impaired. Forexample,studies of the distribution and abundance of western grey kangaroos and euros inthe western Australian wheatbelt have shown that kangaroo density has declinedduring the past 50 to 70 years with the fragmentation of the habitat and increaseddistances between remnants of native vegetation (Arnold & Weeldenburg, 1995).The kangaroos have not responded well to habitat degradation and the ensuingintensive agriculture. Yet, the 1997 kill quota for these species was 82,000individuals. The second aim of kangaroo management is "to contain the deleterious effectsof kangaroos on other land management practices" (CONCOM, 1985). This secondaim is rather incongruent with the first. The first aim is to maintain the kangaroosin their natural ranges, while the second aim is to mitigate damage to land-usepractices by killing the kangaroos. Since these aims are open to each statesdiscretion, the scientists are relied upon to determine how many animals may beremoved from a steady-state environment via the calculation of harvest models.However, into the spaces of calculation, there come telephone calls from interestedparties, face-to-face visits from farmers, and academic documents with detailsabout the "pests." During the 1970s and 1980s, these calculations favored killfigures that paid little serious attention to kangaroos as living beings. They servedto arbitrate the practices of an industry whose conduct is woven into pastoraloccupation, whose markets are well-established, and whose advocates are of adiverse constituency. While some nongovernmental organizations argued otherwise, the historicalorthodoxy that depicted the large kangaroos as pests appeared both plausible andtrue well into the 1980s: Those who lived on the land were believed to hold anunbiased, authentic account of kangaroo behavior, and the farming communitysposition was bolstered through its traditional status as the backbone of the nationaleconomy; the pest status of kangaroos thus explained the existence of the kangarooindustry. By the mid 1980s, however, an analysis of literature shows a refocusingwithin the spaces of calculation. Queensland, which annually receives the largestchunk of the national commercial kangaroo kill quota, was already signalling itsdispatch of the damage mitigation basis to its program: It is important to recognize that while the kangaroo industry was originally a response to the past problem caused by these animals, it has come to exist
  6. 6. 172 in its own right as the user of a valuable renewable natural resource and thus it serves not only the needs of the farmers but also its own interests. (Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service, 1984)Dissenting voices in influential places began to appear as the decade wore on,notably from a Senate Select Committee struck to consider animal welfare: [T]he major driving force behind kangaroo killing at present is the kangaroo meat and hide industry ... the Committee has not received any data on crop damage [to] justify a kill of more than 26 million kangaroos and wallabies over the last 7 years. The industry is the obvious beneficiary of such high quotas. (Senate Select Committee on Animal Welfare, 1988)This same awareness began to permeate the scientific community as it turned toobserve the daily practices of the industry: "Wholesalers will buy kangaroos fromshooters only if they can make a profit from selling the productions. The numberkilled therefore depends on availability of markets for meat and skins" (Caughley,Shepherd, & Short, 1987, p. 207).Recent DevelopmentsMore recently, the spaces of calculation have been augmented by data derived fromfield research into the alleged competition between kangaroos and domesticlivestock. The findings of these studies undermine previous calculations showingthat kangaroos negatively impact sheep and cattle. Edwards, Croft, and Dawson( 1996) concluded, on the basis of a large-scale study, that red kangaroos in the aridrangeland compete with sheep for food resources only under semi-drought condi-tions. And, despite the intermittent competition, wool production has not beensignificantly impaired. In South-Australia, the hill-dwelling euro kangaroos werefound to principally eat grasses, which constituted 80% of their diet in severedroughts; sheep ate grass during the wetter seasons, but shrub in dry conditions.According to Dawson and Ellis (1996), the reduced feed availability resulted indiversification of food preferences, and only modest dietary overlap. However, the strength of certain logics in the specialist spaces of calculationdies hard; Environment Australias Biodiversity Group begins its justification for"harvesting" kangaroos with the following: Certain species of kangaroo are so common in some areas that they cause major damage to farming and grazing properties. In large number, they can
  7. 7. 173 ruin crops and damage fences. They also compete with livestock for food and water. Landholders can lose income as a result, which effects the whole rural community. Commercial harvesting lessens this risk at no cost to the landholder." (Environment Australia, Biodiversity Group, 1996)The generic farming wisdom that kangaroos, unrepentant nibblers, swarm to blightthe prospects of rural enterprise, is translated here into risk. Yet, the possibility ofthat risk being in some way quantifiable has been known for years. Risk, per se, wastied up in a category referred to as the non-commercial kill, permits for whichrequired property inspection, the numbers of which were always a fraction of thecommercial quota. The impact of this recognition on individual kangaroo lives -that damage may be authenticated, as opposed to being a risk - is not to be passedover lightly. New South Wales overshot its annual quota for red kangaroos in 1996,by 24,370 animals (Environment Australia, Biodiversity Group, 1996b). It wouldhave required approximately one-twelfth of its approved quota in 1997 ( 134,000animals, not l,128,800 animals) were the intent of kangaroo management, indeed,to alleviate anticipated damage, upon verification. In other words, the federal andstate governments had a working mechanism for addressing perceived damage, onethat entirely precluded the need for a commercial kangaroo industry. This illus-trates how the kangaroo trading network has operated in a less-than-honorable way- protecting commercial killing spaces from full scrutiny and debate. However, with the demise of the damage claim, new justifications are opera-tive in the spaces of calculation that feed into, and are supported by, variousnetworks articulating biodiversity. A review of how scientific and managementexperts in South Australia and New South Wales have recrafted the non-commer-cial quota illustrates this. First, they admit that the quota reflects the anticipatedextent of damage to be caused by kangaroos. Second, they reassign this former,noncommercial component to the kangaroo industry. With this repositioningcomes a change of name. South Australia now recognizes the category as "landmanagement" wherein "[t]he latter will be released only when there is an identifiedthreat to land management goals," as opposed to a "sustainable-use" component.(Environment Australia, Biodiversity Group, 1997). New South Wales nowacknowledges the quota as "damage mitigation": This part of the quota will be released only when the regional commercial quota has been used and then only based on consideration of property inspections, kangaroo population trends, and climatic trends. (Environ- ment Australia, Biodiversity Group, 1997)
  8. 8. 174 For some, the fact that the damage component is now available for commercialuse may provide an incentive for pitching the figures high. South Australias landmanagement quota in 1997 is more than four times greater than its commercialquota in 1985 (505,000:135,000 animals). To this rough half million lives must beadded a further 433,000 animals for sustainable use, leaving South Australianearing the million-body league in 1997. Considerable faith resides in the spacesof calculation when the body count for the commercial industry is sanctioned toincrease by nearly 600% in a 12-year period. An ANT approach holds this kind offaith up for analysis, insisting that spaces of calculation are the kangaroo tradingnetwork in practice.Kangaroo Killing SpacesJust as the spaces of calculation extend through networks to distant arenas of scientific foci and political foray, kangaroo killing spaces are by no meansconstrained to the outback. Through body parts, purchase-orders, or containers,killing spaces are opened in Milanese tanneries just as well. The dance of order-placement and order-readiness make it difficult to assign, with exactitude, the pointat which a killing space is activated. Indeed, from an ANT perspective, thepaperwork passing the desk of customs and excise, the stamp that authorizes theshipment, the individual who lifts the stamp - this assemblage, as much as the rawhides stored dockside, is the kangaroo trade network. Further, the soccer player choosing a kangaroo leather boot for its ability to feellthe ball, also helps to create a killing space. Purchases such as these are achievedthrough persuasive sales techniques, contributing to the industrys profitability($200 million annually). Table 1 shows the total species kill figures for 1996. Thisstable reveals that (a) ideal killing spaces are accessible and (b) ideal hunted animals sare large. Note too the geographical diversity of the kangaroos preferred habitats. The nightly practice of killing kangaroos follows a well-worn, routine formula- the only fanfare is the occasional truckload of illegal hunters. Four-wheel drivevehicles penetrate the darkness using light to freeze groups or individuals. Agunshot claps, echoing fear. Adult bodies fall to the dusty ground, often dead onimpact. Young-at-foot, hurtling into the blackness, die alone. Pouched youngstunned, but not killed outright, expire with time. The shooter, most likely a part-timer, hangs each carcass - legs tied vertically, head swinging - on the truck. Theshooter proceeds to the next target.
  9. 9. 175 What is happening in the moment of each death? Each is a performancewhereby the agency of the kangaroo, in its right to be there, is being forcibly deniedby the shooter. Refuting the legitimacy of kangaroos to dwell as individuals, withintheir bodies, in their places of residence creates a killing space, which profoundlyviolates a living space. Ironically, in its death throes, a kangaroo acquires partner-ship with the international kangaroo trading network. This, however, is nonagency- the animal, at this point, is a corpse. But even this proscribed agency is barelyvisible in most discussions of kangaroo slaughter. Further, in the intimate momentwhen a shooter aims for the designated zone of the gendered animal, a zonestipulated by the Code of Practice, the bullet that issues from his gun makes thewhole network durable - every actor in the network becomes wholly accountablefor personal action - the actor network becomes a seamless web. A Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) report in1985, estimated that shooters kill approximately 15% of kangaroos inhumanely. Inother words, the bullet in each of these cases brought pain and suffering to its victim.It is a moot point that domesticated animals ought to be killed humanely in ahygienic killing space. Indigenous fauna, seeping blood, smeared in dust, andbreeding bacteria, are allowed, however, to suffer prolonged deaths. At a recentconference with multi-constituency attendance, which was organized to discusswhether the Code of Practice is an appropriate mechanism for preventing cruelty.
  10. 10. 176one participant organization noted: "It seems even at a conference convened todiscuss cruelty to kangaroos, any discussion of cruelty was confined to those withinthe animal welfare movement" (Australian Wildlife Protection Council, 1996). Thus, it appears that human actors of calculation and killing have littleempathetic experience with the living, multi-sensual beings whose body spacesthey invade in the technological form of bullets."Oh Give Me a Home, Where the Kangaroos Roam ..."One aspect of Actor Network Theory is its focus upon agency. With respect towildlife caught up in international trading networks, there is a particular complica-tion that must be recognized from the outset. It is only with the application of acertain fraught status to a species - endangered or threatened with extinction - thatthe trade of an animals body parts becomes the subject of serious attention. At thatpoint, a species may be technically removed from circulation via national andinternational regulations implemented through the Convention on InternationalTrade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). By contrast, while the status and distribution of species declared "abundant" is «often routinely monitored in wildlife inventories, these animals are effectively non-issues in the sense that trading systems created around them are assumed basicallydefensible. The taxonomic designation of abundance acts as a cloaking device forspaces of calculation and killing whereby animals are (allowed to be) translatedfrom the wild into the commodity system. Sustained interest in the ways in whichthey are networked is thus misplaced, pending default of their classificatory life-chances. Practically, this a serious problem with which some campaigning organiza-tions grapple, since they are often cornered into arguing over the transitionalboundary between whether a species is abundant or vulnerable. The battle is toprove that the species in question is vulnerable to population crash, and thatmanagement procedures are inadequate. However, the agency-through-deathlinkage is ultimately unsatisfactory because the legitimate candidates for sharedconcern become rare species - and the spaces of other trading networks involvingabundant animals are made trivial by contrast. If abundance is not only a taxonomic description of fecundity, but a normativeadjective hiding the practices of a complex network, it is also a license to kill withwide public support. For this reason, consideration must be given to the spatialimaginary of abundance as it works in the popular imagination with respect tokangaroos.
  11. 11. 177Virtual AbundanceThe vision of kangaroos extending over a vast compass collides with a landscapeshadowed by the civilizing face, which specialists in spaces of calculation agreeshould be removed of itinerants. This potentially implosive moment is s stabil ized byholding kangaroos bodies separate from a particular spatialization of the world asa flat, deterministic, almost barren surface. In other words, kangaroos are virtuallyabundant, and the land is to be virtually devoid of them. A close look at the demise of western grey kangaroos, commonly called mal leekangaroos in the western Australian wheatbelt, illustrates this. For the popularspatial imaginary to hold to abundance - the land must be a flat, unchanging plane.Thus, western Australia has been granted, without widespread public resistance, akill quota for western grays in 1997, which is almost twice as high as that permitted6 years earlier, despite the habitat reduction. Ignored in this process are certainopenly discussed facts: Whether we look at wetlands or saltmarshes, mangroves or bushland, inland creeks or estuaries, the same story emerges. In many cases, the destruction of habitat, the major cause of biodiversity loss, is continuing at an alarming rate. (State of the Environment Advisory Council, 1996, p. 5)Perhaps these changes are not deemed significant for the animals involved becausethe flat plane of the imaginary is a static entity. As Table 1 illustrates, that flat planehas mountains, forests, deserts, and scrub. Ecological niche is both specific anddiscrete, and kangaroos have home ranges from which they seldom venture.However, few are willing to highlight this difference for more or less obviousreasons. The conviction that kangaroo bodies are impervious and always virtuallyabundant, leads to extraordinary oversights. In Queensland, for example, during the 1982-1983 drought, when 70% of the kangaroo population perished on the eastcoast within several months, the annual quota was not reduced, even thoughmacropod reproduction ceases during drought. In the same state, an overshoot ofthe commercial kangaroo quota has occurred in 4 years since 1984, totalling 199,525 animals. Recent material on the 1997 commercial kill in Queensland,however, suggests that kangaroos may be less abundant than the idealized spatialimaginary presents:
  12. 12. 178 I note from the minutes of the Queensland Macropod Management Advisory Committee of last 16 July that they are not killing very much of their quota. Indeed, by the end of June, from a quota of grey kangaroos of 925,000 they had shot only 130,400 ... 14% of the quota; of the red kangaroo quota of 875,000 for the year, by the end of June they had only shot 188,970 ... 21.6% of the quota; and of the wallaroo quota of 200,000, only 52,630 had been shot ... some 26.3%. In those same management committee minutes, it also recommends that the minimum size of the skins be reduced from 5 square feet to 4 square feet. Evidently something is going wrong in Queensland, whereas, in New South Wales, quotas are already taken up fully in several areas. (Jones, 1997, pp. 810-816)Abundant kangaroo and barren landscape are therefore purified imaginings (Latour,1993), far removed from the lived reality of individual animals sharing emotionalfellowship in their three-dimensional places of residence. The sightings of popu-lation monitoring or the statistics of harvesting ratio calculations confirm kanga-roos as viscerally separated from their dwelling places. This would fit well with thediscourse of disembodied beings contained in the United Nations so-called Biodi-versity Convention: "Biological resources include genetic resources, organisms orparts thereof, populations, or any other biotic component of ecosystems with actualor potential use or value for humanity" (United Nations, 1992).Spatial Imaginings Impact on the Commercial HarvestAs virtual animals, kangaroos are readily acceptable, commercially viable bodies.Increasingly, with shedding of the pest rationale, the kangaroo industry takescenter-stage as sole proprietor of these bodies, requiring no excuse on its behalf: In recent years there have been changes in the way that kangaroos are viewed by the rural community. Increasingly, kangaroos are being seen as a valuable natural resource for their meat and skins - rather than a possible rural problem. (Environment Australia, Biodiversity Group, 1996)Irrevocably, public determination to marry two essentially conflicting spatialimaginaries, abundant bodies and barren land, is co-implicated in the success of theinternational kangaroo trading network. Ironically, by this count, kangaroos willachieve agency only if, as a species aggregate, they undergo population crashthrough events such as slaughter, reproductive failure or environmental impacts
  13. 13. 179such as droughts, floods, and diseases. At that point, they will be accorded thedivine rule of Death and Disappearance (Muecke, 1996) and claim some attention.That is, the remaining few bodies will be deemed worthy of the right to be there. However, as their populations have not crashed across what is called thecommercial harvesting zone, the kangaroos have failed that particular trial ofagency. As long as they fail to perform in this sense, kangaroos will remain a non-issue in the international arena. The spatial imaginary of abundance must bereconciled with animals rights to dwell in space so that an animals abundance isnot a death warrant. Such reconciliation might bring about the closure of thecommercial kangaroo industry.ConclusionKangaroo slaughter has been contested on ecological and ethical grounds fordecades, although by the early 1990s the concentrated, internationally-gearedopposition faltered when Greenpeace abandoned its kangaroo campaign, appar-ently thwarted by the spatial imaginary of abundance. The Australian government,some scientists, and most farmers achieved a discursive coup at that stage - thekangaroo issue was assuredly a non-issue to the international community. Perhapsit is more than coincidence that, in 1992, the highest-ever annual quota wasapproved, at more than 5 million adult animals. Nonetheless, several nationalAustralian organizations, some with international affiliation, continue to asserthow the curious, the ironic, and the simply sad are woven into the target kangaroos,who are, simultaneously, protected indigenous wildlife, emblem of the nation,"pest" species, export product, and gourmet food. The kangaroo network is historically embedded within a colonial siegementality, materially practiced as the kangaroo drive. The agency of kangaroos asliving beings is co-opted in the intimate moment of each death, rendering themmaterials of non-agency within the kangaroo trading network. An examination ofthe actors, spaces, and relationships making that network through the ANT lensilluminates the hidden spaces involved - in particular, the role of spaces ofcalculation, which otherwise appear disconnected from those of killing. Further, it tis possible to see how the taxonomy of abundance and distinctive spatial imaginaries,provide the popular illusion of ethical detachment from the practices of thisnetwork. Through this kind of analysis of wild animals in international trade, it ispossible to acknowledge how, why, and by which means their agency is revokedand reinstated.
  14. 14. 180Notes 1. Correspondence should be sent to Lorraine Thorne, School of Geographical Sciences.University of Bristol, University Road, Bristol, BS8 I SS, UK. I would like to thank ChrisPhilo, Jennifer Wolch, Sarah Whatmore, Nicola Brimblecombe, and Ken Shapiro for theirconstructive and insightful suggestions.2. The discipline of economics is the prime explorer of trade-related issues, dealing withethical considerations as the option of "welfare," with organic nonhumans designated asstocks or resources. While anthropology has examined trading systems and the role ofnonhumans within them, the latter are principally tokens of cultural specificity. In thebiological sciences, animals are primarily characterized by their bodily form and function,and their quantitative presence or absence at a given site.3. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) mounted a campaign which wasreportedly successful in September of 1977 to persuade the U.K. grocery multiple, Tesco.to remove kangaroo meat from its shelves.ReferencesArluke, A., & Sanders, C. R. (1996). Regarding animals. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Arnold, G. W., & Weeldenburg, J. R. (1995). Factors affecting the distribution and abundance of Western Grey Kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus) and Euros (M. robustus) in a fragmented landscape. Landscape Ecology, 10, 65-74.Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC). (1996). An overview of the conference. Origin, Newsletter of the A WPC, 7, 3.Bingham, N. (1996). Objections: From technological determinism towards geographies of relations. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 74(6), 635-657.Callon, M. (1986). Some elements of a sociology of translation: Domestication of the scallops and the fishermen of St. Brieuc Bay. In J. Law (Ed.), Power, action, belief: A new sociology of knowledge (pp. 196-233). London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Callon, M., & Law, J. (1995). Agency and the hybrid collectif. The South Atlantic Quarterly, 94(2), 481-507.Caughley, G., Shepherd, N., & Short, J. (1987). Kangaroos: Their ecology and manage- ment in the sheep rangelands of Australia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Council of Nature Conservation Ministers. (1985). National plan of management for kangaroos. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service.Dawson, T. J., & Ellis B. A. (1994). Diets of mammalian herbivores in Australian arid, hilly shrublands - seasonal effects in overlap between Uroes (Hill Kangaroos), sheep and feral goats, and on dietary niche breadths and electivities. Journal of Arid Environ- ments, 26(3), 257-271.
  15. 15. 181Edwards, G. P., Croft, D. B., & Dawson, T. J. (1996). Competition between red kangaroos (Macropus rufus) and sheep (Ovis aries) in the arid rangelands of Australia. Australian Journal of Ecology, 21(2), 165-172.Environment Australia, Biodiversity Group. (1997, February). 1997 annual quota figures. Available FTP: Hostname: anca.gov.au/plants/wildlife/tables/97 stats.htm.Environment Australia, Biodiversity Group. (1996, September). Kangaroo harvesting Available FTP: Hostname: anca.gov.au/plants/wildlife/kangharv.htm.Environment Australia, Biodiversity Group. (1996, February). 1996 annual quota figures. Available FTP: Hostname: anca.gov.au/plants/wildlife/tables/96 stats.htm.International Fund for Animal Welfare. (1997, October 2). News release: New health risk linked to kangaroo meat.Jones, R. (1997). Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee, Reference: Commercial utilization of native wildlife. Proof Hansard Report (uncor- rected), 9th September, 1997 Http://www.agps.gov.au/parl/committee/comsen.htm.v.Latour, B. (1993). We have never been modern. Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf.Latour, B. (1988). The pasteurization of France. Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press.Law, J. (1994). Organizing modernity. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.Law, J. (1986). On the methods of long-distance control: Vessels, navigation, and the Portuguese route to India. In J. Law (Ed.), Power, action and belief: A new sociology of knowledge?, (pp. 234-263). London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Lines, W. (1991). Taming the Great South Land: A history of the conquest of nature in Australia. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.Muecke, S. (1996). Outback. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 14, 407- 420.Murdoch, J. (in press). The spaces of actor-network theory. Geoforum.Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service. (1984). Queensland kangaroo manage- ment program. Queensland: Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service.Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Australia (RSPCA). (1985). Incidence of cruelty to kangaroos: Report to the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service. Sydney: RSPCA.Russell, J. S. & Isbell, R. F. (Eds.). (1986). Australian soils: The human impact. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press.Ryan, S. (1996). The cartographic eye: How explorers saw Australia (p. 18). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Senate Select Committee on Animal Welfare. (1988). Kangaroos. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service.State of the Environment Advisory Council. (1996). State of the environment Australia 1996, executive summary. Available FTP: Hostname: erin.gov.au/portfolio.Thrift, N. (1996). Spatial formations. London: Sage Publications.
  16. 16. 182United Nations. (1992). Convention on Biological Diversity. Nairobi, United Nations Environment Program, Article 2.Whatmore, S. & Thorne, L. (1998). Wild(er)ness: Reconfiguring the geographies of wildlife. Manuscript submitted for publication.Whatmore, S. & Thorne, L. (1997). Nourishing networks: Alternative geographies of food. In D. Goodman & M. J. Watts (Eds.), Globalising food: Agrarian questions and global restructuring (pp. 287-304). London and New York: Routledge.Wolch, J. & Emel, J. (1995). Guest editorial. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 13, 632-636. CALL FOR PAPERS FOR A SPECIAL ISSUE of ANIMAL IIIlELFARE: Genetics and Animal Welfare Animal Welfare (ISSN 0962-7286) provides an objective international forum for quarterly publicationof peer reviewed papers on all aspects of animal welfare. Our SPECIAL ISSUE will explore the welfare implications of GENETIC CHANGE in farm, companion, laboratory, zoo and wild animals - from traditional breeding practices through to the most modern aspects of genetic engineering, while also considering the effects/amelioration of crashes in wild populations. We invite researchers and practitioners to submit: original papers (reportingthe author(s) own studies); review papers; short communications (of less than 2000 words); technical contributions (reports on practical methods for assessing or improving animal welfare); or topical letters on relevant issues. Animal Welfare will not consider papers based on work which causes unnecessary pain, distress, suffering or lasting harm. Please direct submissions, enquiries, or requests for detailed Instructions for Authors to: Animal Welfare(Special issue), Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, The Old School, Brewhouse Hill,Wheathampstead, Herts AL4 8AN, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 1582 831818 Fax +44 (0) 1582 831414 .E-mail: ufawC?ufaw.org. uk. Or check out our web-site at: http://www.ufaw3.dircon.co.uk. DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS:29 OCTOBER1998 Editor -in-Chief: James KKirkwood, Dr UFAW, UK. Special Issue Guest Editors: Professor L F M van Zutphen,UtrechtUniversity, The Netherlands; Professor G C Bedford, Royal P The Veterinary College,UK.

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