Stunt or misadventure: Animal Justice Party smell a Political Rat!

Posted on 05/25/13 in News, No Comments

Rattenbury’s kangaroo attack tale – the evidence raises significant doubt

Greens member and Minister for Territory and Municipal Services (TAMS) in the ACT Government Shane Rattenbury recently gained some media attention with his story that he had been ‘attacked and scratched’ by a kangaroo whilst jogging in Ainslie, Canberra. How coincidental, or is it karma, that the Minister responsible for killing kangaroos should have such a very rare experience on the eve of when he is expected to announce yet another ACT Government slaughter of these gentle and iconic native animals.

Coincidental or staged propaganda for the media to reinforce the manufactured public perception that kangaroos are a ‘problem’? Animal Justice Party (AJP) senate candidate in the ACT for the September federal election Mr Filinger said, “Mr Rattenbury’s presence of mind to have a picture taken and send it to the media does appear needlesly attention seeking and an over reaction unless there is an agenda in play which appears evident by his questionable story, and I have my doubts.”

Mr Fillinger, a macropod rescuer who, with fellow rescuer and AJP President Professor Steve Garlick, has carried out almost 5000 kangaroo rescues, points out that contrary to Rattenbury’s story a kangaroo will not attack when startled – in fact it will flee. Nor would the central claws on the hind leg produce fine needle-like scratches as illustrated in his supplied image. Fillinger adds, ‘As a forensics photographer, I captured imagery of the central claw of 12 random 1.4 metre kangaroos around Ainslie – as per Mr Rattenbury’s story, and the image attached clearly shows a rounded end incapable of inflicting a thin scratch’. ‘If Mr Rattenbury ran into the kangaroo and they both fell over, the scratches would most likely have been caused by its forearm paws as it struggled to get up, not from the “claws of its powerful hind legs” as Rattenbury claims.

Forensic veterinary surgeon and medical practitioner Dr Howard Ralph said ‘I have examined a photograph of the posterior aspect of the leg with two small, separated, superficial, linear wounds that are consistent with being caused by a scratch from a fine pointed object such as a piece of wire or a small sharp stick’.

Why would Mr Rattenbury seek media and public attention for such a minor wound? The answer is, according to Mr Fillinger, “another ACT Government attempt to manipulate Canberrans’ opinion against kangaroos by falsely demonising them in readiness for TAM’s next planned brutal slaughter.”

A full list of AJP policies, including for kangaroos, and its manifesto can be found at:

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Media Enquiries

Marcus Fillinger, ACT candidate for the Senate at the September federal election – 0418 487 160 Professor Steve Garlick – AJP President – 0428 880 564