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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Monday, 4 February, 2002, 15:49 GMT
Kangaroo off the menu
Kangaroo
The visitors will be able to see live kangaroos in a zoo
Kangaroo steak has been stripped from the menu for next month's Commonwealth summit in Australia for fear of offending the important guests.

Officials organising the event, which is being opened by Queen Elizabeth on 2 March, feared kangaroo meat might not go down well with state leaders.

That is because the summit venue, the Hyatt Regency Coolum resort in Queensland, is setting up a zoo in its grounds, featuring live kangaroos.

"If they're having an Australia zoo, it may not be in the best interests to be having kangaroo on the menu," the resort's marketing manager Susan Hunt-Holmes told The Australian newspaper on Monday.

National symbol

Marinated medallions of kangaroo are usually a favourite dish on the resort's grill menu.

It is a low-fat red meat, high in protein and iron, with a strong game flavour.

Despite being a national symbol for Australia, up to seven million kangaroos are culled each year as pests which ruin crops and compete with livestock for grazing land and water.

Last week a group of Aborigines lodged a high court writ, seeking to stop the Australian Government from using the kangaroo and the emu on the national coat of arms.

The Aboriginal activists say the representation of the animals - which they regard as sacred totems - is a breach of copyright.

The Commonwealth heads of government meeting had been scheduled for Brisbane last October but was rescheduled following the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington.

See also:

16 Mar 01 | Asia-Pacific
Kangaroo meat boom
22 Apr 01 | Asia-Pacific
Gourmet kangaroos face extinction
03 Dec 98 | Sci/Tech
The making of the marsupials
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