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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 November 2005, 16:02 GMT
Kangaroo meat rebranding launched
By Phil Mercer
BBC News, Sydney

Kangaroo at Sydney zoo
Up to four million kangaroo a year are culled
A competition has been launched in Australia to find a new way of describing kangaroo meat.

Organisers want to find a name less offensive to diners sensitive about eating a national symbol.

Australia has millions of kangaroos, whose lean red meat has generated a multi-million dollar export industry.

Kangaroo meat is popular in Germany, France and Belgium. Russians have a taste for sausages, but Australia's enthusiasm has always been lukewarm.

This is partly for sentimental reasons. The kangaroo appears on Australia's coat of arms and is one of the country's most recognisable symbols.

Somehow throwing a 'roo steak on the barbecue just doesn't feel right.

Attempts are now being made to combat this national squeamishness.

Australia's kangaroo industry is planning to publish new recipes and develop ready-to-eat marsupial meals and burgers.

They will be promoted as a low-fat alternative to lamb and beef.

Skippy steak?

Organisers are also looking to give kangaroo meat a palatable new name.

Hundreds of suggestions for a new name have already been put forward.

They range from the obvious - including Skippy, the name of an old television series that featured a very sensible kangaroo - to others that will probably make the judges wince, such as Yummy and Kanga.

Up to four million of these unique animals are culled every year under official quotas.

Wildlife activists have described this as a barbaric slaughter.

One campaigner said that turning these beautiful creatures into Russian sausages was a national disgrace.

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