Page last updated at 11:40 GMT, Friday, 15 May 2009 12:40 UK

Australia halts cull of kangaroos

Kangaroos are corralled in a pen before they are culled at a abandoned Department of Defence property near Canberra, May 20
Army officials say kangaroos are harming the land at a disused base

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 4,000 out of 7,000 kangaroos earmarked for destruction.

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

Officials have said that there is an overpopulation of kangaroos, and that they are damaging the environment at the Majura Training Area - a disused military base.

Campaigners say the killings are a "brutal and unsubstantiated slaughter".

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

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