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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 December 2005, 16:55 GMT
Kangaroo meat name change mooted
Kangaroo at Sydney zoo
Up to four million kangaroos a year are culled to protect crops
Squeamish Australians who balk at eating kangaroo have prompted more than 2,700 people to submit possible new names for the meat.

In an effort to calm diners unable to face eating a national symbol, a Sydney-based food magazine launched a contest to rename the dish.

The winning idea, "australus", could be a breakthrough for the kangaroo meat industry, said editor Mel Nathan.

But producers gave it a cool reception, saying they would not adopt the name.

The competition was launched by Food Companion International magazine to try to persuade Australians to eat more of a meat that has already generated a multi-million dollar export industry.

Sentimental

Kangaroo meat is popular in Germany, France and Belgium. Russians have a taste for sausages, but in Australia, the meat is largely a staple of pet food suppliers.

This is partly for sentimental reasons, says the BBC's Phil Mercer in Sydney. The kangaroo appears on Australia's coat of arms and is one of the country's most recognisable symbols.

The competition entries, submitted by people in 41 countries, included kangasaurus, marsupan, jumpmeat, kangarly and MOM (meat of marsupials).

One contestant even suggested Skippy, the name of an old television series whose eponymous hero was an intelligent and lovable kangaroo.

But they were all beaten by US citizen Steven West, who thought up "australus" while working at a hotel school near Sydney.

Mr Nathan, Food Companion's editor, told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper: "The new name may be a huge breakthrough for the kangaroo meat industry."

But the head of the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia, John Kelly, said that although his association had helped to sponsor the contest, it had "no really serious intention" of changing the meat's name.



SEE ALSO
Kangaroo meat rebranding launched
19 Nov 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Kangaroo off the menu
04 Feb 02 |  Asia-Pacific



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