I'm indebted to James Thomspon [below] for his sledge even though he mispells my name (Comments 16th May 2007) and partly grovel now re : "Eating red [kangaroo] meat does not result in hydatid infection." I am no vet or medical man as such and it shows now half folding my tent on this one. I had forgotten the dual life cycle of the creepy parasite from all those years ago in the lecture room. This diagram here Echinococcosis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, or here Echinococcus -- Encylopedic Reference of Parasitology shows the hydatid cyst in the kangaroo whether offal or meat is infectious to the 'definitive' dog stage of the life cycle, but not intermediate host like kangas or humans.The South Australian government web site also makes it clear "People cannot be infected by eating Hydatid cysts in infected offal & Humans cannot infect humans [sic]" Hydatid disease (SA) [pdf].
Even so presence of hydatid is enough for sheep carcass to be rejected from an abattoir in WA 2006 presumably for hygiene/marketing reasons ESPERANCE REGIONAL OFFICE AGMEMO and I still doubt eating one would be much fun if not dangerous directly. It would be another story if the pet bow wow ate it then licked, patted you. And the concern over quality control of meat on farm versus off farm (domestic v wild) is still not over: Anecdotally pet owners are cautious with "wormy" kangaroo meat: Dogz Online and EDBA Forums > Kangaroo Meat, and animal rights people still argue with some logic of other potential contaminants in off farm or wild animal situations here in NSW Parliament re chemical sprays Kangaroo Meat Contamination - 10/10/2000 - QWN.
So I stand by the more general concern agricultural controls lessen risk compared with wild animal meat. For instance in meeting the sledge we found this submission [bold added] of Tony Pople and Gordon Grigg Dept of Zoology, Qld Uni for Environment Australia, August 1999 for the federal govt Overview of background information for kangaroo management - Chapter 7
"Andrew (1988) reviewed the issue of kangaroo meat and public health, including the records of inspections between 1980 and 1987 made of carcasses by Australian Quarantine Inspection Service officers at export game meat establishments (this pre-dated the change of legislation in New South Wales in 1993). There were records for 204,052 red, eastern and western grey carcasses of which 196,104 were passed as fit for human consumption. Of the 7,948 rejected, 81% were rejected for reasons not associated with parasites or pathology, mainly poor handling, particularly inadequate refrigeration. Of the rest, only 1,452 were rejected because of a parasite, and that was for a nematode, Pelicitus roemeri, which is quite harmless, anyway, to humans, but is unsightly.... it is uncommon, but can infect the muscles of the lower leg.."
Elsewhere the authors note people often prefer to cook kangaroo rare.
We understand 3.6 m kangaroos are being 'culled' this drought year (usually 5 or 6 million per year). That's alot of dead kangaroo with no records. Nor is a study of 20 years ago, referred to in 1999 by govt, sufficiently recent for public confidence in 2007. The onus is on the industry not the other way round.
Tom McLoughlin, ecology action
James Thompson writes: Tom MacLouglin (yesterday, comments) has either misunderstood the mode of transmission of hydatids or he is deliberately attempting to mislead the public over the risk of eating kangaroo and other red meat. I agree that hydatid cysts are a potentially serious parasitic disease of humans. However, humans are at risk from the ingestion of hydatid tapeworm eggs, laid by tapeworms living in the gut of farm dogs, dingoes or foxes that had fed on cattle, sheep or kangaroos. To avoid human infection with hydatids, after handling dogs wash your hands before eating and worm your dogs regularly. Eating red meat does not result in hydatid infection. Tom should have paid more attention during his zoology degree.