I AM writing to ask readers to help stop the commercialisation of the planet’s wildlife and specifically to reject kangaroo meat.

Sadly, some British retailers are now trying to promote this as ‘just a bit of fun’ for summer barbecues, but it is anything but.

Viva! works with Australian wildlife protection groups and they are deeply concerned about this trade.

The annual kangaroo slaughter in Australia is already the largest massacre of land mammals on the planet today. Each year, millions of kangaroos are shot for their meat and skins. Baby joeys and dependent young are bludgeoned, shot or decapitated when their mothers are killed.

This is the horrific fate of around a million defenceless young animals a year.

They are not even used by the industry and are dumped as ‘trash’ in the dust.

In other words, if you eat kangaroo meat the chances are sadly good that a baby animal was ripped from his or her mother’s pouch and brutally killed.

Kangaroo meat has also been promoted as healthy, but that simply doesn’t add up.

Widely publicised in Australia, but not so much here, recent research has shown that kangaroo meat has a higher amount of a chemical linked to increased risks of heart attack and stroke than any other red meat.

Doesn’t sound so appetising now, does it?

Isn’t it time we began to cherish our global wildlife, not blast it inexorably towards extinction?

This summer make a start by throwing a vegan burger on the barbecue instead.

Justin Kerswell, campaigns manager, Viva!, York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol.