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'Australus' is new name for kangaroo meat

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SYDNEY, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Kangaroo meat will now be called "australus" in keeping with calling deer meat venison, cow meat beef, and pig meat pork.

Australus was the winning entry by the Sydney-based Food Companion International magazine that sought a term to separate the animal's name from food. It was submitted by U.S. citizen Steven West, who is soon to take on Australian citizenship, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

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The magazine received 2,700 suggestions from 41 countries in the contest, which aimed at removing what the kangaroo industry dubs "Skippy syndrome" -- a reluctance to eat the national symbol.

The industry has a quota to kill 3.9 million kangaroos this year, most of which ends up as pet food.

Finalists in the contest included "maroo," rooviande," "ozru," "marsupan" and "jumpmeat."

The executive officer of the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia, John Kelly, said while his organization had helped sponsor the competition, it had "no really serious intention of changing the name" at this stage.

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