Government goes to war… on cats 289



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A nationwide war on cats has been declared in the hope the move will help protect more than 120 native species brought to the brink of extinction by these top-class predators.

Over the next five years, poison baits will be used to kill two million feral cats. The government has also created a phone app called FeralCatScan so the public can alert authorities about sightings of the animals.

“It is very important to emphasise that we don’t hate cats,” said Gregory Andrews, threatened species commissioner.

“We just can’t tolerate the damage that they’re doing any more to our wildlife … More than 120 Australian animals are at risk of extinction from feral cats. So the scientific evidence is crystal clear that they’re the biggest threat,” he told ABC radio.

Scientists believe feral cats have been involved in 28 of Australia’s 29 known native mammal extinctions in the past 200 years. and environment minister Greg Hunt says action is necessary to prevent further extinctions.

There are an estimated 20 million cats across the nation – and they kill about 75 million native animals a day.

Also in the government’s sights in tighter regulation of cat ownership and the enforcement of population control measures such as desexing and microchipping.

“By 2020, I want to see two million feral cats culled, five new islands and 10 new mainland ‘safe havens’ free of feral cats, and control measures applied across 10 million hectares,” said Mr Hunt.

Some councils have already passed laws that say cats must be kept inside at all times, and there are calls for this policy to be adopted more widely. Many councils impose a cat curfew that prevents them from being out at night when they are most predatory.

How do you feel about the government’s plan to kill two million cats? Are you a cat owner? How would you feel about keeping your cat inside all the time? 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I like cats but I firmly believe they need to be controlled, we cannot allow our native animals to be lost. The first thing is to have your cat de sexed to stop the population of unwanted cats that are dumped in the bush .Cats are killing machines and should be kept indoors at night, I draw the line at all day and night as they like to cavort in the garden and lie in the sun.

    7 REPLY
    • I agree Linda. Also cats should have it be registered like dogs and compulsorily de-sexed…a government subsidy for this could be introduced. Owners who let their cats out at night are very irresponsible, if I had a cat I would invest in one of those cat enclosures in my back yard.

    • My old cat has been sexed as a young cat and loves to stay in our back yard to sleep in the sun through the day, and we make sure he comes in at night as I worry about him. He also loves to sharpen his claws on the trees. Yes he did hunt a bit as a young cat and went after the rabbit kittens which are a pest as well even around a year ago & he is 10yrs old. I keep him well fed to try to alleviate the need to hunt (but it is a natural habit). I would not want to lock any of my cats up though & not let them outside at all.
      I agree feral cats need to be controlled as they are a danger to our domestic cats as well fighting.

    • if they are brought up as kittens to be indoors it doesn’t worry thm. One of mine doesn’t even like going out into his large enclosure in the garden!

    • My two cats won’t stay outside for very long they’re inside more than out and they’re both de sexed

    • Unfortunately ALL cats are hunter’s even well fed domestic cats.I think we need to get very serious about the cat problem and I don’t believe that the rehoming of cats is a very good idea.I know they are desexed but so many people still abandon cats and at least those cats can’t breed but they will have to kill to stay alive.There are still gar too many irresponsible cat owners.

    • My cat has only caught a couple of geckos and has never caught a bird in her life. The birds sit on the railings and screech at her and she cries to come inside. She has been de sexed and is kept inside at night.

    • Compulsory desexing of all domestic cats and dogs to start with, maybe with desexing clinics subsidised for pensioners and not so well off, responsible owners. Fines for irresponsible owners, if animal is caught outside owners yard. Compulsory registration under the councils current laws and guidelines. Now having got that off my chest, what about the foxes? Indiscriminate baiting is not going to catch the cats, but suffer the little birds and native carnivores. Professional trappers with a bounty as paid for dingoes and wild dogs would be a safer way to go, and remember the cat and/or fox is just doing what nature intended it to do.

  2. Feral cats, dogs, pigs, goats, rabbit’s and camels are destroying our native flora and fauna, put them all down

    14 REPLY
    • Feral dogs breed with dingo’s and they ruin this ancient breed, feral dogs also have to eat and the eat the native wild life

    • I love my dog dearly. But I have seen packs of feral dogs who roam the bush and kill anything that moves.
      So yes, I agree with Libbi Elliot.
      I believe that all “household” pets should be desexed unkess they are registered breeders and that they should all be confined within the owners property. A cat can be taught to walk on a lead.

    • No I am not nasty JanMarie, these are Feral animals who people have dumped in the bush, they are destroying our native wild life, I think your nasty for condoning it

    • be far nastier to leave them destroying our wild life JanMarie, domestic animals are all imported into this country and add cane toads onto the list 🙂

    • A simple thing like a cat bell can save a bird or possums life. I wish our neighbour would put a bell on her cat.

      1 REPLY
      • it has been proven that cats are stealthy enough and sneaky enough to avoid making that bell ring !

    • Humans are to blame and have introduced many animals that have gone feral, but do not forget invasive plants such as Lantana. This has spread markely throughout my region and the state and local governments seem oblivious to the damage that it is doing. I cannot even spray the stuff from the road way and I have been okayed to spray the council verge from inside my property……crazy eh? Money is their problem I think.

      1 REPLY
    • You missed a large percentage of feral brainless Australians that created this problem in the first place by not looking after their animals.

  3. Totally support this. There has been an explosion in feral cat numbers over recent years and if left unchecked will result in devastation of our native birds. Cats of all breeds that we keep as domestic pets are natural hunters and instinctively seek out prey despite the fact that they are domesticated and well fed. The increase in feral cat numbers is a direct result of irresponsible cat ownership. It should be harder for people to buy a kitten from a pet shop as many of these animals end up being not wanted and are subsequently dumped in bushland to fend for themselves. If people want to have any animal as a pet they must accept the responsibility and act accordingly. Even the most loved and well fed cat will follow it’s instinct and hunt for prey. What cat owner has never stepped outside in the morning and found a little “gift” in the form of a dead bird or other tasty morsel proudly displayed on the doormat.

  4. I’m with the government, and people should be made to have their cats desexed I have just lost friendship with a neighbour because of their cats that come in our yard and catch the birds.. I have asked them nicely to lock th up at night which they say the do but one of the cats caught a little bird the other day and ran home with it, my son went to them and told th and was abused, then the man came over and had a go at me, he said he didn’t care about the birds.. well he has now been reported to the council, they said they will go talk to them and if the cats still come over to come and get a trap then they will have to pay $150 to get them out… oh and the two he has are brother and sister who my son saw mating at the front of our place!!

  5. It’s the HUMAN element that is the problem not the moggy,if you got abandoned,you would behave the same ,called survival ?

    1 REPLY
    • Yes, it is our fault cats have now become such a problem and yet we try to blame them. They are innocent victims of our stupidity.

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