In July, 60s screen siren Brigitte Bardot wrote an open letter to the Australian Government about their treatment of ‘native animals’, i.e. two million feral cats and their plan to cull them.
She has argued that the money that will be spent on killing the animals would be more beneficial if it was used to spade the cats, not kill them.
The two million cats in question are just a fraction of the actual problem – there’s allegedly 20 million cats across Australia, killing native wildlife.
At the time, Environment Minister Greg Hunt said, “They are tsunamis of violence and death for Australia’s native species”.
“This animal genocide is inhumane and ridiculous. In addition to being cruel, killing these cats is absolutely useless since the rest of them will keep breeding,” she said.
“Your country is sullied by the blood of millions of innocent animals, so please, don’t add cats to this morbid record”.
Now, in a response to the 81-year-old, as well as 80s singer Morrissey, the Australian Government have said
In letters revealed to Guardian Australia, threatened species commissioner, Gregory Andrews told the celebrities: “I would like to commend you for your commitment to, and advocacy for, animals and their welfare.
“We don’t want to lose any more species like these,” he wrote. “It is with this sentiment in mind that the Australian government has taken a stance on feral cats; for the protection of our native species that belong here”.
Feral cats are the single biggest threat to our small mammals, birds, lizards and other wildlife as one cat kills at least five animals per day.
The government plans to reduce this number by 2 million by 2020 through trapping, shooting and a new poison bait.
Andrews told Guardian Australia: “I never thought I’d write to Brigitte Bardot. It’s an unusual situation. I’m glad people like them care about animal welfare and I care deeply about animal welfare too.
“The threat to our wildlife are clear and feral cats are top of the list. We don’t hate cats but we don’t have a choice. We will do this as humanely as possible and we will reduce the net suffering of animals in Australia”.
And in the interest of those who feel the cull could be done inhumanely, Andrews assures you that the RSPCA will be involved every step of the way.
In terms of neutering 20 million cats, it is just not feasible. “Also, we’d be releasing a predator that will kill five animals a day for the rest of its life. It’s not justifiable. We can’t accept feral cats as part of the Australian ecology because if we do then we accept the extinction of bilbies, bandicoots and numbats.
“I sleep very well at night knowing what we are doing. Australians support this. Brigitte Bardot and Morrissey have a lack of understanding of Australia and what we are losing. They aren’t Australians, they aren’t experiencing the extinction crisis we have here”, Andrews concluded.
Tell us, whose side are you on? Do Brigitte Bardot and Morrissey have a point or are the Australian Government doing the right thing?