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Australia declares War on Cats because they "damage native species"

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Cat owners in Australia may be ordered to keep their pets contained at home all the time as part of the nation’s crackdown on felines over the damage they cause to native species.

The federal government will seek public support for “24-hour containment requirements for domestic cats, particularly close to identified conservation areas of significance,” reported the Sydney Morning Herald citing Australia’s first threatened species commissioner, Gregory Andrews.

The measure would require state and local authorities to cooperate with the government program aimed at protecting native species. Announced earlier this month, the measure involves the culling of 2 million feral cats in Australia till 2020. The plan drew criticism from animal rights campaigners, including French actress Brigitte Bardot, who said killing cats was cruel and ineffective.

Introduced two centuries ago by European settlers, cats are considered among the most dangerous pests in Australia along rabbits and red foxes. There are no native species of feline on the continent. They spread across various environments and have been recorded to predate on at least 400 native species, according to a study published in Journal of Biogeography in May.

“Feral cats help themselves to a phenomenal number of species in Australia – 400 different vertebrates. This includes 123 bird species, 157 reptiles, 58 marsupials, 27 rodents, 21 frogs and nine exotic medium- and large-sized mammals. This is more than double the 179 species of animals that cats have been recorded eating on other islands worldwide,” said Tim Doherty, one of the authors of the paper.

Cats have been implicated in the extinction of at least 20 species of mammal in Australia and are currently hunting at least 16 globally-threatened species and 12 others classed as near-threatened.

The planned containment of pet cats is meant to contribute to the crackdown on their feral cousins in Australia. The domestic animals would not be able to hunt endangered species and would also not fall victim to poisonous baits that would be used to kill the feral ones.

Strict containment rules were in place since 2005 in 12 suburbs adjacent to nature reserves in the capital city, Canberra, in southeastern Australia, the Herald said, and an expert report recommended the Australian Capital Territory government to expand it across the territory.

However there are concerns that such confinement may harm some of the pets.

“Some cats are very stressed when they are confined, it can actually induce behavioral issues and some physical problems as well,” vet Michael Archinal told the newspaper.

The problems may include bladder issues and anxiety, as access to the wild provides cats with mental stimulation and a chance to exhibit behavior like scratching and marking, which owners would often not tolerate at home.


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One Response to " Australia declares War on Cats because they "damage native species" "

  1. skreamer says:

    Hahahahaa…lets blame cats for what people are doing again!
    People have destroyed thousands of species, they introduced the cane toad into Australia which literally kills anything it comes into contact with. Humans kill 1000s of kangaroos everyday in australia, that lie on the side of the road feeding millions of crows and magpies which in turn, then over populate because of all the extra food. Cats are a natural part of Australia, we have 150kg panthers roaming the countryside that the govt does its best to cover up for some reason! Victorian farmer shot one a few years back, it was on the news!
    I guess some stupid hippie got all upset when he saw his favorite bird killed by a cat! Boo Hoo!. ……welcome to earth!
    Cats and Dogs rock!…its those flying rats need to be locked up!…bringing in disease from other countries when they illegally migrate here each year..”without passports”
    The amount of disease ridden rodents my cats get is awesome. Notice how few mouse plagues we get in Australia now! Ive taught both my cats not to get birds…..big mistake……now the fucking magpies stand right next to them as they demolish all my seedling and wheatgrass trays. It drives me nuts with the amount of damage they do. Now im yelling at my cats to get the fuckin magpies…but they just look at me with that..”you said no look”.
    Anyway…the panthers and wild dogs eat the feral cats! And the adult males well kill the male kittens cause they see them as a threat! Poor cats..they have it so hard!

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