The author of the website: Burke’s Backyard, an Australian living in Australia, says that a pet cat is an environmental hazard. What he does not do is write about people. He should because people are far more of an environmental hazard than cats. If Mr Burke is concerned about the environment, which he obviously is, he should address the big issues first, namely people. His website is not solely concerned with cats; far from it, so there are no restrictions on addressing the big issues.
The environmental impact of the domestic cat is exaggerated by Australians. I don’t know for sure, but it is likely that the environmental impact of people is 100 times greater that for cats. Please, stop being hypocritical, Mr Burke.
Mr Burke writes that:
[pat cats] can have a devastating effect on local wildlife populations..
Big words but what about the effect of people? He says the pet cat kills “300 animals during its average life span”. Where did he get this information from? He does not tell us.
He recommends a cat enclosure or keeping cats inside, for their entire life. He mentions that Australian legislation is moving towards forcing cat owners to keep their cats inside or within enclosures. My research certainly indicates a trend, in Australia, against cats being allowed outside. Other control measures are also being considered such as obligatory microchipping and curfews when cats must be kept in. The Australians are very effective at passing laws that manage their country; moreso than the UK, for example.
Because Mr Burke failed to write about the impact of people on Australian wildlife here are some examples that are readily available on the internet:
From the Humane Society International (Australia): Regarding carbon dioxide emissions. Australians do their bit in contributing to climate change, which according to Humane Society International (Australia)….
“will be a major challenge for Australian wildlife…In past eras of natural climate change, species would have been better able to adapt as their habitats had not already been so greatly reduced and fragmented by agricultural and urban development. (comment: Aussies have damaged the habitat of their wildlife species).
From Wikipedia: This is what the authors write:
The impact of Aborigines on native species populations is widely considered to be less significant than that of the European settlers, whose impact on the landscape has been on a relatively large scale. Since European settlement, direct exploitation of native fauna, habitat destruction and the introduction of exotic predators and competitive herbivores has led to the extinction of some 27 mammal, 23 bird and 4 frog species.
On climate change from Dr Anne Fowler BSc(Vet)(Hons) BVSc, MACVSc (Avian Health, Wildlife Health) — “The current impact of climate change on Australian wildlife”
Our best example is the Murray-Darling Basin where a combination of human activity and drought years are now leading to the demise of the River Red Gum forests that line the river. Increasing levels of soil salinity are occurring as a consequence of land management practices and lack of water flow…..read more..
From the Australian government:
However, as Australia has developed, our natural environment has become increasingly fragmented resulting in significant loss of natural habitats and a decline in biodiversity. This problem is compounded by threats such as climate change…
The authorities want to build wildlife corridors to connect the fragmented habitats. This is an act of desperation because it is difficult to do this and it is a reactionary process. It is a process of failure. The government is admitting that wildlife is being damaged by human activity.
Mr Burke: please try and present a balanced view of the threats to Australia’s native wildlife species.