The Australian government has endorsed the idea of exterminating all 15m (estimated) feral cats in Australia with a virus while protecting all of the other species in some way. It sounds like mass extermination through germ warfare.
Of course, the government will have to ensure that all domestic cats are inoculated (immunised) against the disease that they’re going to spread amongst feral cats.
I have no idea how they’re going to target just feral cats with an artificially created germ while avoiding all the other native wildlife species about which they are so desperately concerned and which they say is being wiped out by the dreaded feral cat.
If the plan is put into action it is liable to backfire extremely badly. They realise they have to do a lot of work on this in order to make it work but just thinking about it to me indicates a desperation and a hatred for the feral cat, which they put there in the first place.
Mr Hunt, the environment minister, has called for a survey to study how to use a virus to eradicate feral cats. Professor Woinarski, the co-author of a study into the impact of the feral cat on native species says that a virus was “probably the long-term solution that we’re looking for.”
He also states that: “it may take 10 or 20 years to develop such a system. In the meantime species will disappear, mammal species will disappear.”
He admits however that people aren’t aware of the magnitude of the problem and that he thinks that the Australian native mammals simply can’t cope. Note that he thinks this might be the case. It does not know.
As I understand it, the study estimates there are 15,000,000 feral cats in Australia with each killing an average 5 animals a night. Once again I stress that these are estimates. Based on these estimates the Australian government appear to be giving the go-ahead to slaughter the entire population of feral cats in Australia with a virus while ensuring that all other species of animal including the domestic cats are safe.
It smacks of madness to me. What do you think?
Every now and then, periodically and routinely the Australian authorities wheel out the usual diatribes and rants about the feral cat and how savage and effective they are at killing native species. They flounder in trying to find a solution.
What about a mass, well coordinated and well funded trap-neuter-release programme across the entire country? That would at least be humane and I suggest it would also be more effective. The timetable would certainly be within the 20 years mentioned to carry out mass extermination through what I seems like germ warfare.