PERTH, AUSTRALIA – NEWS AND COMMENT: There has been a spike in cases of cruelty to cats and kittens in Perth’s northern suburbs, recently. The RSPCA reports an increase of 30% compared to last year in cat cruelty cases. I’m not going to show any pictures except for the picture of a cat painted blue. But the other pictures are too upsetting. Let’s just say that in May a cat was found dead with a metal spike through their body and in another case a steel-jaw trap severely injured a cat requiring an amputation.
Another cat was trapped in West Swan, which I presume is a suburb of Perth, by a steel-jawed clamp which is a criminal offence. The leg had to be amputated. It is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2002 to use steel-jawed traps or set them. On conviction a person can be fined up to AU$50,000 and receive a five-year maximum jail sentence.
In addition, the RSPCA is investigating the blue paint incident in which a pair of pet cats from the same district were covered in sticky blue paint. They say that the incidence of cat cruelty is shocking.
But they have indirectly promoted cat cruelty themselves which is totally against their raison d’être. In a very long document online called: Identifying Best Practice Cat Management in Australia, they state in a summary of recommendations:
Declaring feral cats as a pest species under State biosecurity or natural resource management legislation is a key step in recognising the need for that urgent action to address the impacts of feral cats. This measure should be adopted consistently across all States and Territories.
If you declare feral cats ‘pests’ the public is going to kill them. And how do you distinguish true feral cats from stray domestic cats or free-roaming domestic cats? Ear tipping? Ear tipping is not always done. They say that feral cats are sentient beings (and so please don’t be unkind to them)! Big deal. Yes, but if you classify them as pests there is no telling how much cruelty will be perpetrated against them. You are putting them in the same category of rats and we know how people treat rats.
They agree that free roaming cats can be annoying to residents and they advocate cat containment but this does not justify animal cruelty. They are investigating with, I would argue, little chance of success.
But to get to the wider underlying issue. I would also argue that this increase in cat cruelty cases is a product of the attitude of the state governments of Australia and the federal government. For many years they have been advocating the mass slaughter of feral cats in order to protect native species. It’s been all over the Internet. Many of the methods are cruel but cruelty does not present a barrier to killing feral cats in Australia. Not according to the authorities and it does not matter in which Australian state the cats live. They all want the cats dead. Eash state has the same attitude it seems to me.
If the federal government and state governments of Australia openly advocate cruel methods to kill cats, what can you expect the public to do when they see stray cats wandering around the neighbourhood? Some of these residents, and it will be a tiny minority, want to play their part in the extermination of what they perceive as being pests and vermin as portrayed by the Australian government.
It’s time for the Australian government to start promoting decent and humane methods of controlling the feral cat population Australia.
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