Conflict between animal welfare and conservation in Australia

The conservation of wild animals should go hand-in-hand with animal welfare. They are two branches of the same thing. Conservation protects wild animals and animal welfare laws protect wild and domestic animals. However, in Australia conservation is in direct conflict with animal welfare. They’ve got themselves into an unholy mess on the issue of animal welfare. They are tearing their hair out and trying to deal with invasive species to protect native species.

Robotic device which poisons feral cats
Robotic device which poisons feral cats. John Read inspects it. This device is inherently cruel because death by poison is painful and slow and this evil device kills animals other than feral cats. Brilliant work mate.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

What should be a harmonious relationship between conservation and animal welfare has become a dichotomy with a clear division between the two. In order to protect their native species, they have to be cruel to invasive species. They’re even cruel to their own species.

Normally it would be illegal to shoot kangaroos in Australia but about 3 million adult kangaroos are shot or killed in other ways in Australia annually. I’ve seen photographs of shooters going out lamping taking pot shots at kangaroos having great fun no doubt in doing their bit for the nation while being completely insensitive to the cruelty and pain that they are causing.

We all know about feral cats in Australia. The authorities regard them as an invasive species preying upon small marsupials and mammals which they want to protect. They kill feral cats in any way they can and they don’t care whether it’s cruel and painful. It’s a massive act of speciesism gone mad. In normal times the way Australians treat feral cats would be a humongous breach of animal welfare laws but it isn’t because they make exceptions. The exceptions drive a horse and cart through animal welfare.

And today, another invasive species has been reported in the news media: deer. The UK’s Guardian newspaper reports on feral deer becoming a “slow-moving plague” on the continent of Australia. Deer were first introduced into Australia from Europe in the 19th century as game animals. Domestic cats were first introduced into Australia with the early settlers. They became feral. They procreated and now there are millions of them in the interior. The authorities don’t know how many there are but they guess and then they guess how many animals they kill. But it’s a big guessing game which they present as fact.

Feral deer in Australia
Feral deer in Australia. The streets of Sydney’s inner west. Photograph: Twitter/ Myles Houlbrook-Walk

Deer populations are expanding and it is said that they have major impacts by destroying native vegetation and irritating the citizens of Australia as they wander down high streets or sunbathe on beaches. One man was startled to find a deer sunbathing on a beach in the Royal National Park south of Sydney according to The Guardian.

Farmers are annoyed because deer affects their productivity. I guess they eat pasture designed to feed livestock. Farmers probably treat them as pests and they want tighter pest controls instigated in order to deal with pesky deer. One cattle farmer, Rowley, manages the problem by hiring a “deer harvester” to shoot feral deer for commercial use. It seems they go out at night using thermal scanners and night vision rifle scopes to detect beer and pop them off. More fun for the shooters. More pain for the animals.

Experts say that it is time to bring the deer population under control. There has been an increased frequency of stories describing the negative impact that they have on farms. Andrew Cox, the chief executive of the Invasive Species Council describes deer as voracious eaters that can strip the under-storey of large areas bare.

Australia is doing battle with trying to find a balance between conservation and animal welfare. In my opinion they are failing on this. They are also failing on climate control. They’ve been selling coal to China for ages which stokes up carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causing global warming. And then Australia has massive forest fires destroying wildlife habitat and the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef, which is completely counter to the objectives of the nation’s wishes to conserve native species. Another mess in my view.

It seems to me that the Australian authorities are in conflict about almost anything concerning animal welfare and conservation.

P.S. Animal welfare laws in Australia are on a state-by-state basis. There is no overarching federal law in this regard.


Australia's feral cats might be able to suppress the rat plagues in Australia

Queensland are killing feral cats as fast as they can but are plagued by rats

I'm told that the feral cats of Australia are larger than the usual European variety (see link below) because they ...
Take proactive steps to deal with Australia's feral cats

Proactivity is the way to deal with feral cats in Australia

Australia's Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek, recently declared war on feral cats. I thought that Australia had been at war with ...
ACT Government logo

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) acts humanely towards feral cats while the other jurisdictions do not

ACT government. Image: Wikipedia. As an introduction I would like to say this: the volunteers who manage feral cat colonies ...
Nativism and speciesism is behind the mass killing of Australia's feral cats

Australians are ‘nativists’ who want to destroy feral cats and restrict cat ownership

I had never heard of the word 'nativist' until Nathan Winograd used it. It is good one when used to ...
Tasmania's feral cats are attracted to a feather boa in a study conducted by Alexandra Paton. The photograph is by her using a camera trap.

Tasmania’s feral cats are attracted to a feather boa

A study found that feather boas are effective in luring feral cats. The person who carried out the study, Alexandra ...
Great team at Vigil For Brandy The Cat today! "We had Channel 7 and Daily Mail Australia coverage." - organiser

Impressive protest for justice outside Australian court for tortured cat Brandy and tougher punishments for animal abusers

NEWS AND OPINION: The video explains the alleged crime. It is a good video as it covers all the points ...

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

follow it link and logo

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

I welcome and value comments. Please share your thoughts. All comments are currently unmoderated.

This blog is seen in 199 of the world's country's according to Google Analytics which is pretty much the entire world.

Scroll to Top