PORT OF NEWCASTLE, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA — NEWS AND COMMENT: Observers of the way the Australian authorities are dealing with feral cats in their country should not be surprised by the mindless massacre of managed feral cats at the Port of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. At least 12 community cats are dead, maimed or missing.
And it is utterly mindless for the Port Authority to employ a contractor to go around the port shooting sterilised feral cats who are being managed by volunteers under a TNR program. One aspect of the mindlessness of this is that the survivors who were badly injured have been taken to veterinarians for treatment. On the one hand you have the thugs shooting at cats on a jetty at the port and on the other hand you have volunteers picking up the pieces and taking the injured, surviving cats to veterinarians for surgery. If that doesn’t strike you as idiotic then nothing will.
And this sort of culling by shooting is permanently and vigourously encouraged by the authorities because there have been countless articles in the news media about the local authorities across the Australian continent killing feral cats in any way possible with a complete disregard for the pain and suffering that they are causing and the fact that humans put the cats there in the first place.
There is a complete lack of humanity in this sort of human behaviour and it doesn’t work in any case because when people kill cats who’ve colonised an area because there is a source of food, new cats come into the area to replace them. This is a well-known effect which has been publicised for many years on the Internet. Clearly the Port Authority haven’t read about it. I have to conclude, therefore, that they are ignorant as well as cruel.
The Newcastle Port Authority called their behaviour a cull but Alley Cat Allies called it a massacre. The latter description is more accurate. The cats were shot at the Stockton Breakwall, a public beach jetty in December 2020. The volunteers who managed to cats were devastated when they discovered the bloody scene.
They said that one cat, Rosie (see above), had been shot in the eye and another cat had been left blind and with a hernia. Some cats were missing, presumed killed. Some survived, suffering enormous pain. Some of the injured cats are still at large.
It should be stressed that these were sterilised cats. In America some local authorities, in effect, licence volunteers under these TNR programs so they work in conjunction with them which gives some legitimacy and value to the cats which in turn helps to protect them. Clearly Australia does not have this kind of sophisticated system in place.
The TNR program at this port had reduced the number of cats from 100 to about 40 in recent years we are told. And shockingly, the volunteers were not warned about the shooting and neither were they given any indication that the Port Authority objected to the presence of the community cats in the area. Why didn’t they discuss the matter beforehand? More ignorance I’m afraid.
A spokesperson for Alley Cat Allies said that: “The Port’s actions serve as a reminder that in far too many places around the world, including in Australia and the United States, there persists an archaic mindset that killing cats is viable and necessary. Humane, nonlethal sterilisation is being utilised all over the globe because it works. Killing does not work.”
There has been international condemnation of the Port Authority’s behaviour. When will people learn?
P.S. The Port of Newcastle in NSW is just north of Sydney on the east coast.
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