This is a novel, nasty and painful way of killing feral cats. A device is set up in an area where there are feral cats. Inside the device is software which I presume is linked to a camera. The combination of camera and software is able to distinguish between cats and other animals.
As all the domestic (non-feral) cats on Kangaroo Island – the place where they are going to use this device – are supposed to be registered and microchipped, the device can also detect the difference between domestic and feral cats (the device reads the microchip, I presume).
A feral cat walks next to the device and it sprays a poisonous gel onto the cat. The cat licks it off and is fatally poisoned. If that occurs many thousands of times, you eradicate all the feral cats. That is the theory. The tricky bit it turning theory into practice.
For the people organising this there is no sentiment as to whether the process causes pain and suffering. When you think about it each act of cat poisoning would be a crime in the UK. But that is neither here nor there for the Aussie authorities.
There are 5,000 feral cats on Kangaroo Island, it is believed. They believe the device will kill them all in fifteen years.
The idea is to stop feral cats killing native species. It would be tragic if the software went wrong and the device started to spray poisonous gel onto native species as well as feral cats. Or what about domestic cats who are not registered. They’d be killed too.
The device has been referred to as a ‘grooming trap’.
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