Categories: Killing feral cats

The eradication of feral cats in Tasmania is unfeasible

The words in the title mainly come from the Tasmanian government’s Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment website.

Feral cat in Tasmania. He is unwanted and disliked. His days are likely to be numbered.

Clearly, the Tasmania’s government want to eradicate, completely eradicate the feral cat from their island. Tasmania is an island state of Australia. We know that the Australian authorities are in a desperate bid to do the same thing: get rid of this damnable cat which Australians introduced to the island.

The reason why they can’t eradicate the feral cat from Tasmania is because it’s too expensive and because it’s too big a project. In addition there is no current legislation which allows it. Finally, the feral cat population is being constantly topped up by stray domestic cats.

They admit that it is possible to eradicate the feral cat in small areas and it is also possible to fence off wildlife reserves to prevent incursions by feral cats preying on the animals therein.

In Tasmania, the Management Act 2009 allows “primary producers” and people working for them to humanely destroy trapped or seized cats found on rural land where livestock are grazing.

On private land which is more than 1 km from a place of residence, a person can humanely destroy a cat that has been trapped or seized. They say that cats found on private land including rural and remote areas may be returned to their owners or taken to a cat management facility where the owner can be contacted. This seems to be an alternative way of dealing with a cat on private land. The act referred to allows the killing of someone’s pet.

The Tasmanian authorities admit that the only way to eradicate feral cats from the island in the long term is to change “public attitudes to cat ownership”. I presume that this refers to irresponsible cat ownership which allows stray cats to become feral and/or it may refer to the dislike by some Tasmanians of the concept of eradicating feral cats in what can only be described as mass slaughter notwithstanding that the killing is done humanely. However, we don’t know the Tasmanian definition for “humanely killing feral cats”. There is some latitude to the word ‘humanely’.

I mentioned above that the feral cat problem is a human created problem and the Tasmanian government admit to this. On their website they say that in the late 1800s there were intentional releases of cats around farms and homesteads in the expectation and hope that they would control rabbits, rats and mice. These cats are perhaps the foundation cats together with cats released by European settlers of the current troublesome feral cats on the island.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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