Will Australia Use Inhumane Methods When Culling 2 Million Feral Cats?

Large Aussie feral cat
Large Aussie feral cat. Shooting them is inhumane. Is it illegal in Australia? I doubt it.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Yes, we are back to that evergreen topic: the Australian government’s proposals to cull millions of feral cats in order to save native animals that they love and who define the nation. They’re making a choice between an invasive species that they dislike and native species which they love. They should remind themselves that they introduced this non-native species.

Over the previous years there have been many proposals as to how best to reduce the size of the feral cat population in Australia. Many of those methods were inhumane. As a consequence there was international uproar on the Internet.

The Minister for the Environment and Energy in Australia, Josh Frydenberg, is, we are told, planning to make an announcement in March with respect to the initial grants to encourage local communities to trap and then humanely euthanise feral cats. Now that sounds good and it is reinforced by what the Threatened Species Commissioner, Gregory Andrews has said. He has called upon every mayor in Australia to provide free euthanasia of trapped feral cats.

All well and good in some ways. Although I disagree with what I consider to be the constant drip-drip of misinformation from the Australian government about the impact on native species by feral cat predation. In my opinion it is exaggerated. It is certainly estimated. It is quite easy to exaggerate the predation numbers and the negative impact upon Australian native species because it is a way of justifying mass extermination of feral cats.

Putting that aspect of this process to one side for the moment, what is disturbing is that the government might be resurrecting some other ways to cull feral cats which are considered by the Australian RSPCA to be inhumane. I think it would be foolhardy for the Australian government to use cruel methods to kill feral cats. It would work against them and to a large extent nullify the so-called benefits of reducing the feral cat population.

Other methods being discussed and proposed are baits containing a poison and employing a robotlike device (a grooming trap) which sprays a nasty poison onto feral cats (and only feral cats) whereupon the poison is licked off and ingested. This device is meant to be able to differentiate between stray, domestic cats and feral cats. I doubt whether this is possible and I feel very strongly that this device will kill many pets.

Other methods of dealing with feral cats are employing guardian dogs to protect native species and using indigenous hunters, professional trappers and shooters to hunt and kill them. This would be inhumane. Another method would be to train prey to avoid feral cats. That seems to be far-fetched.

The government’s target is to cull 2 million feral cats by 2020. The authorities in Australia believe that science supports the argument that every feral cat kills 3 to 20 native animals a week or up to 1,000 per annum.

They are particularly concerned about super-sized male feral cats which prey upon larger native species. They consider the presence of these cats to be “catastropic”. In addition, the Australian authorities believe that many native species have a low reproductive rate and that they are more susceptible to predators such as the feral cat. The cull is designed to protect 124 species most at risk such as the bandicott, the numbat and the endangered bilby.

We are told that about 211,000 feral cats were culled in 2016. We don’t know how they were killed. Five islands including Kangaroo Island and Christmas Island have made plans to eliminate all feral cats and in addition to phase out domestic cats. Initially there will be strict regulations regarding keeping a pet cat such as requiring a license. It is certainly true that feral cat predation on islands is much more damaging to native species than on the mainland.

The only real question for people like me is whether the authorities deal with the feral cat population in a decent and humane manner. Their talk about poisoning feral cats is unacceptable. They should stick to trapping and euthanasia if they want to kill them. They believe that trap-neuter-release (TNR) is impractical. I’m not sure that what they’re proposing is practical because killing feral cats has proved in the past to be ineffective.

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21 thoughts on “Will Australia Use Inhumane Methods When Culling 2 Million Feral Cats?”

  1. I can understand your point of view that humans are the only animals on the planet capable of torture, however if you were the unfortunate mouse which a cat toys with for many minutes before it kills it, would you be saying to yourself “this isn’t torture because this animal doesn’t know any better”? It may not be torture but it is an inhumane and cruel way to die.

  2. The scientific evidence Australia is using on which to base their claim is obviously incorrect. Of course they will use any argument to justify their insane decision. If you look hard enough, you can “find” a source to reinforce your argument. That source is not necessarily accurate just because it exists. Seems to me that Ausralia has a hidden agenda, whatever or whomever it may be. Someone appears ro be pulling the strings.

    • The agenda is not hidden. This is cat hate. The cat is the scapegoat and has had all the conservation issues in that country laid at it’s feet.

      • It appears to be cat hate…but why? Why are feral cats hated so severely? This kind of hatred reflects on a country’s image very negatively. After eliminating feral cats, they will simply look for the next scapegoat. Conservation issues will remain unsolved. Wake up, Australia. πŸ™

        • I don’t understand it but just in general there is a lot of cat hate even for pet cats. I got my conclusion by visiting the FB pages of some of these cat killers. They might hunt feral pigs and other invasive species rather matter of fact but when it comes to the cats feral, stray or pet there is a sick twisted mentality about killing them.

  3. The article just proves what a lot of us know-the human species is inherently arrogant, know-it-all, and determined to make nature adhere to it’s own stupid, ignorant ideas.

  4. Their method of course is to swat at the mosquito in the room while ignoring the swamp in their backyard. Feral cats have a source and it is continuous and seldom addressed with the harshness needed. Lousy pet owners.
    We are approaching kitten season here. With numerous ways to get a low cost or even free spay/neuter thousands will be born and if they live to breeding age will add their own progeny to the feral population. I do not know of any cat owner (leaving out breeders) who keep intact cats in their home let alone take responsibility for the kittens that are often wild by the time the mother cats reveal them.
    There is no pleasant way to deal with feral cat overpopulation. It would seem Australia is past TNR and that is the fault of not only the cat owners but the government for waiting until there was a crisis situation. Australia will have to deal with it in the eyes of the world. Humane trapping and euthanasia is their only option if they wish to retain any dignity in the world.

  5. Have you learned nothing? ALL methods of hunting and trapping that are allowed under the law are “humane”, or they couldn’t sell hunting licenses in any country on earth, they’d be in violation of their very own animal-cruelty and animal-abuse laws. Were you dropped on your head at an early age?

    • No you are wrong again. Just because hunting is allowed does not make it humane. It is inherently inhumane. You are a fool. Sorry but it is true. And you are arrogant. Fools often are.

      • But raising animals who live in cramped cages and pens and in their own filth their whole lives and then slaughtered for your and your cats food is “humane”. Right? Because that’s what you want, that’s the humane way! One side of your brain applauds animals living their whole lives in suffering for your store-bought needs. And then the other side of your brain condemns those who would kill animals in methods even far more humanely than you use for your store-bought foods. Animals who lived full lives and then instantly died without even knowing they’ve been shot. SMH There’s no hope for you. You’ll just have to let both halves of your brain throttle themselves to death in trying to come to terms with your complete and total hypocrisy.

        • What in heavens name makes you believe that I think that raising animals in cramped cages for slaughter is humane. I do not think it is humane. I hate it.

          It is very strange that you can make the assumptions that you make. Perhaps you simply want to attack me in any way possible but on each occasion you fail.

          You also delight in trying to insult me. Really your comments are simply pathetic. They are always pathetic. They are always incorrect and ill thought out. They are always biased. They are based on poor assumptions. They are based on incorrect facts.

          I simply cannot allow you to make comments on this website any more.

          • An illogical someone said, “What in heavens name makes you believe that I think that raising animals in cramped cages for slaughter is humane. I do not think it is humane. I hate it.”

            Then why do you support it with every can, box, or bag of cat-food that you buy, or buy off the grocery store shelf for yourself? You know that’s what you are buying. If you don’t want to be a hypocrite stop buying any and all of it. Kill those animals yourself in whatever “humane” way that you think is truly humane. Or starve yourself and your cat(s). πŸ™‚ And don’t go saying vegans don’t kill animals. Who do you think pays others to destroy all those animals to protect your crops, tilling the land-under to destroy all those animals on millions of acres of them alive or by gassing them to death with 100% ammonia gas in their lungs? Yes, vegans. You still can’t get out of this without being a total hypocrite, even if you were a 100% vegan.

            • I have no alternative but to buy cat food. All I can do is to do my best to argue for change. By which I mean to improve the lives of farm animals and all animals. Also, my cat does a lot of hunting and therefore it is not need cat food some of the time.

              You must understand that we have to accept what we can’t change and try and change that which we can’t accept.

              I am not illogical. Would you please try and make a comment without insulting people? You have a nasty habit of insulting people which tells me that you are a very angry person and therefore an unpleasant person.

              • Thanks for that information. So then, according to you, gutting animals alive or skinning them alive, like your cat does, are perfectly acceptable and humane ways to kill animals for food. Got it. Thanks! I’ll pass it along that this is what you approve of as “humane”.

                Sounds to me like you just want to blame how many animals have to die in inhumane ways (for your existence) on anyone or anything else, while your very own mirror looms ever cleaner and ever closer.

                • You have to accept nature. We are part of nature. When a cat attacks and eats prey they are acting naturally. At least their purpose is to feed themselves and survive. Humans do that kind of thing for pleasure. Hunters shoot wild animals for pleasure most of the time. Don’t blame the cat. Assess your behaviour critically.

                  • If you didn’t adopt that cat to make you feel better about your own life, then it most likely would have been destroyed and wouldn’t have tortured as many animals as it already did. So yes, any animals that it tortures during its life is clearly and cleanly caused by you being alive. You can’t get out of this one, try as you might. It can’t be done.

                    • When a cat kills its prey it does not torture the animal. It is killing the animal. Animals do not torture animals; only humans torture animals and themselves. The word “torture” is not understood in the animal kingdom. Is not part of their psyche or behaviour. It is an entirely human construct devised by humans for humans often against animals.

                    • Okay, then according to you I’ll let everyone know that you shouldn’t humanely trap or shoot cats, you should skin them alive or gut them alive. Because according to the words of Micheal Broad, there’s no such thing as “torture” in the animal kingdom, and since we are a part of nature, we can’t torture animals to death — just like his cat does.

                      Got it! Thanks! I’ll let everyone know that this is what you truly believe. Took awhile to get it out of you, but there it is, and I thank you for it! πŸ™‚

                    • I didn’t know you are that stupid to be honest. You have completely missed the point again. Humans can torture other creatures because that word “torture” relates to us and what we do but cats can’t torture for the reasons described in my last comment. You don’t seem to be able to understand that point which surprises me. I thought you had a degree of intelligence but sadly not. Either that or you are determined to insult me and that attitude makes you biased and distorts your thinking.

                    • Okay, if that’s how you feel comfortable trying to justify you not being the cause of animals being inhumanely killed by your cat, so be it. Just know that any dog that is found destroying, or even just harassing wildlife; is then in turn destroyed, and the owner harshly fined for being the one directly responsible for the death of another animal. But you go ahead and sleep well on the way that you so conveniently distance yourself from all the torture of animals that you cause by using your own cat as an extension of yourself to do so. You just do that. πŸ™‚

                    • I think you had better clarify your statement about dogs attacking animals. So if a dog chases a squirrel it has to be destroyed? If a dog bites a person it has to be destroyed? And so on. I don’t think so.

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