Australia’s native animal species are in a crisis and they believe feral cats are to blame. In an effort to protect its native species, the Australian government plans to kill 2 million feral cats by 2020. Authorities claim that their native species face extinction because of the predatory behavior of the feral cat population.
Australia didn’t always have this problem. Cats were actually introduced to the territory about 200 years ago and spread quickly across the country. It is estimated that the feral cats in the country kill about 75 million native animals a day. In fact, Australia has one of the worst extinction records in the world. Since the European arrival, it is estimated that they have lost about 29 native mammal species.
The government says they are taking steps to ensure that the cull of ferals will be carried out humanely, but they plan to use the methods of baiting, shooting, and poisoning the cats in order to eliminate them. The majority of the 6.6 million dollar government funding for this extermination plan will go towards the actual killing of feral cats in the area. Although the spread of invasive feral cats is a very real problem, Australia’s aggressive methods for dealing with them is not the ideal solution for animal lovers, so what should be done instead?
A humane solution
Killing most of today’s feral cat population does not solve the long-term problem of overpopulation. In fact, it does quite the opposite. Feral cats tend to settle in areas that are desirable for outdoor animals, such as areas that provide shelter or have easy access to food. Trapping and killing one colony of feral cats simply opens up that habitat for a new feral cat colony. Instead of spending millions of dollars of government money on culling these cats, they should establish a sterilization practice that will help them in the long run.
The ASPCA encourages a “Trap, Neuter, Return” method of handling feral cat colonies. Trapping the cats, vaccinating them, sterilizing them, and then releasing them back into their home is the best way to stabilize feral colonies. This trap, neuter, return method is a less expensive and more effective way to manage feral cat colonies because it eliminates their mating behavior, reduces the chances of diseases spreading, and improves the quality of life of the feral cats. Encourage the humane control of feral cats by donating to our Gifts That Give More that provides safe traps for ferals. Donate now to help feral cats in need!
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