Wednesday 12th of December 2018

the cat lady comes to australia...

sex kitten

Cat owners who live near areas containing threatened species could be banned from allowing their pets outdoors as the federal government sets its sights on the potential killing machines.

Australia's first threatened species commissioner, Gregory Andrews, said all cat owners should keep their pets contained 24 hours a day, saying it makes them happier and healthier, and saves native mammals.

But a veterinarian said the measure, already in place in some jurisdictions, could cause health and behavioural problems and should be implemented with caution.

 Ron Tandberg.

Illustration: Ron Tandberg.

The government's feral cat plan, released this month, has drawn ire from cat lovers the world over - including French film legend Brigitte Bardot - as it sets out to cull 2 million feral cats.


The plan also seeks to control the roaming habits of domestic cats, which can kill native wildlife and breed with feral cats.

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We all know that BB (Brigitte Bardot not Bronwyn Bishop) was a sex kitten....


for once I don't care...

I don't care about behavioural problem in cats... as long as they are prevented from killing the wildlife.


yet another diversion ....

Hi Gus.

Yes, I agree, although I wonder why we're picking on the cats when its people who have done a whole lot more to threaten the environment? 

Or is it yet just another diversion.



yes john...

but culling people is a bit of a problem... Cats are a big part of the problem, though...

cats are cats are cats... and dumb apes destroy...

Don't scapegoat cats

It is true that cats are one of the best species at adapting, killing and breeding if dumped in the bush ("Cats face 24-hour curfew to protect native animals", July 29). Show me a cat that bulldozes native vegetation for agriculture and housing estates, fragments bush land, builds roads and highways that change the watershed and topography of mountains, poisons waterways with phosphates and siltation, and creates moonscapes out of prime land.

Habitat and species loss is the fault of the creatures with the opposable thumb.

Clare Raffan Campsie

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Killers in our midst

With apologies to Clare Raffan (Letters, July 30) cats are a major direct cause of reductions and extinctions of native wildlife. The federal government estimates there are some 18 million feral cats in Australia. Conservative estimates say each feral cat kills at least five native animals every day. At that rate feral cats are killing at least 32,850,000,000 native animals each year. Clearly the target of eradicating 2 million cats is vastly inadequate. It needs to be accompanied by strong laws and heavy fines for dumping unwanted cats and allowing cats to roam outside the house. And, of course, domestic cats must be de-sexed. So yes, the creatures with opposable thumbs are ultimately responsible for such species loss but cats are the perpetrators.

Geoff Wannan Dawes Point 

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eliminating the felines...

A small island off Tasmania's south-east coast that is known for its birdlife has taken another step towards becoming completely cat-free.

Bruny Island is about 100 kilometres long and is separated from Tasmania by the D'Entrecasteaux Channel.

It supports the world's largest population of the endangered forty-spotted pardalote and about a third of the world's population of the swift parrot.

Kingborough Council, which includes Bruny Island, voted to explore strict new cat management measures in the Health and Environment Services Act at a council meeting last night.

If the community supports the cat management plan, it would eventually see domestic cats phased out.

The council will now begin consulting with residents about how to act on the new policy.

Council is proposing compulsory microchipping and de-sexing for pets, and a limit of two cats per household to be phased in.

Kingborough Mayor Steve Wass said some pet owners would need to be educated about proper cat control.

"I think it's a cultural change [for] people who always let their moggie out of a night and of course the cat might not come back for a couple of hours," he said.

"So we've got to educate people and just again remind them of what the cat can do.

"The cat is a tremendous killing machine and there are a lot of fauna out there that are at risk."

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kill a million feral cats today...


British singer Morrissey is a seasoned animal rights advocate and, heaven knows, he’s now miserable about Australia’s plan to slaughter 2 million cats.

Morrissey has called an Australian government plan to cull feral cats “idiocy”, calling the animals smaller versions of Cecil the lion, the noted Zimbabwe-based predatorwho was shot by a US dentist in July, sparking outrage.

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Morrissey? You're not serious, are you? FERAL CATS ARE NOT NATIVE TO AUSTRALIA and the wildlife here is defenceless against these KILLERS.

2 million cats would be but the start of a cull which is necessary to keep the native animal population a notch above from being extinct. You're an idiot.


they are killing the wildlife...


“Your country is sullied by the blood of millions of innocent animals so please, don’t add cats to this morbid record.”

The Australian government has now formally responded to Morrissey and Bardot through its threatened species commissioner, Gregory Andrews.

In letters seen by Guardian Australia, Andrews tells both: “I would like to commend you for your commitment to, and advocacy for, animals and their welfare.”

Andrews adds, however, that feral cats are an invasive species responsible for the extinction of at least 27 Australian mammals, such as the lesser bilby, desert bandicoot and large-eared hopping-mouse.

“We don’t want to lose any more species like these,” he wrote. “It is with this sentiment in mind that the Australian government has taken a stance on feral cats; for the protection of our native species that belong here.”

The government considers feral cats to be the greatest threat to Australia’s small mammals, birds and lizards, with 124 endangered species at risk from predation. There is a rough estimate of 20 million feral cats in Australia. Each kills at least five animals a day. The government plans to reduce this number by 2 million by 2020 through trapping, shooting and a new poison bait.

Andrews told Guardian Australia: “I never thought I’d write to Brigitte Bardot. It’s an unusual situation. I’m glad people like them care about animal welfare and I care deeply about animal welfare too.

“The threat to our wildlife are clear and feral cats are top of the list. We don’t hate cats but we don’t have a choice. We will do this as humanely as possible and we will reduce the net suffering of animals in Australia.”

Andrews said the RSPCA was involved in the process of the cull to ensure it was done humanely. He rejected Bardot’s argument that the feral cats could be desexed.


As the world population of homo sapiens climbs, there could be a need to de-sex a few humans as well...


$100 cats on the menu...


When Pintupi hunters from the Kiwirrkurra community in the Gibson Desert in central Australia catch a feral cat, they have two tasks. The first is to lop off a bit of the tail to give to Central Desert Native Title Services (CDNTS) in exchange for a $100 bounty.

The second is to cut out the stomach, which goes into a dedicated, rather stinky freezer to await the attentions of ecologist Rachel Paltridge, who sifts through the stomach contents in front of a crowd of interested locals on her regular visits to the community.

Paltridge is looking for clues for the cat’s distribution and hunting habits in the entrails, as well as any remnants of threatened species, such as the bilby.

Australia writes to Morrissey and Brigitte Bardot to defend plan to kill cats Read more



“We don’t often find any bilbies in cat stomachs in central Australia but that partly reflects the low numbers of bilbies in the area – we’d have to be lucky to get the one cat that ate a bilby,” Paltridge told Guardian Australia.

“Other threatened species like the great desert skink we find a bit more. But I am sure that they are eating bilbies – at least the young ones.”

Pintupi and other central desert tribes have been hunting feral cats for their meat for generations, but handing over their stomachs for science is a relatively new step. The CDNTS introduced the bounty for cats caught on Kiwirrkurra traditional lands last year to encourage the community to put more effort into the hunt.


a heavy heart...


From Paul Sheehan, SMH

After our cat's first experience with hunting mice – the job it was born to do – it became more furtive. The next morning, instead of the usual nestling on the bed before breakfast, it gave croaking wails, demanding to be fed. It wanted no part of the bed ritual. (After I took numerous measures – he's locked in at night and wears a bell – to inhibit mouse hunting, he has returned to his normal affections.)

The journey from domestic cat to feral cat can be short. The toll feral cats take on marsupials, birds and reptiles is staggering. One frequently mentioned estimate is 70 million creatures killed by cats every day. Per day, not per year.

Every night, millions of small marsupials squeal in terror, unheard and unsaved, destroyed by useless, destructive predators that are a by-product of our gross mismanagement of the environment, which was far healthier before the advent of European settlement.

The prolonged suffering of the mice in my home hit me. As I held that first mouse in my hand, the one I could have saved, he gave one last sigh and died. I buried him in the back garden, with a heavy heart.

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In the movie, The Last Cab to Darwin, there is an eerie sequence at sunset when we are shown a tree from which the corpses of dead cats, shot or trapped, are hung. The locals have no qualms. They see the cats, feral cats, as a major pest — an introduced pest. But for the hundred feral cats hanged in than tree, there are are thousands roaming the bush destroying the native wildlife. There is an equilibrium somewhat. The more wildlife is killed, the less cats can survive... 
But wildlife is not just "one species". The vulnerable species become extinct, others become endangered. 
Domestic cats are killers in disguise. See toon and articles from top. Humans are not much better either, taking over territory and destroying habitats.


sarge sniffo...


Cute, cuddly spaniels are becoming one of the best weapons in the Federal Government's war on feral cats.

The Office of Environment and Heritage and the Department of Environment are using the sniffer or "detector" dogs to help save endangered species, like the mountain pygmy possum.

The mountain pygmy only exists in two Australian alpine parks, and feral cats have been putting a major dent in the population.

Australia's Threatened Species Commissioner Gregory Andrews said the possums, which weigh just 45 grams when fully grown, were no match for cats.

According to Mr Andrews, snow in the mountain pygmy's habitat has been melting earlier in the season, meaning food for the animal has not been ready when they wake from hibernation, and cats have been able to target them when they are hungry and weak.

"They're knocking them off one-by-one as they wake up from hibernation," he said.

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kill a kat today...

Cats kill more than a million birds every day across Australia, according to our new estimate — the first robust attempt to quantify the problem on a nationwide scale.

By combining data on the cat population, hunting rates and spatial distribution, we calculate that they kill 377 million birds a year.

Rates are highest in Australia's dry interior, suggesting that feral cats pose a serious and largely unseen threat to native bird species.

This has been a contentious issue for more than 100 years, since the spread of feral cats encompassed the entire Australian mainland.

In 1906 the ornithologist AJ Campbell noted that the arrival of feral cats in a location often immediately preceded the decline of many native bird species, and he campaigned vigorously for action:

"Undoubtedly, if many of our highly interesting and beautiful birds, especially ground-loving species, are to be preserved from total extinction, we must as a bird-lovers' union, at no distant date face squarely a wildcat destruction scheme."

His call produced little response, and there has been no successful and enduring reduction in cat numbers since.

Nor, until now, has there been a concerted effort to find out exactly how many birds are being killed by cats.

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the enemy: cars and foxes...

Since 2015, more than 400 dead cats have been found in the city with their heads and tail removed, sparking fears of an unknown feline serial killer. 

Metropolitan Police launched Operation Takahe three years ago to coordinate an investigation into the deaths, following community concern and pressure from a local animal charity. 

Scotland Yard said media speculation about the "Croydon Cat Killer" or "M25 Cat Killer" resulted in dozens more allegations flooding in from members of the public.

Celebrities retweeted messages about missing cats and about the police investigation, while People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) offered a £5,000 ($9,000) reward to catch the "cat ripper".

Over the course of the investigation, 25 post-mortem examinations were carried out on cats.

A veterinary pathologist determined the cause of death was typically blunt force trauma, such as collisions with cars, and that the mutilations had occurred after death.

"The investigation took almost three years, due to the number of reports and allegations received from the public and the need to work with specialists to scrutinise any evidence," Metropolitan Police said in a statement.


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suburban banned cats...


A Sydney council's planned "cat ban" has fur flying as feline fans and critics debate the controversial idea.

Randwick Council in Sydney's south-east last week passed a motion that could see cats locked inside and owners fined if their pets "run free and defecate in public places".

The motion was introduced by Labor councillor Kathy Neilson — who was elected mayor the following night — and reportedly caused quite the stir in the chamber before getting majority support.

The council will establish a committee to consider measures including:

  • Keeping cats inside and confined, especially at night;
  • Higher registration fees; and,
  • Penalties to owners for allowing their cats to run free or defecate in public places or neighbouring properties as already apply to dog owners.
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the smell of blood in the french countriside...


In an article published by Le Parisien on the initiative of the Bardot Foundation, 76 associations denounced the "excesses and provocations of hunting" that are committed under the benevolent eye of the government and President Emmanuel Macron.

"That's enough!": 76 foundations and associations launched this appeal in Le Parisien published November 3, on the day of Saint-Hubert, the patron saint of hunters, "against the excesses and provocations of hunting," announced the Bardot Foundation, in this manifesto. The animal defenders denounce "cruel and morally unacceptable practices", but also "the evident disregard of elected officials in search of votes — and this is at the highest level of the State".

"What is exceptional is that 76 associations and foundations have all signed. It's extraordinary, this is the first time that there is such a passion against hunting" told Brigitte Bardot to AFP, as she is the spokesperson for these large and small signatory associations. "It's a great step against Macron!"

Among these signatories are the strongest animal defenders: Peta, L214, The 30 Million Friends Foundation, the League for the Protection of Birds, One Voice, the Wild Animal Protection League (Aspas) and even the SPA. These organizations are indignant "on top of 100 to 200 hunting accidents and 10 to 20 deaths each year, barbaric practices inflicting unacceptable suffering on the animals: badger digging, use of glue, crushing and strangling of passerines birds but also the 15 millions of farm animals released into the wild in order to be hunted like vermin"


Translation by Jules Letambour


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a dead cat is a good cat...

"Our newest weapon is the Felixer Grooming Traps, which is a really high-tech machine that uses a series of lasers to identify cats from other species," she said. 

"How it works, if a cat walks past the machine it'll spray out a dose of poison as a gel, and then the cat as a compulsory groomer will run off, sit down under a tree, lick itself to clean itself, and it will get poisoned that way.

"So it's great because it's not dependent on the cat being hungry enough to eat a bait, and we think we just got our first cat kill with this trap recently."


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