Right now, the lives of millions of Australia’s cats are on the line.
In July 2015, Minister Hunt and the Department of the Environment in Australia announced plans to kill two million by 2020 in a misguided attempt to save wildlife. The decision was based on estimates of 15-20 million feral cats living in Australia. Recent research shows that this number is drastically exaggerated. Scientists now estimate there are between 2.1 and 6.3 million feral cats in the country. Flawed science is not the only problem with Mr. Hunt’s plan.
Habitat destruction, not cats, has caused dozens of species in Australia to go extinct and endanger many more. As Alley Cat Allies’ Founder and President Becky Robinson said, “The Australian government has repeatedly stated that it is a leader in the field of human consumption.” waged war on cats.
Hunt’s plan is not only unsound, but also ineffective and inhumane. Cats can not be eliminated through killing. Decades of failed attempts to wipe this out. Surviving cats reproduce quickly and fill the void, otherwise known as the vacuum effect.
The plan will only cause a loss of life and will not be necessary. And it’s not just the cats who will suffer. Poisons and barbaric traps are cruel and do not discriminate. Other species will be both literally and figuratively in the crossfire.
It is time for Australia to embrace ethical, sound, and proven methods. Leading conservationists argue in favor of nonlethal means of protecting animals in the bush. In urban settings, the humane and effective approach is to de-sex alley cats and return to their outdoor homes. When cats are de-sexed, populations stabilize and then decline.
The world is banding together with Australians to ask Minister Hunt to end his department’s plan to kill millions of cats. Join us.
Sign the pledge and declare that you want the Australian government to do better by cats.
I believe that we can do better by Australia’s cats. I oppose the Department of the Environment’s plan to kill cats. It is cruel and will not save wildlife. I encourage Minister Hunt and his team to go back to the drawing board and develop a slate of nonlethal strategies for protecting animals in Australia.