QLD $10 Feral Cat Bounty - PETA Weighs in with unrealistic solutions

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Research shows feral cats kill 316 million birds nationally every year. Picture: AAP Image/Mark Marathon

Queensland’s Banana Shire Council introduced a $10 feral cat bounty this week after a huge increase in feral cat numbers across the shire. The council will pay $10 for an adult cat’s scalp and $5 for a kitten.

The bounty is designed to stop the growing population of feral cats in rural areas of the central Queensland shire, where they are having a devastating effect on the native bird and mammal populations, The Morning Bulletin reports.

Environment and planning manager Chris Welch said a similar program recently introduced in the McKinlay Shire had a significant impact on the feral cat population.

“An increase in feral cat numbers has been observed, particularly though the rural areas of the shire, and council has received information from the Upper Dawson branch of the Queensland Wildlife Preservation Society raising the issue of impacts from feral and uncontrolled cats,” he said.

The Courier Mail's Cameron McCrohon reported Mr Welch said the bounty would be restricted to feral animals destroyed on rural properties.

He said a property owner didn’t need to be the party destroying the animal and requesting payment, but must sign the payment request form giving a hunter permission to be on their property. 

A recent study carried out by the Threatened Species Recovery Hub of the National Environmental Science Program found feral cats kill 316 million birds every year, while pet cats kill 61 million birds.

Lead researcher Professor John Woinarski said everybody knew cats killed birds, but this study showed the amount of predation was staggering at a national level.

“We found that the birds most likely to be killed by cats are medium-sized birds; birds that nest and feed on the ground, and birds that occur on islands or in woodlands, grassland and shrub lands,” he said.

“For Australian birds, cats are a longstanding, broadscale and deeply entrenched problem that needs to be tackled more effectively.

“Our knowledge of the impacts of cats on threatened mammals was a major stimulus for our first-ever national Threatened Species Strategy, which prioritised actions to control feral cats.”

 PETA weighs into the debate 

PEOPLE for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has hit out against Banana Shire Council after announcing they would offer a bounty on feral cats. In true PETA form their campaign is unrealistic, uneconomical and relies on scaremongering. 

The brains at PETA have said they would urge residents to keep their cat indoors in order to keep them safe of being scalped.

"In addition to being at risk of being tortured and killed by cruel people wanting to collect money for their scalps, cats who are allowed to roam outdoors risk being hit by cars, being poisoned, contracting fatal diseases, and becoming lost," a spokesperson said.

Associate Director of Campaigns at PETA, Ashley Fruno said it is not safe for residents to let their animals outside while they were unattended.

"Feral cats who are shot or poisoned suffer in the same way and feel the same pain that our companion feline friends would," she said.

"The only real solution to Australia's feral cat problem is to embark on a widespread sterilisation campaign, whereby funds are directed towards immune-contraceptive solutions that will humanely and effectively decrease homeless-cat populations."

Several points Ashley Fruno clearly doe not get. We would need endless resources to catch the cats sterilize them and then  train them to not eat native birds once released back into the wild.  

A Poll is currently running on the issue. VOTE HERE

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