Tanya Plibersek, the Environment Minister, has made a bold declaration – a war on feral cats.
This announcement was made ahead of National Threatened Species Day, which is recognised in Australia on 7th September each year to commemorate the death of the last Tasmanian tiger at Hobart Zoo on this date in 1936.
These innocent-looking creatures have unwittingly become the latest “environmental disaster” in Australia, threatening numerous native species with extinction.
According to the Environment Minister, cats are responsible for an astonishing number of animal deaths every year. As night falls, they stealthily hunt and kill approximately 6 million animals, including reptiles, birds, and mammals. It is a staggering figure that demands our attention.
In her impassioned statement, Ms Plibersek emphasised the importance of protecting our precious threatened species. The government has taken up this challenge, announcing a national action plan to combat feral cats and save thousands of native species teetering on the edge of survival.
The battle plan encompasses various strategies. The government aims to eliminate feral cats from the Australian landscape, creating a feral cat-free nation. To achieve this, a deadly new tool has been developed – a toxic gel that spray kills feral cats. Additionally, cat-free fenced areas and islands will serve as havens for vulnerable species.
It is important to note that the government’s war is against feral cats, not domestic ones. Responsible cat owners are encouraged to keep their pets indoors to prevent them from hunting wildlife. Recognising the love people have for their feline companions, the focus is solely on eradicating the threat posed by feral cats.
The urgency of this issue cannot be overstated. Feral cats are responsible for the majority of recent native animal extinctions in Australia. Their ruthless killing spree has had a devastating impact on our unique ecosystems. Taking action now is crucial to prevent further irreversible damage.
The government has already invested substantial funds in eradicating feral cats from Christmas Island and supporting the French Island feral cat eradication program. Furthermore, research and development efforts continue to explore innovative cat-killing technologies, such as the Felixer cat grooming trap.
This story comes at a time when the United Nations has released a report emphasising the dire consequences of non-local species on Earth’s ecosystems. Over 3,500 invasive species are currently causing irreparable harm to native wildlife. It is imperative that we recognise the severity of this issue and take immediate action on a global scale.