Cats Kill 1.5 Billion Native Animals a Year

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Feral cats now inhabit 99.8 percent of the continent and are the major contributor to the extinction of 20 out of 29 mammal species.A parliamentary inquiry will investigate the impact on Australia’s wildlife of feral cats, which kill millions of native animals each day.

The inquiry will look into the effectiveness of control measures such as baiting feral cats, feral cat free areas, links between domestic cat ownership and feral cat populations, as well as co-operation among state and federal governments.

A CSIRO studyauthored by Professors John Woinarski, Sarah Legge and Chris Dickman. have shown that in an average year more than two million feral cats roam the bush and each of them kills 576 native animals in a 12-month span.

With statistics like this a nation wide bounty should also be delared to promote the hunting of these native predators.

Feral and domestic cats combined kill more than 1.5 billion native reptiles, birds and mammals a year, according to the

Wild cat - SA Natural resources image

Threatened Species Recovery Hub.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the Invasive Species Council chief executive Andrew Cox said the inquiry’s terms of reference looked “pretty comprehensive” and said he hoped it would help establish a national control program for feral cats, including a consistent baiting regime, as well as a campaign to raise awareness of the impact of domestic cats on wildlife.

“Not all states have control plans, and not all have declared cats as pest animals,” said Mr Cox, who is a member of the federal government’s Feral Cat Taskforce.

“A lot of cat owners think they have a right to let their cats roam, and that is good for the cats. But the RSPCA has shown cats can get used to living indoors.”

Professor Legge said last year the feral cat population “can double when good rain leads to an abundance of prey animals”.

“On average each pet cat kills about 75 animals per year, but many of these kills are never witnessed by their owners,” Professor Legge said.

With statistics like this a nation wide bounty should also be delared to promote the hunting of these native predators.

Public submissions close on July 30.

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