Thursday 22 January 2009

Cat Licenses

The concept of cat licenses is occasionally discussed as a possible solution to what could be called "the feral cat problem". I would rather call it "the irresponsible people problem". Anyway, the Australians have a particular dislike of feral cats (not all Australians, but certainly some of the politicians). They are keen to solve a problem that they created and don't know how. So, they resort to shooting them. Pretty basic I guess and a sure sign of three things (a) a lack of imagination and understanding of the problem (b) a cruel streak (c) desperation.

See Ground Shooting of Feral Cats
Bengal Cat Shot in Australia
Savannah cat ban in Australia

Well, the local authority at that well known place, Alice Springs, decided to institute cat licenses to attempt to better manage cat "ownership". A brave effort but the problem is people don't want to bother to register. Obviously registration is voluntary. And that tells us why it is unlikely to work. The authorities don't know who has the cats so can't enforce licensing. Being voluntary will probably mean that the responsible people will come forward and apply for licenses while the people the local authority want to better control (and punish) will not bother. The system of cat licenses is therefore fundamentally flawed. However, I personally applaud them for trying. It is far better than simply encouraging Australians to go around shooting up cats like the Bengal cat mentioned above. Dog licensing was abandoned in the UK in 1987 as far as I understand; recognition that it doesn't work.

Cat Licenses to Home Page

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