Tuesday 16 February 2021

Brutal Australians playing God after they screwed up over feral cats

Going back to the beginnings of the settlement of the continent of Australia we can see the origins of today's so-called feral cat problem on that continent. Those early settlers were careless with their cats. They let them roam and they left them behind when they moved. These are the foundation cats of what the 'experts' believe are millions of feral cats today in Australia. 

And it bugs the hell out of Australians. Not all Australians, but the conservationists, cat haters and those want to protect their cute native species which they prefer the look of. It's a heavy dose of speciesism and it is playing God. It is preferring one animal over the other and it is a rearguard attempt to correct the disastrous errors of the past.

A western pygmy possum trapped in the area of proposed killing of feral cats
A western pygmy possum trapped in the area of proposed killing of feral cats. Credit: see image.

But in doing this they quote information about feral cat predation on native species in Australia as if it is written in tablets of stone but it isn't. It is guesswork. They don't know how many feral cats there are in Australia and therefore they can't work out how many native species are killed by the animals. So give us a break please Australian conservationists.

And in playing God I don't mean creating something beautiful or even ugly. I mean the painful destruction on a grand scale of feral cats. That is what playing God means in this instance. And we are told today that one of the nation's biggest conservation groups has decided to work with the Western Australian government to put down poison bait to kill foxes, feral cats and rabbits as well. They want to restore the native animals to their traditional domain in the words of the journalist on The Age website.

They are targeting a conservation area of 5,000 acres owned and managed by Bush Heritage Australia. We have heard it before; feral cats have a big negative impact on the sustainability i.e. survivability, of particularly small marsupials, reptiles and snakes.

The Western Australian government has been baiting the areas that it manages for a long time but the proposed programme increases the baiting area by a factor of five and it's going to target rabbits, foxes and cats simultaneously.

They use a familiar poison called 1080 which is designed specifically the cats apparently. The project will last five years and cover 40,000 hectors. Then intend to protect pets and working dogs "as well as possible". That is a point of contention. It is accepted that some pets will be killed. They say that the poison degrades quickly after rain and it is not toxic to native animals. I'm not sure how that works to be honest. It is made from plant species found in south-west Western Australia.

And then the journalist quotes the usual figures saying that feral cats kill 272 million birds, 466 million reptiles and 815 million mammals annually. They quote the source as the WA Biodiversity Science Institute. Well, I'd like to know where that institute gets their numbers from. Yes, we know feral cats kill native species but you can deal with the matter in a less brutal and more humane way by, for example, using TNR programs which will take much longer and I would propose genetic engineering about which I have written recently in which you can read about by clicking here.

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