Monday 19 June 2023

Australian journalists massively exaggerate the number of native animals killed by roaming domestic cats

By a factor of more than 10, Australian journalists and the authorities in Australia exaggerate the number of native animals killed by roaming domestic cats. I mean that they multiple by more than 10 the true number. 

Domestic cat predation in Australia is hugely exaggerated
Domestic cat predation in Australia is hugely exaggerated. Image in the public domain.

How can I make that bold statement? Well, perhaps one of the oldest if not the oldest study about the predation of animals by roaming domestic cats was published in 1987. The scientists found that each domestic cat in a village killed 14 animals in one year.

"A total of 1090 prey items (535 mammals, 297 birds and 258 unidentified animals) were taken, an average of about 14 per cat per year." - Predation by domestic cats in an English village. Link:
There was a factor of 14 between animal killed and domestic cats. There are 3.8 million domestic cats in Australia according to Wikipedia. But only 2.9 million are allowed outside according to the journalist I mention below. Multiply 2,900,000 x 14 and you get 40.6 million.

That means domestic cats that are allowed to go outside in Australia kill 40.6 million animals per year in Australia as a rough number.

Laura Chung writing for The Sunday Morning Herald opens her article (link) with the statement, "the Biodiversity Council, Invasive Species Council and Birdlife Australia found that roaming pet cats kill 546 million animals a year in Australia, 323 million of which are native animals".

This is more than 10 times than that which was revealed by the study I mention which is a very distinguished and recognised study.

And, I think we can use our personal experience on the subject. My cat who is a great hunter and who is allowed outside in a productive urban environment in terms of access to wildlife, perhaps kills around 10 animals per year maximum.

Laura Chung is stating that each pre-roaming domestic cat in Australia is killing 188 animals per year! Does that sound right to you? Can you believe it? I can't. It seems fanciful. It looks like fiction to me. It means that each domestic cat is killing an animal every 2 days. It's just unbelievable.

It is another example of how journalists in Australia and the authorities on that continent exaggerate the predation of domestic and feral cats on their native species in order to push forward and campaign for domestic cat confinement around the clock. This is the goal of the authorities in Australia.

The ones who don't know better have been indoctrinated by the news media and by the authorities to believe what Laura Chung states in her article. It's a gradual training of the mind of Australian citizens to believe what I think is a fiction. It is wrong.

I could go to any other study actually and come up with a similar result. In a counterargument, you might state that free-roaming domestic cats in Australia have a much greater opportunity to kill prey animals because there are more prey animals to kill. I don't believe it. If you want to state that you're going to have to produce evidence to back it up.

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