Showing posts with label news media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label news media. Show all posts

Thursday 30 December 2021

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) misleads their readers regarding the feral cats of Kangaroo Island

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation have a headline, today (Dec 30, 2021), on their website which I would strongly argue is very misleading and deliberately so. They state that hundreds of feral cats have been "removed" from Kangaroo Island in a bid to protect endangered native species.

It is the use of the word "removed" which I believe has been deliberately chosen to paint the authorities in a better light that should be the case. These feral cats have been removed, yes, but they have been removed because they've been killed. This is actually mass slaughter. The authorities are killing feral cats in their many thousands. It has been going on for a long time. However, it is the first time I've seen this kind of language used which distorts the true picture.

A deadly feral cat pointing device which delights the Australian authorities even though it kills feral cats in a decidedly inhumane way.
A deadly feral cat pointing device which delights the Australian authorities even though it kills feral cats in a decidedly inhumane way. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation call this device a trap when it simply is not.

Of course, as usual they refer to feral cats as 'pests'. It is rather strange because in some countries feral cats are not regarded as pests but as community cats. The Australian viewpoint is a very negative.

How do you decide if an animal is a pest or not? Well, I would argue that they have labelled feral cats as pests because they kill native species. To restate that in a different way: the behaviour of feral cats leads to the death of native species. And so they call them pests.

On that criterion, they would have to call themselves pests because humans in various ways kill more native species than feral cats. You won't find any information or hard facts on it. It is an estimate from me. But that is not a bad thing because all the numbers about the killing of native species by feral cats in Australia are estimates anyway.

There is one particular method of killing feral cats which they delight in. In another example of a distortion of the truth and heavily biased reporting, they describe the Felixer as a "trap". It is not a trap. It is a device which chucks 1080 poison onto passing feral cats. They groom themselves and ingest the poison and die a painful death. 

RELATED: Picture of feral cat Doomsday Machine.

There is no way on God's earth that you can call this device a trap. Nothing is trapped. It just kills feral and stray cats. It also kills domestic cats and other animals but it is designed to feral cats only. How effective is it?

They persist in calling this feral cat poison a trap and that it is five times more effective than a standard cage trap. Standard cage traps do not kill the cats. Cage traps are not designed to kill cats but to trap them after which they can be sterilised and returned under a TNR program or in the worst case scenario they can be euthanised in an humane way.

The Felixer simply poisons animals. There is no attempt to kill the cats humanely under this scheme. Whether it is humane or not is entirely irrelevant to these people.

Saturday 2 October 2021

Emily Brown from Hayle, UK, has never seen so many cats killed by motorists

NEWS AND VIEWS - HAYLE, UK: Emily Brown is giving up on the human race. She has never seen so many cats killed on the roads in her seaside town. She is complaining about the motorists on the website of the newspaper Cornwall Live. And she is right to complain. She says the town is plagued by hit-and-run drivers killing people's companion cats. 

Emily Brown
Emily Brown. Photo provided by her.

They don't stop, she says. She was taught to treat others properly and decently and can't understand why drivers just carry on. A 20 mph speed limit is in operation in her town, as I understand it. But this doesn't seem to make any difference in terms of killing pets on the road.

Tourist town

It seems that the problem was caused, or certainly exacerbated, by a huge influx of tourists when the doors unlocked when the pandemic eased back and the government allowed freedom of movement. Emily Brown said:

"The world has gone mad with cars everywhere. The traffic has been bad anyway because of summer and all the tourists. I think we need a 20 is Plenty campaign here in Hayle."

She is concerned that one day a child will be hit and there have been some near misses. In the photograph she is standing on Trevassack Hill where an incident occurred. And she has regularly read about cats being killed on the road on Queensway which is a new estate near the Copper House public house.

Cats and kittens run over on the road are left where they died and she said that she is forced to deal with them. Recently she called one of her friends to help move a cat because she didn't want children to see the dead animal on the road. She has seen posts about missing cats in Hayle weekly and sometimes daily.

She also said:

"It makes me feel like I'm losing faith in humankind".

I completely understand that. She believes that at least drivers could do something and pick up the animals and try to find the owner or take the cat to a veterinarian to let them scan a microchip to find the owner. She has contacted the local police and local authority about providing road signage to tell people to slow down. Clearly drivers are not adhering to the 20 mph speed limit. I can understand that as well I'm afraid. The 20 mph speed limit is too slow for many people. They regularly break it.

It seems that the local authority will not put up new signage because of the cost. She said: "It's all to do with money, but that shouldn't be an excuse."

The other side of the coin

The other side of the coin needs to be mentioned: cat owners allowing their pets to roam freely over dangerous roads. If cat owners live near active roads they should keep their cat inside. Although the idea of full-time indoor cats is catching on in the UK there is resistance to it. The default is to let cats go outside unsupervised. There are two sides to this problem. We can't put all the blame on car drivers. Cat owners have a responsibility to keep their cats safe.

Tuesday 28 September 2021

Black cat theft warning at Halloween is trying to be helpful and not a threat

BIRMINGHAM, UK-NEWS AND COMMENT: News media is reporting on a mysterious note that has been stuffed through letter boxes in King's Heath, Birmingham, UK. It appears that some people found this note a bit disturbing. News media state that the letter created "grave concern". As you can see it is a simple warning on lined notepaper in tidy handwriting. It is almost certain that the person who wrote it is a woman and probably a young woman. The handwriting is very female and the smiley at the end is also a female trait. This adds to the certainty that it was written with good intentions.

Black cat theft warning at Halloween is genuine and not a threat
Black cat theft warning at Halloween is genuine and not a threat. What I mean is that it is intended to be helpful. Picture: Facebook.

We can only see a part of the note but my interpretation of it is that it was written with a genuine concern for black cats in the area. Perhaps one of the residents felt it necessary to provide neighbours with a reminder that black cats can be a danger during Halloween.

One person responded on Facebook by saying: 

"I do worry extra about my 2 black cats around Halloween. Always try and have them both in by dark all year round."

And another said: 

"People have been hurting black cats on Halloween for years unfortunately due to the superstitions etc. I've never allowed mine out on Halloween or days either side just in case."

Both are sensible comments. Cats Protection, the cat charity, chipped in by saying that they had not come across this sort of human behaviour before and they had not seen any real evidence to suggest that there was a rise in cat thefts around Halloween. Although they did understand that people might be concerned about the note.

That is an interesting observation because in the USA where Halloween is much bigger, I feel that there is also a bigger concern about the welfare of black cats during Halloween. Cats Protection clearly feels that black cats are no more at-risk during Halloween than any other time. Although they agreed that keeping cats inside reduces the chance of possible theft or abuse and all the other usual problems that can occur when outside the home such as road traffic accidents and getting into fights with other cats.

Tuesday 20 July 2021

Bengal cat trapped in neighbour's bathroom and found after two weeks

NEWS AND VIEWS: This is a novel way for a cat to become lost so it is worth mentioning. Also, the cat is a purebred Bengal. His name is Batty. It's unusual for such a glamorous cat to be allowed to wander outside. I'm not sure that I would be able to accept that if I lived with a Bengal cat. Too much worry about the cat being stolen.

Bengal cat Batty
Bengal cat Batty. He was trapped in a neighbour's bathroom for two weeks! He is recovering nicely. Photo: Colin McNeil, the owner with his family

Batty lives in Midlothian, Scotland. He was missing for about two weeks because he was trapped in a bathroom in a neighbour's property that was being renovated. The owner left the property unaware that the Bengal cat had entered her bathroom. The report does not tell us this but the door to the bathroom must've been closed on her departure. How else would the cat have been trapped?

The Bengal cat's owner is Colin McNeil and his family. They spent 12 days searching for him, putting up the usual posters et cetera. Colin feared that Batty may have been stolen which is the point I'm making.

Colin was being interviewed by Edinburgh Live when he learned that his cat had been found. As expected, he was hungry and dehydrated. It seems that he had nothing to eat or drink for two weeks. He is being nursed back to full health. They say that he is underweight.

Building contractors were working in the house where he was trapped. It seems odd that they did not spot him. I would have thought that the cat would have made some sounds to notify people of his predicament. Colin McNeil went along to the house and made enquiries but they said that they hadn't seen him. Strangely, McNeil said that the bathroom was wrecked while his cat was in it! I don't understand that part of the story.

I'm not sure that we're getting the full picture here except for the fact that the cat was trapped in a bathroom. It is the first time that I have read about a cat being lost in this way.

Friday 16 July 2021

Think of the companion animals killed by the floods in Germany

I feel compelled to write a quick note about the dramatic floods in Germany (and surrounding nations) which have killed around 160 people but the numbers will climb. And a shocking 1,300 are missing. They've put the floods down to climate change and a 1 in 1,000-year event. There are fears that there will be more of these events. Climate change or global warming is presenting as extreme weather not just a warmer planet.

Horrendous floods in Germany and Netherlands
Horrendous floods in Germany and Netherlands. A damaged road after flooding in Bad Münstereifel, Germany. Photograph: Sascha Steinbach/EPA.

Because about 160 people have been killed by these dramatic and devastating floods, it is a foregone conclusion that many companion animals have also been killed. News media is not talking about them because they talk about people first which I suppose is understandable. Update: 18th July: no news yet of companion animal rescue.

I have searched various news media outlets looking for stories about cats and dogs who have been rescued from these floods. I have not found any stories. I would like to remember those animals. Of course, I'm concerned about people and their relatives but I am equally concerned about companion animals. And, indeed, any animals including farm animals.

Pony rescued from the floods. I don't have details of the photographer. Sorry. There is more talk about the animals about 4 days after the floods but still very little.

If these floods are due to climate change, they've been caused by the behaviour of people. The companion animals are innocent victims of human behaviour. You might argue that people are the authors of their own suffering as a consequence of these climatic catastrophes. But the same argument does not apply to animals.

Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

It would be another failure of the human-to-cat and dog relationship if these floods are due to excessive amounts of carbon dioxide and other global warming gases being expelled into the atmosphere.

Here is an addition to the page. A couple of guys in flood water with cat carriers and their cats inside. This is the first photographic evidence that I have seen of cat rescue in the floods. These guys are in Belgium which was also badly affected.

A couple of guys in flood water with cat carriers and their cats inside. This is the first photographic evidence that I have seen of cat rescue in the floods. These guys are in Belgium which was also badly affected.
A couple of guys in flood water with cat carriers; the first photographic evidence that I have seen of cat rescue in the floods. This is in Belgium which was also affected. Photo: AFP/Getty.

And here are two dogs in Belgium waiting to be rescued. The photo is from AFP/Getty:

In Belgium a database of dog and cat owners has been made available to the emergency services who are operating in regions where there was heavy flooding. This will enable rescue workers to reunite animals with their owners. They will use the online dog ID and cat ID database systems but of course the animals concerned would have to be micro-chipped. The database became anonymized because of the European GDPR regulations, which is why they have to be formally opened to the rescue services. Apparently, in Belgium, rescue workers found numerous lost pets who had been dragged away by the force of the floods. We don't know whether these pets had been killed or were alive.

One problem with the floods is that in Germany there was insufficient warning. This was a major factor in the loss of life because both homeowner or home occupier and their companion animals were unable to get out of the way of the flood waters.

We've all heard about California and the near 50°C temperatures that they have been suffering. These temperatures were also felt in British Columbia just north of California. Let's think of the animals in that state and province. Let's pray that they've got air-conditioning but air-conditioning contributes to global warming because you burn fossil fuels to run the air conditioning machines.

I will update the page if the news media report on any animal rescues and the meantime I would like to express my concern that as many dogs and cats survive as possible.

Saturday 10 July 2021

Did Binx a black domestic cat survive the collapse of Champlain Towers South condo?

8777 Collins Ave, Surfside, FL News and comment: The Miami-Dade Mayor is seen on video telling the world that a black cat has emerged after the dramatic and tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium. It is a moment of light emerging from the darkness of this tragedy. 

The building is adjacent to the beach and the sea and it is believed that poor quality concrete eroded because of the sea air. So far it is known that 79 people have died while 61 are still missing. The world has read about this story. Nobody could survive that collapse looking at the rubble which is flattened.

Binx a black cat survived the Maimi Beach condo collapse?
Binx a black cat survived the Maimi Beach condo collapse? Pic: ABC News.

But it appears that Binx, a black cat has survived it. Nobody has said that this cat actually survived the crushing collapse. However, he was found in the area after the collapse and there are question marks as to why he was there. Binx lived on the ninth floor of this condominium. He must have been a full-time indoor cat. He was found and a person has claimed him as their cat.


A local cat rescue, The Kitty Campus, is involved because the cat was taken to them. They posted on Facebook what had happened but that particular post cannot be found by me. It seems impossible that Binx survived the collapse and therefore he must have been outside. And if he was outside, was he the resident of an apartment on the ninth floor of this building.

What I'm saying is that he may be a community cat of which there are quite a few in Miami Beach being looked after by volunteers. I guess the only evidence that we have that Binx lived on the ninth floor is that the owner of the apartment on the ninth floor claimed him as their own. That's the evidence.

Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

But being a cynical old man that I am, it seems plausible or at least arguable that the person who claimed Binx is not the true owner but a person who wanted to adopt a cat and perhaps wanted a bit of celebrity although we don't know the person's name which indicates that they did not want celebrity! :)

But we also know that a lot of people, a lot of the time, do rather strange things under these situations. In the past people have claimed to be the murderer of an individual when they are not. They did it for celebrity. They want to be in the news. Perhaps this person did in fact want to be in the news but she was prevented from appearing before the cameras! I have no idea because I'm speculating wildly but it sniffs of that to me.

If Binx truly did survive the collapse of this building he would be the single sentient being to do so. And it would seem to be unimaginable that it actually happened despite the enormous ability of the domestic cat to survive the most extraordinary conditions and emergencies. That's why they are said to have nine lives.

Monday 31 May 2021

Objectifying women - the cycle that constantly reinforces it

This had nothing to do with domestic cats directly but I feel compelled to write about it because I see it all the time and it annoys me. Indirectly what I am saying affects cat welfare. Celebrity woman can dress more functionally and promote cat welfare in one of many ways. They have the clout.

I want women to be totally equal to men but if celebrity women wear sexy clothes and the news media reports on it as the Daily Mail has done in this example then we simply reinforce the objectification of women and we ogle them as some sort of sex objects. It has to stop. Note: Sexual objectification is the act of treating a person solely as an object of sexual desire.

Objectifying women. The cycle the reinforces this concept.

A celebrity woman wears sexy clothes and the news media report on it, such as above: Mabel sets pulses soaring in a figure-hugging halterneck jumpsuit. It is a self-perpetuating cycle. And some women complain about being objectified. A lot do as far as I can tell. Do they really mean it?

As it happens so much, maybe this is the way it should be? Maybe this is the male-female relationship. But I hear women complaining about being objectified as sex objects. They want to be treated as equals and I totally get that and support the goal. 

But when they dress in sexy clothes (which is perfectly okay) and they are reported in the news media as illustrated by the Daily Mail online newspaper we reinforce the objectification of women. They are nothing more than to be looked at for their appearance. That is the role of women in this vicious cycle which constantly reinforces this stereotype. 

If women want to break out of it, they have to wear loose fitting boring trousers and cover up their torso. In short, they should dress more like men which they will totally hate and it is an untenable idea. 

They want to be attractive and they do it for themselves. It's instinctive. It is part of their DNA and inherited genetically. It is meant to attract for mating purposes. There has to be a compromise somewhere down the line which means wearing less sexy clothes and the news media stopping these sorts of headlines.

The trouble with writing about women on a cat website is that Google never finds the page and therefore nobody reads it! Which is why I have to write this incredibly quickly because I am basically wasting my time. I hope somebody reads it and comments. I will waffle on to make the page larger which may help Google find it.

It is beyond time that this unhealthy relationship between celebrity women and the news media is broken. It simply reinforces over and over again that women are sex objects. Both parties are equally to blame. I don't want to spoil the fun because I know women enjoy wearing these sorts of garments but there is a much wider issue, one of equality, total equality and the way men perceive women. 

If men perceive women as sex objects, they are never going to be equal in the wider sense. Certainly, many women are completely equal in the workplace and in life generally but overall, you see a lack of equality and it is deeply entrenched.

By equality I don't mean that women should do men's work. They don't need to behave like men and become directors of companies which is a miserable job. Trying to force women into top executive jobs in big companies I think is unhealthy as well because I don't think women are geared up for that kind of role. You have to be a completely driven testosterone-fuelled male to do that. But there are many roles that women can fill and they should be allowed to do them in an atmosphere of complete equality.

Sunday 9 May 2021

33 cats dumped on the roadside with food then 15 of them shot dead

DUNN COUNTY, WISCONSIN, USA - NEWS AND COMMENT: In a heinous crime of great brutality perpetrated by a person or persons, 33 cats appear to have been abandoned on the roadside with a pile of cat food. Then somebody shot at them killing 15.

33 cats dumped on the roadside with food then 15 of them shot dead
 33 cats dumped on the roadside with food then 15 of them shot dead. Photo: Humane Soc.

Jamie Wagner, Kennel Manager at the Dunn County Humane Society attended the scene which she said has left her haunted. She said: "I was not prepared for what I saw. I have been working here 15 years, I have seen a lot of things. It was very horrific."

She said that it appeared that somebody had abandoned 33 cats and 15 had been shot. They don't know the circumstances as to why someone would do this. Comment: I know the reason why they did it. It is because they are cat-hating, nasty, insensitive, psychopathic individuals who think they can treat cats as inanimate objects without any consequences for what they're doing.

UPDATE 4/30/21: The reward for information leading to the person/people responsible for this act has been raised to...

Posted by Dunn County Humane Society on Wednesday, April 28, 2021

In a Facebook post from the Dunn County Humane Society they provided an update on April 30 telling us: "The reward for information leading to the person/people responsible for this act has been raised to $5000. Please report any tips directly to the Dunn County Sheriff's Department!"

They follow it by stating: "This is not the type of post we enjoy putting up, but this is such an act of cruelty that we need to do everything we can to find the person/people responsible. Any information regarding this incident would be greatly appreciated."

The details to contact these people are as follows:

  • Dunn County Humane Society (715) 232-9790
  • Dunn County Sheriff’s Office (715) 232-1348

Comment: I have been reading news media stories about this sort of cat abuse/cruelty in America and in other countries, let's be clear, for 14 years. To me, it is not surprising or shocking. I have seen similar acts of cruelty reported in news media before. This story stands out somewhat because of the numbers involved. And it is the first time I have read of cats being abandoned on the roadside and then shot at. 

It takes a particular kind of individual to do it. It seems that a person abandon the cats then stepped back and shot at them but it is entirely possible that there were two or more perpetrators namely the person who abandon the cats and then another person came along, saw them, and decided to shoot at them. Therefore the police may be searching for two or more people as the Facebook post indicates.

God willing they'll be caught. But don't hold your breath because there is invariably a lack of evidence. This probably occurred in a remote place. No cameras. No evidence.

Note: The embedded FB post may stop working. If that has happened I apologise but I have no control over it.

Sunday 2 May 2021

'The Beast of Bodmin' or another big cat picture is a crude digital manipulation

This is a photograph which has been published today on news media as an example of a mysterious big cats roaming around the UK, often Cornwall, in the south-west of England. These so-called big cat sightings in the UK pop up from time to time and every time they are pathetically inadequate photographs which simply do not provide evidence and this is another example.

'The Beast of Bodmin' or another big cat is a crude digital manipulation
'The Beast of Bodmin' or another big cat is a crude digital manipulation. Image in public domain.

You can see that this is a black domestic cat with a tail added digitally and crudely. It just looks wrong. The tail is too long and there is a small gap between the body and the beginning of the tail or that is what it looks like.

It isn't just the tail which has been digitally added in, it is also the general body conformation. The big cats are quite stocky in their overall body confirmation. Their shoulders are strong and highly muscular. The legs are thick and also muscular as they must be to hang onto large prey animals. Looking at this cat you see typical domestic cat legs. They are quite fine and slender in complete contrast to what we see when looking at big cat pictures.

It is absurd to bandy around these sorts of pathetic images and argue that they are mysterious black panthers wandering around Cornwall. Please can we stop this and be sensible.

Thursday 1 March 2018

People Begin to Distrust Facebook

A YouGov poll discovered that Facebook is losing its credibility or more precisely local newspapers are three times more trusted for news than social media platforms such as Facebook.

Local newspapers are considered the most credible in terms of providing the news. Obviously it is regional news but local newspapers lead local television and radio and search engines in terms of trustworthiness.

Seventy-four percent (74%) of people trust the information that they read in their local newspaper both online and in print whereas 22% trust local news presented on social media platforms such as Facebook.

It appears that the stories about fake news has made Britons skeptical about the news that they read on Facebook. Fewer than a quarter of people trust social media in contrast to 61% who trust traditional media such as newspapers and television.

This is ironic because both Facebook and Google have taken a large slice of classified revenues relied upon by local and national newspapers. The press is becoming increasingly unsustainable and the UK government is reviewing the situation because closing 200 local papers over the past decade is a threat to democracy.

I hope that this poll helps drive people away from Facebook and back to a more trusted source, the local newspaper. How does this impact the world of cats? Well, there is a lot of cat news on Facebook. A lot of cat welfare happens on Facebook. I get some of my stories from Facebook. We need to be able to trust this dominant social media platform and it appears that currently we are unable to do so.

As an aside, I should say that when I'm writing articles about the domestic cat or wild cat species I ensure that my primary sources are books written by the best authors. In this way I'm able to go to the root source of information rather than relying upon second or third hand information which is often presented on the Internet. We always need to go back to basics.

Friday 13 June 2014

Cat News Stories Can Be Drivel

How many stories about cats have you read that are quite frankly drivel. The cat is not only vulnerable on the streets of many cities, it is also vulnerable to exploitation by news media. I think this is an extension of the celebrity cat phenomenon. It all started off with funny cat videos and LOL cats. When is it going to end?

In this instance, we have a local British newspaper called the Norwich Evening News reporting "Aylsham residents terrorised by attacking cat". It is almost as if we have been transported to the midwest of America describing a mountain lion prowling around the suburbs of some nondescript town terrorising God-fearing residents. But no. This is a small, black and white domestic cat, possibly unneutered, who spends a lot of time outside, as often happens in Britain.

We are informed that there had been two cat attacks in this sleepy town. In one, an old lady was knocked over in her back garden by this "aggressive animal" who bit her leg. The cat was probably defending himself. Domestic cats don't attack people without reason.

Helen Copperthwaite, who is 65 years of age says:
“I have seen the cat around in my garden and was amazed at how aggressive it was. It turned on me and started to hiss and growl like it was going to fight.”
The cat is described as being distinctive having white paws and white chest. This is not a distinctive domestic cat! This is a standard black-and-white cat - a tuxedo cat, in fact. Often the paws of the cat are white when the cat carries the piebald gene which is also called the white spotting gene.

I'm afraid that I agree with one of the visitors who has commented on this article in which he stated that it is drivel. It is simply the case of a newspaper that has temporarily run out of something to say and in these situations both the domestic cat and the big cat tends to pop into the minds of reporters.

In America they would probably have euthanised it for being rabid.

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