Right now, the lives of millions of Australia’s cats are on the line.
In July 2015, Minister Hunt and the Department of the Environment in Australia announced plans to kill two million cats by 2020 in a misguided attempt to save wildlife. The decision was based on estimates of 15-20 million feral cats living in Australia. Recent research shows that this number is drastically exaggerated. Scientists now estimate there are between 2.1 and 6.3 million feral cats in the country. Flawed science is not the only problem with Mr. Hunt’s plan.
Habitat destruction, not cats, has caused dozens of species in Australia to go extinct and endangers many more. As Alley Cat Allies’ Founder and president Becky Robinson said, “The Australian government has repeatedly indicated that they understand that human development is the primary cause of species loss.” Rather than focusing on the hard work of protecting the bush, Mr. Hunt has waged war on cats.
Hunt’s plan is not only unsound, but also ineffective and inhumane. Cats cannot be eliminated through killing. Decades of failed attempts to wipe cats out have proven this. Surviving cats reproduce quickly and fill the void, otherwise known as the vacuum effect.
The plan will only cause cats to suffer and die needlessly, with little change in the cat population and no benefit to wildlife. And it’s not just the cats who will suffer. Poisons and barbaric traps are cruel and do not discriminate. Other species will be caught both literally and figuratively in the crossfire.
It is time for Australia to embrace ethical, sound, and proven methods. Leading conservationists argue in favor of nonlethal means of protecting animals in the bush. In urban settings, the humane and effective approach is to de-sex alley cats and return them to their outdoor homes. When cats are de-sexed, populations stabilize and then decline.
The world is banding together with Australians to ask Minister Hunt to end his department’s plan to kill millions of cats. Join us.
Sign the pledge and declare that you want the Australian government to do better by cats.
I believe that we can and must do better by Australia's cats. I oppose the Department of the Environment's plan to kill cats. It is cruel and will not save wildlife. I encourage Minister Hunt and his team to go back to the drawing board and develop a slate of nonlethal strategies for protecting animals in Australia.
For more information visit www.alleycat.org/AussieCats