Should Aussie cats cop a 24-hour outdoor ban?

By Maria Kyriacou

Cats might no longer feel the grass between their paws if ban is approved. Image: Thinkstock
Cats might no longer feel the grass between their paws if ban is approved. Image: Thinkstock
Is domestic cat containment and culling of feral cats the answer to curbing the destruction of native wildlife?

Australia’s first ‘threatened species commissioner’, Gregory Andrews, has called for a 24-hour cat ban in a bid to curb the destruction of native fauna.

Andrews said that the government will seek public support for “24-hour containment requirements for domestic cats, particularly close to identified conservation area of significance”.

Moggies have made Australia their home since their introduction to the country around 200 years ago by European settlers. Their numbers have spread rapidly ever since, across the Australian continent and New Zealand.

The Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s website states that the Federal Government cites the total population estimate figure at 18 million cats in its statutory Threat Abatement Plan, with each cat killing 5-30 animals per day.

Australia’s extinction record is thought to be one of the worst  in the world, with around 29 native mammal species lost since the European settlement.Tim Doherty, a lead author of a study looking at feral cats practices and wildlife ecology PhD candidate at Edith Cowan University in Perth, said Australia has 400 different native species that are targeted by cats.

The impact of feral cats is particularly important because an effective means to deal with them hasn’t been found yet.

The government has also proposed a ‘cat cull’ to kill 2 million cats in a bid to preserve other species, which fuelled anger from renown animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot.

The iconic French actor described Australia as, “sullied by the blood of millions of innocent animals.”

Do you feel we need a 24-hour cat ban? Should Brigitte Bardot weigh into Australia’s debate?



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