Cat busters condemned

Cats call: Facebook page of the Cat Busters group contains several images of dead feral cats and urges culling of the wild animals. Picture source: Facebook

Cats call: Facebook page of the Cat Busters group contains several images of dead feral cats and urges culling of the wild animals. Picture source: Facebook

IMAGES on a Facebook page dedicated to the killing of feral cats have been called “disturbing” by federal Liberal MP for Flinders Greg Hunt.

Mr Hunt, appointed as Industry, Innovation and Science Minister in a Coalition government cabinet reshuffle last week, was contacted by The Times for comment on the Cat Busters page while still Environment Minister.

In 2014 Mr Hunt launched a $10 million federal government program “to tackle feral cats”, as part of a Threatened Species Strategy, across Australia since the wild cats pose a threat to native animals.

Despite the government’s push to eradicate feral cats, Mr Hunt cautioned against people taking matters into their own hands.

“The images on the Cat Busters Facebook page are disturbing,” he said in a statement.

“The federal government condemns the messages and information portrayed on the site and will report any inhumane treatment of animals to the relevant state authorities.

“The federal government does not encourage individuals to shoot or trap feral cats.”

The creators of the Cat Busters page came under fire earlier this month when flyers were distributed in the Frankston area notifying residents stray cats (‘Who you gonna call? Not Cat Busters’, The Times 18/7/16).

Cat Busters representative Matt Trim told The Times the group does not shoot in residential areas or kill domestic stray cats, preferring to use cages to trap the errant pets during council mandated curfew times.

Mr Hunt faced criticism from global animal rights activists, including French actress Brigitte Bardot and Steven Morrissey, the former singer of English indie band The Smiths, over the government’s allegedly “inhumane” plans to kill 2 million feral cats across Australia over five years.

Mr Hunt stuck to his guns saying the government eradicates feral cats in accordance with the RSPCA’s “criteria of humane, effective and justifiable culling”.

The Liberal MP for Flinders said the government has also allocated $4 million to the development of a poison called Curiosity to kill cats.

“It is a highly effective and humane feral cat bait that is currently being assessed for use and is expected to be available shortly.”

First published in the Frankston Times – 25 July 2016

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5 thoughts on “Cat busters condemned

  1. “The federal government does not encourage individuals to shoot or trap feral cats.”

    The Commonwealth Threat abatement plan for predation by feral cats says different.

    Every state government also encourages it. Their websites are full of instructions on exactly how to do it.
    So do local governments. They even let you borrow their traps to do it.

    Then there are land management groups: “Landowners will be
    encouraged to undertake trapping and hunters will be encouraged to shoot
    cats. ”

    Who exactly does he think he’s kidding? As Science Minister, he should know better – or listen to his staffers who do.

  2. Cat Busters are drawing the public’s attention to the problems of cats in Australia. Hunters pose for their trophy shots. This happens in all walks of life – even in war zones.

    These types of photos do not advance the cause but more reveal an individual.

    Cats are a serious problem in Australia – feral and abandoned cats need to be removed from the environment and euthanized – owners of companion cats have to learn to be more responsible.

    Not all cat owners are irresponsible. Responsible cat owners should join the debate to help the public understand and accept the responsibility that comes from owning a companion cat.

  3. Johanna van de Woestijne 36 26 July 2016 at 10:36 am - Reply

    Cats are not really correctly referred to as wild animals, they are more correctly called feral animals, because they are a domesticated species that has been allowed to go feral. That doesn’t make them a natural part of the wild life or ecosystem. It sounds like residents and citizens need to be given a valid way to contribute to the removal of feral cats from their areas. As a Californian, I hope we won’t be imitated. Feral cats have more property rights here than the property owners. We can’t prevent release of neutered feral cats back onto our properties here, even if we have native species of ground nesting birds at risk and actively breeding. Go figure.

  4. Yes I want to know why they hate cats too. Would they go around and shoot stray dogs too? Probably not. Why don’t they use TNR (trap, neuter,and return) as it is a more humane way to control the cat population. By neutering the cats, they won’t reproduce. Less kittens equal less cats. This will certainly curb the feral cat community. In the US this man would be arrested for animal abuse and would be fined and/or jailed. I am personally discussed with the way they treat cats there. It’s not the humane thing to do.

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