Last week, the Australian Government announced plans to kill 2 million feral cats in the next five years, blaming them for the extinction of 28 mammals within the country. The strategy to kill millions of cats drew outrage from many, including French film icon Brigitte Bardot.
In an open letter to Environment Minister Greg Hunt, the 80-year-old sex kitten of the 60s stated:
“Your country is sullied by the blood of millions of innocent animals so please, don’t add cats to this morbid record. This animal genocide is inhumane and ridiculous. In addition to being cruel, killing these cats is absolutely useless since the rest of them will keep breeding.”
Bardot, an animal rights activist, believes that the $6.6 million set aside to kill the animals would be better spent on sterilizing the cats to decrease the spread of overpopulation in the feral cat communities; calling the proposal “inhumane, ridiculous, and appalling.”
Hunt, however, disagrees. Australia’s feral cats have been identified as being the main culprit in the extinction of many of the country’s mammals, with 20 million feral cats residing in the country and, according to his sources, preying on Australia’s native animals every night.
“They are tsunamis of violence and death for Australia’s native species,” Hunt told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation last week.
Hunt’s opinions were backed by Atticus Fleming, the Australian Wildlife Conservancy chief executive, who stated that killing the cats “is necessary,” adding “If you decide you want feral cats in our landscape then you are effectively saying you do not want native mammals such as our bilby.”
Bardot, however, won’t budge on her stance; and many are following in her footsteps – including several ecologists and officials from the organization Animals Australia, all whom question the effectiveness of such a radical, cruel method for controlling the feral cat population.
“Killing cats to protect other animals is outrageous, you will disperse harmful products, dangerous for all species, without distinction, and death by poisoning is a terrifying pain,” Bardot stated in her open letter. “In addition to being cruel, killing these cats is totally useless because the rest of them will keep breeding.”