February 5, 2013Comments are closed.cats
Ranger – “Are these your cats?”
Irresponsible Owner – “Yup”
Ranger – “I’m going to fine you because you let them breed”
Irresponsible Owner – “Oh, THOSE cats. Nope, they just showed up here.”
[Cat family impounded. Later killed.]
Back in 2010, the ACT came out to reveal that despite ten years of some of the most comprehensive cats laws in the country – including mandatory desexing – there had failed to be a reduction in the number of cats entering their shelters.
Basically, it’s nearly impossible to enforce a cat law. Certainly, you can implement laws which see extra cats picked up by rangers – but if you desire to bring the kill rate of pounds shelters down, cat laws – even ones that sound really good – don’t do it.
Tasmania ignored the experience of the ACT – desiring to have cat laws of their own. From July 1 2012, only government approved ‘breeders’ were authorised to breed cats, with expanded powers for rangers to impound ‘feral’ and free roaming animals. All of which was supposed to decrease killing;
“The aim is to reduce the number of unwanted cats that are euthanased each year,” says Craig Elliott, manager of the Invasive Species Branch in the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.
The RSPCA in the state also championed the new laws;
“It goes a long way towards pushing people to be more responsible,” (RSPCA chief executive Ben Sturges) said.
“We hope this legislation will ultimately see fewer feral cats and unwanted kittens coming through our shelters.”
Of course, expanding powers of impoundment never leads to less killing. And cats, bless them, have kept on breeding anyway.
The ten year President of the Hobart Cat Centre, Ingrid Tebb, is now wondering why her always-leads-to-more-killing cat laws are… you guessed it… failing to save lives;
The Cat Management Act, introduced on July 1, 2012, we believed, was going to be our “saviour”, and that of thousands of unwanted felines. It was truly a heady time our little island was once again leading the way with an act that surpassed the legislation of many other states, despite a few issues that need fine tuning.
So far, however, it has failed to live up to its promise.
Instead of tackling the problem head-on, proactively saving lives and changing our communities for the better, legislative bodies appear to have stuck their heads in the kitty litter, ignoring what needs to be done.
And what does she feel ‘needs to be done’?
… cats should not be allowed to gain a foothold in our environment and they should be dealt with, but in a way that acknowledges their capacity to feel pain and fear.
They need to be killed ‘humanely’. Killing – is the proposed solution to killing.
(It’s worth noting that the Hobart Cat Centre is reported to boast a 90% kill rate. Little wonder that the only answer they can offer to cat management for their state, is expanded killing)
On an island the size of Tasmania, compulsory desexing and microchipping, with an enforcement program driven by state and local governments rather than NGOs, could reduce the numbers of unwanted and stray animals to almost zero.
If we just kill enough cats, then we won’t have to kill cats… it’s brutal certainly. But is it accurate?
If the Macquarie Island is anything to go by, where the eradication of a colony of about 500 cats cost authorities $24 million Australian dollars, it indicates not.
With the Hobart Cat Centre estimating that there are about 150,000 feral cats in the state; this puts the bill for their ‘eradication’ somewhere in the vicinity of $7,200,000,000 (or seven billion two hundred million dollars).
Yeah, maybe not.
… the Hobart Cat Centre will be here with a simple message – let’s avoid the despair and darkness and be about hope desex and microchip now.
… And we’ll be standing by to offer a swift death nearly every cat who is unlucky enough to enter our facilities.