YOU’VE GOT TO BE KITTEN
CAT'S OUT OF THE BAG: A central Queensland regional council has outsourced responsibility of catching and killing cats and kittens by offering residents $10/scalp for feral cats and $5 for kittens. Mackay region Mayor Greg Williamson says he feels sorry for Banana Shire, for having such a problem it had to place a $10 “bounty” on the creatures. But he wasn’t going to be swayed by the novel approach, claiming his council’s cages were a suitable domestic policy, as opposed to large rural properties.
FERAL cats are now a hunted species after Banana Shire introduced a bounty on the pest.
The council will pay $10 for an adult cat’s scalp and $5 for a kitten.
The bounty is designed to stop the growing population of feral cats in rural areas of the shire, where they are having a devastating effect on the native bird and mammal populations.
The council has allocated $25,000 in its Land Protection budget to cover the cost of the bounty and will continue the program until this funding is exhausted.
Environment and planning manager Chris Welch said a similar program recently introduced in the McKinlay Shire had a significant impact on the feral cat population.
“An increase in feral cat numbers has been observed, and council has received information from the... Queensland Wildlife Preservation Society raising the issue of impacts from feral and uncontrolled cats,” he said.
Mr Welch said the bounty would be restricted to feral animals destroyed on rural properties.
Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said that policy wouldn’t work in this council region.
“I feel for the council that had to come to that sort of decision,” he said. “We understand the problems feral cats cause, it has gotten that bad there the council is offering a bounty. Catching feral cats on a large property with a cage wouldn’t be the answer.“