Judg­ing gen­er­a­tions

The Weekend Australian - Magazine - - INBOX -

It is a sober­ing thought that a third of a bil­lion na­tive birds are killed by cats, do­mes­tic and feral, in Aus­tralia ev­ery year, not to men­tion the dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect they have on our na­tive mar­su­pi­als and rep­tiles. Isn’t it about time the idea of hav­ing a pet cat in this coun­try should carry the same stigma as be­ing a drink driver or smoker? Hav­ing spent more than 40 years pro­tect­ing sheep from din­goes on 6500 fully fenced hectares, I have wit­nessed so much de­struc­tion. When the poi­son 1080 was first re­leased to con­trol din­goes it just about cleaned out the cat and fox pop­u­la­tion in­side. Af­ter two years, we saw a magical re­turn of all the small ground-dwelling birds as well as bandi­coots, kan­ga­roo rats, mar­su­pial mice and lizards. If we are fair dinkum about the cat prob­lem then we need to in­tro­duce a virus to con­trol their num­bers. When you have seen how mag­nif­i­cent our en­vi­ron­ment is without these preda­tors, there re­ally is no al­ter­na­tive. Adam C. Clark Ta­room, Qld Bernard, the Aus­tralia you think ex­isted in the 1950s and ’60s is not the one I ex­pe­ri­enced (“Col­lec­tive guilt? Fair go mate”, May 26-27). Sure, there was lit­tle un­der­stand­ing of the rain­bow is­sues and pre­cious lit­tle tol­er­ance to­wards those con­cerned. But there was much that was pos­i­tive. At the in­di­vid­ual level, peo­ple were more re­silient, with greater in­de­pen­dence of mind. Please don’t fall into the trap of “yes­ter­day, all bad; to­day, so much bet­ter”. so­ci­ety when Aus­tralia con­tin­ues to lock up refugees seek­ing asy­lum and sub­ject­ing them to in­def­i­nite im­pris­on­ment. In­di­vid­ual Aus­tralians may be fair and hu­mane but as a so­ci­ety we should be ashamed of our treat­ment of refugees. Mar­garet and Paul Wilkes Cottes­loe, WA song by Don­ald Brad­man) “the rain­bow in my sky”. Frea Bolt Shelley, WA Nikki Gem­mell’s com­ments on de­vo­tion and com­mit­ment in mar­riage were timely, true, and very well ex­pressed. Bruce Arm­strong Buderim, Qld

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