Bar­dot an­gry at cull

Townsville Bulletin - - CLASSIFIEDS -

FRENCH ac­tor Brigitte Bar­dot has con­demned an Aus­tralian plan to cull two mil­lion feral cats to stop them harm­ing na­tive an­i­mals, a pro­posal an­i­mal rights groups said yesterday was un­likely to be suc­cess­ful.

Feral cats have been iden­ti­fied as the main cul­prit be­hind Aus­tralia’s high rate of mam­mal ex­tinc­tion, with more than 10 per cent of species wiped out since Euro­peans set­tled here two cen­turies ago.

En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Greg Hunt has said the ad­vice he had re­ceived was that the cats num­bered 20 mil­lion across the coun­try and de­voured count­less na­tive an­i­mals ev­ery night.

“They are tsunamis of vi­o­lence and death for Aus­tralia’s na­tive species,” he said.

A tar­get of erad­i­cat­ing two mil­lion feral cats had been set for 2020, in ad­di­tion to cre­at­ing feral- free en­clo­sures to aid the re­cov­ery of birds and mam­mals, among other mea­sures, he said.

The Gov­ern­ment has stressed the erad­i­ca­tion of cats will be car­ried out hu­manely, but Bar­dot urged the Gov­ern­ment to re­con­sider the plan which she said was “ap­palling” to the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

“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,” she said in an open let­ter to Mr Hunt. Bar­dot, who said the money set aside too de­stroy the an­i­malss would be bet­ter spent t on a large- scale ster­il­i­sa­tion cam­paign, said Aus­tralia’s public im­age e was be­ing hurt by its s culling of an­i­mals.

Ear­lier this year of­fi­cials said that close to 700 koalas had been n killed off in south­east­ern Aus­tralia be­cause over­pop­u­la­tion led to the an­i­mals starv­ing, while feral camels and wild horses have been culled in the out­back to stop them de­stroy­ing land.

“Your coun­try is sul­lied by the blood of mil­lions of in­no­cent an­i­mals, so please, don’t add cats to this mor­bid record,” Bar­dot wrote.

Peo­ple for the Eth­i­cal Treat­ment of An­i­mals ( PETA) said the culling of an­i­mals had been proven to be in­ef­fec­tive and called on the Gov­ern­ment to look for long- term, non- lethal so­lu­tions.

“Not only is shoot­ing and poi­son­ing cats cruel, culls have been shown to be un­suc­cess­ful in the long- term,” a PETA spokes­woman said.

BAD IM­AGE: Brigitte Bar­dot ( inset)

has crit­i­cised culling feral cats.

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