Bardot angry at cull
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.