The past week has seen the debate about invasive species management fire up again, this time around feral cats.
As Fairfax reports, the Australian government announced that it has called for the destruction of 2 million feral cats out of the many more millions currently roaming the continent.
From the article:
“The federal government will unleash every weapon in its arsenal to wipe out 2 million feral cats – about a third of the population – and will provide $5 million to community groups to serve as foot soldiers in the battle.”
So is any of this money going to shooters? From the looks of it, no. Imagine our shock.
The article continues:
“Other ways to cull cats being investigated include:
- baits made from a “secret” recipe, some with a chipolata sausage;
- guardian dogs, which can be trained to protect native species. Andrews said on his Facebook page that a farmer on Kangaroo Island had a dog that was protecting wedge tailed eagle and free-range chooks from #FeralCats;
- using Indigenous hunters, professional trappers and shooters. Australia is the only continent that was cat-free until Europeans introduced cats, and
- training prey to avoid feral cats; and stopping repeat killers by using injectible “trojan” toxins – inserted into threatened species – that only activate when the cats eat the prey.”
Why only indigenous hunters? That’s a touch racist don’t you think? And training prey to avoid feral cats? Really, how much is that going to cost and how effective is that honestly going to be? It’s also contradictory to suggest further baiting if just earlier in the article it was stated that cats were “ignoring baits already set for dogs.”
The “toxin” is also a debatable idea – how do we know it won’t kill the host species?
Well, should we really be surprised at this considering how the politically correct bureaucrats have fared recently. The disastrous “suicide dingoes” at Pelorus Island backfiring spectacularly or the extravagant waste of money trying to sterilise kangaroos in the ACT both come to mind.
Just when we thought we hadn’t seen the end of the madness, SBS wasted more taxpayer money and aired this story on foxes for it’s inner city viewership, essentially a nice little fluff piece for Sydney Fox Rescue. Do yourself a favour and don’t read the Facebook comments.
Overall, it’s more of the same from the ideological bureaucrats: anything to avoid mentioning firearm owners as part of the solution.
Now, on the positive side of the equation. A community organised, three day hunt in Western Australia managed to cull 450 foxes, 11 feral cats and 10 feral pigs – all shot. Another example of how private enterprise and communities seem to do much better at looking after themselves than the federal government’s endless incompetent bureaucracy.
Take it from the farmers themselves:
“Feral pest management can only benefit from an “integrated community approach” say farmers who just took part in a three-day hunt in Western Australia’s south-west. The event attracted recreational shooters from other parts of the state, including Perth, with 450 foxes, 59 rabbits, 11 feral cats and 11 pigs tallied at the conclusion of the hunt.
The issue of feral pests is one of growing concern to farmers across WA with reports of damaged crops and attacks on livestock rising.”
Now, imagine the potential results if these were regular events with licenced shooters coming together?
Public land hunting was touted at the recent WA Firearms Law Review after work by SFFP’s Rick Mazza. The above example is just a taste of what properly managed public land hunting could achieve in the invasive species battle.
However, the ABC just couldn’t resist having a go at hunters with this line:
“Some farmers present, who did not wish to be interviewed, said illegal hunters were also causing “just as much damage” as the pigs, often breaking fences, trespassing and leaving pig carcasses where they fell.”
So how could you know what the farmer’s opinions were if they did not wish to be interviewed? And yes, while a couple of recent examples of poor form from illegal hunting needs to be called out, claiming that a tiny minority of poachers are causing “just as much damage” as the estimated 24 million feral pigs and growing across Australia, is absurd.
With a federal government that is broke and proposing a tax on sugar as a revenue grab, under the guise of public health as always, public hunting on crown land under a reasonably priced permit system would go a long way for farmers, native species, shooters and the economy.
Baiting and trapping are both integral parts of the invasive species problem that must be included in a full spectrum approach. However, shooting is the most targeted, cost effective and above all, most humane form of cull. The current restrictions on firearms and hunting access areas only serve to facilitate the invasive species problem, not curtail it.
As you can see, the upcoming Great Forest National Park Proposal from the Daniel Andrews government is a potential invasive species management nightmare. The Andrews Government better be prepared to extend the fox and dog bounty if they move ahead with that ludicrous idea.
We have a choice now in Australia: invasive species or native species. Man has created the problem of invasive species in Australia. Man must take ownership of the problem and step in to correct the problem or risk losing it all.
Now speaking of that, can we have our semi-auto rimfires out of Category C? There’s some feral cats we’d like to go eliminate.
Or, as Ozzie Reviews suggests, perhaps air rifles be deregulated so the cane toad scourge, which has now reached northern Western Australia, be combated a little more effectively at a local level?
Nah, too much common sense, not enough Helen Lovejoy-esque hand wringing.