Australia To Drop Poisoned Sausages From Aeroplanes In Plan To Kill Millions Of Feral Cats
Australia has a massive problem with feral cats, by which we mean there are millions of the things, and they threaten the country's native species.
In fact, there are so many of them that they've hatched a plan to kill off two million of them by 2020 so that their indigenous animals are safe.
On top of that, there are also teams of government officials who are charged with travelling the country trapping and shooting the cats.
The New York Times has reported that the sausages that will be used to poison the cats are made from kangaroo meat, chicken fat, spices and herbs. They are capable of killing the cats with 15 minutes of them eating it.
The tasty but deadly treats are manufactured at a factory in Perth and will be dropped from planes at intervals of 50 kilometres in places where the cats freely roam the land.
We know they are tasty because the man who developed them said that he tested them on his own cats.
He made some sausages up to the same recipe but without adding poison to see if they'd go for it. They did.
Dr Dave Algar told the New York Times: "They've got to taste good.
"They are the cat's last meal."
Whilst this might seem abhorrent and strange to us, feral cats are a genuine problem in Australia. They were brought over by European settlers and, in the time since then, are thought to have driven around 20 species to extinction.
That's why the Aussie government is setting about culling their numbers back.
Gregory Andrews, the national commissioner of threatened species told the Sydney Morning Herald: "We have got to make choices to save animals that we love, and who define us as a nation like the bilby, the warru (Black-footed rock-wallaby) and the night parrot."
He also said that feral cats are the 'single biggest threat' to Australia's indigenous species.
Anyone who has seen their cat play with a mouse or a frog knows deep down that this is true.
A study recently found that cats kill around 377 million birds and 649 million reptiles across Australia each year.
However, some people accuse the government of using the cats as a smokescreen to distract from other environmental concerns such as mining, logging, and urban expansion.
However, you can't drop down a tasty sausage to get rid of a town, or a mine.
A conservation ecologist from Deakin University, Tom Doherty, told CNN: "There's a possibility there that cats are being used as a distraction to some extent.
"We also need to have a more holistic approach and address all threats to biodiversity."
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