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The only good cat is …… ?

A Victorian gun group is pushing for the right to shoot stray cats

I am in two minds over the proposal for the Victorian Government to declare ‘open season’ on the shooting of stray cats. Firstly, I am anti-guns and I don’t think there are any valid reasons for people owning them. However, I’m no great fan of stray cats either, that tend to breed like bloody rabbits:

HUNTERS would be allowed to shoot cats that stray from houses on to public land under a controversial plan being pushed by a Victorian gun group.

The Sporting Shooters Association of Victoria wants the State Government to change the law to allow hunters to kill any cat it considers a risk to native fauna.

The push to legally destroy family pets and feral cats is among a range of changes the group is seeking.

They include new hunting seasons for cockatoos and galahs, the vulnerable crested pigeon and new regulations for slaying of eastern grey kangaroos.

In a report requesting amendments to wildlife regulations, the association says destruction of native wildlife in Victorian forests could be “partly mitigated if there was a provision to destroy cats within specified distances of dwellings.

“Cats within 200 metres of dwellings or on public land should be considered a danger to native fauna. Such animals within these areas should be able to be legally destroyed,” the report says.

The cat killing push has angered animal rights groups and comes as Bendigo residents were warned last week to keep pets inside after threats on public notice boards vowing to trap cats after dark and tan their hides.

Upper House Greens leader Greg Barber said the cat owners would be horrified shooters had their pets in their sites: ” … this shows they are out of touch with community values and they don’t care about people because it would be absolutely devastating to people if they lost their cat in this way,” he said.

The report is expected to be given to the Baillieu Government mid-year.

I think there’s something of an oxymoron in the term “Sporting Shooters”. I mean, is killing animals really a sport? I know that gun owners will defend their ‘sport’ to the death but, really, shooting defenceless cats, what kind of sport is that? It might seem that it requires a fair bit of skill to hit such a small target but with today’s sophisticated weaponry, I don’t think it’s much of a challenge. This is killing for killing’s sake disguised as a sort of public service. You know, “we’ll rid the community of these pests – we’re doing you a favour”.

I reckon ‘Sporting Shooters’ (i.e. those that think shooting wildlife is a great pastime) simply have a blood lust. It’s thrill seeking and the thrill is in the kill. I know from talking to one of our regular guests at GG, a deer hunter, that when he tells me his stories of blowing kangaroos in half he gets a really excited look on his face. It’s the kind of look you’d expect to see from someone describing a great sexual encounter – not a bloody roo cull – so maybe he gets off on it?

Then again, we are only talking about stray cats here and they are indeed a genuine pest. We recently had one that decided to call our property ‘home’ and promptly set about killing off many of the native birds that frequent our gardens, and scaring off the rest. Then, when it needed an alternative food source, it decided to wipe out the dozen or so large blue tongue lizards that were living around the property. They’re all gone now and that’s a loss because the blue tongues are actually a bonus for control of insects, etc.

We tried the council and the RSPCA for help in ridding us of this stray cat but all they would offer in the way of assistance was to say, “catch it and bring it in and then we’ll euthanase it.” So, they end up dead anyway. Somehow though, I don’t think that putting a soft-head bullet in a small animal like a cat – that will literally blow it to pieces – is the kindest and most humane way to achieve the same objective.

This proposal is surely too bizarre, controversial and potentially dangerous to be accepted. Then again, nothing that the Baillieu Government decides to do would surprise me and it’s just possible that some form of the idea will get up. How long though, before someone gets killed by a stray bullet from some idiot prowling the neighbourhood for any cat that dare strays from its home base? It’ll happen for sure because every year many people are killed by ‘Sporting Shooters’ out on the hunt.

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2 Comments

  1. Iain Hall says:

    Hmm I would be rather concerned about letting anyone loose with guns around where people live so perhaps the solution to the cat problem is for traps to available for free hire to anyone who wants to help control the cat population, Maybe they could be airtight when closed with a hose to connect then to your car exhaust It does them it quickly enough and Its a relatively painless way to euthanase them. Then the dead cats could be offered as bait to those who fish for crabs or lobsters…

    (Cue indignation form the usual humourless suspects )

  2. Ray Dixon says:

    Our council hires out cat traps for only $5, Iain, so that’s close to being “free”. But the real problem with stray cats is in the forested areas, not on private property (although that can be annoying too). You’d need a lot of traps to catch the feral cats in the bush areas close to housing and who’s going to do it? That’s where the ‘Sporting Shooters’ step in and offer the solution – “we’ll shoot them!”. For them it’s a no-brainer, but to me it’s about letting no-brain idiots loose with a gun. You’d see a real spike in gun purchases too as more and more bogans decide to take up ‘the sport’ of shooting stray cats. Look, they don’t even have to drive anywhere – just prowl the neighbourhood and if you see a cat shoot first and ask questions later. It will happen.

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