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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.
You gotta wonder why people fit bullbars like this one to there cars. What does it say about them? In this case it says “I’m an idiot from Adelaide on P Plates and I wanna kill someone”.
If you have a bullbar fitted to your car you might as well go the full hog and put a sticker of the Aussie flag on your back window and another one that says “I’m a redneck and proud of it – get out of my way you f*ckers”.
So why do I raise this contraceptive subject one day before Australia Day you ask? Because its in the bloody news, that’s why:
The Federal Government is considering a change to the national road rules that could see bullbars banned.
The Government has invited public comment on proposed changes to the design rules for cars.
Aimed at improving safety for pedestrians, the changes include the mandatory redesign of cars from 2012-13 and could see bullbars being outlawed.
The executive director of the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association says there have been similar changes to road rules in Europe.
Stuart Charity says the changes will effectively eliminate bullbars on the grounds they are a danger to pedestrians.
“The bullbar industry in Australia is a $300 million industry and it’s at significant jeopardy with these regulations being proposed,” he said.
But Mr Charity is concerned the regulations do not address the issue of passenger safety.
“Our real concern is that the regulations only address the pedestrian impact safety element, and not the vehicle occupant impact,” he said.
“Bullbars in the Australian context play a critical role in keeping the occupants of vehicles safe, stopping vehicles being stranded and so on.
“The incidence of animal strikes in Australia is huge. Our initial data shows that there’s around 25 to 30,000 insurance claims as a result of animal strikes a year.”
The Northern Territory Government says it will fight any national move to ban bullbars on cars.
I know there are *some* valid reasons in some parts of Oz for protecting yourself from stray cattle and water buffalos but maybe just slow down? I once hit a pretty big kangaroo which did a fair bit of damage to my car not to mention the roo that when I went to check on it I was amazed to see its head was on backwards. It was very dead. I guess if I had had a roo bar fitted (whats the bloody difference between a roo bar and a bull bar? Buggered if I know) then it might have been pushed forward instead of flipping onto my bonnet and hitting my windscreen – or would it? Do they carry out scientific tests on these things and if so how?
I think I agree that we should ban these bullbars because they are just designed to give people a false sense of security.
And while we are at it why not go the whole hog and ban those big and annoying gas guzzling 4 wheel drive passenger vehicles too? You know, the ones that usually have bullbars.