Australia declares war... on cats?!
Australia has announced a move that will terrify feline fans.
The country has declared war on cats and is aiming to cull up to two million of them by 2020.
Pet owners, breathe easy. The measure applies to feral cats.
Drastic cull of feral cats is happening in Australia.
There's a reason behind the move.
As cats have few natural enemies in Australia, the predators have decimated many of the country's small native wildlife species — to the point where some are facing extinction.
The country's first threatened species commissioner Gregory Andrews said:
"(Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt) is declaring war on feral cats, and he's asked me to take charge of that programme.
"By 2020, I want to see two million feral cats culled, five new islands and 10 new mainland 'safe havens' free of feral cats, and control measures applied across 10 million hectares.
"We are drawing a line in the sand today which says, 'On our watch, in our time, no more species extinction.'"
Humanely and effectively
The government plans to employ poisoned baits and guns to effect the cull.
It has pledged to go about the latest initiative in a "humane and effective" manner.
According to website i100,Australia's 20 million cats kill an estimated 75 million native critters a day. That's a lot of death by kitty cat.
Mr Andrews said:
"It's very important to emphasise, too, that we don't hate cats, we just can't tolerate the damage that they're doing anymore to our wildlife."
Despite Mr Andrews' reassurances, the cull is the latest in a series of pet-related brouhaha Down Under.
In May, US actor Johnny Depp was embroiled in a row with the Australian government after he allegedly bypassed bio-security protocols to sneak in his pet dogs Pistol and Boo while shooting Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce reportedly said then:
"It's time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States.
"He (Depp) can send them back or we will have to euthanise them."
Australian authorities have since charged Depp's actress wife Amber Heard with two counts of illegal import of animals and knowingly producing a false or misleading document.
Heard has been summoned to appear in a Queensland court on Sept 7.