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Australia to kill 2 million cats by 2020

Staff writer ▼ | July 20, 2015
The Australian government announced plans to kill up to 2 million feral cats by 2020 in an attempt to preserve dozens of native species that authorities claim face extinction because of the cats' predatory behavior.
Feral cats
Australia   Feral cats are pests
Speaking to a national radio station, Gregory Andrews, the country's first threatened-species Commissioner, said Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt "is declaring war on feral cats, and he's asked me to take charge of that program."

Hunt unveiled the five-year plan at a Melbourne zoo on Thursday, vowing to protect Australia's native mammal and bird populations.

"We are drawing a line in the sand today which says, 'On our watch, in our time, no more species extinction,'" Hunt said.

All of Australia's states and territories have agreed to list feral cats as "pests." The bulk of the government funding for the plan will go to administering the culls, which will involve baiting, shooting or poisoning feral cats.

The government is taking many steps to prove that these actions will be carried out in as "humane and effective" a manner as possible.

"By 2020, I want to see 2 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," Hunt said.