Councillor suggests bounty to take aim at feral cat problem
ONE Southern Downs councillor has suggested an unique way to eradicate our region’s feral cat problem.
Upon hearing the council would be seeking community consultation on how to best deliver a $174,000 feral cat management program, Cr Ross Bartley suggested bounties may deliver the best results.
“I’m not joking, ”he said.
“Feral cats, as you said Mr director, they have a huge impact on biodiversity and if you’ve ever seen the impact on all native wildlife — not just birds — they eat lizards, they eat anything.
“Wild pigs used to have a bounty on them once in most council areas – why not cats?”
SDRC acting director of sustainable development Craig Magnussen offered up more conventional options such as desexing, compulsory microchipping and registration.
Cr Cynthia McDonald quickly noted the idea could cause potential community uproar.
“I would say Joe Blow down the road may not particularly appreciate it if his Moggie goes missing for somebody’s $50 bounty,” she said.
“I don’t know that I think that is the best strategy, Mr Deputy.”
However, Cr McDonald did note the alarming prevalence of feral cats did warrant widespread community consultation.
Mr Magnussen said any policy suggestions were on the table at this stage.
He also suggested more research be undertaken into the “breadth” of disease transmission to humans, domestic pets and stock in regards to the pest.
All councillors voted to endorse the consultation stage.