Cruel Cat Cull

The following presentation was prepared by Cats Assistance To Sterilise Inc (C.A.T.S.), The Cat Protection Society of SA Inc and Cat Supporters Group of SA and was presented by Janet Allan in October 2016.


Choose Cruelty Free supports the endeavours of these organisations in exposing the cruelty involved in this Government animal “management” exercise.

Please direct all enquiries to C.A.T.S. via their website.


The Federal Government’s Threat Abatement Plan for the eradication of 2 million feral cats was approved mid-2015 with an end date of 2020 and has a budget of $4 million. This scheme, which has already started, uses five inhumane methods of killing free-living cats.


Poisoning by indiscriminately distributing baits laced with 1080 named “Eradicat” (registered in WA only) with a similar one called “Hisstory” being developed for the rest of the country. Quote from the Scientific Research Back paper that was released as public information when Threat Abatement began.

Background document for the threat abatement plan for the predation by feral cats (PDF – 1.36 MB)

“It is acknowledged that the toxin 1080, through its complex modes of action, typically manifested in the central nervous system in most animals, causes symptoms that appear to be inhumane. McLeod and Saunders (2013) provide a summary for cats with death from 1080 typically taking 4–24 hours, from either depression of the respiratory centre or ventricular fibrillation.” Page 15 2.5 Baiting

They KNOW the death can be slow; they KNOW the suffering yet are not deterred in their actions. We also know that painful full bodied seizures, liquification and expulsion of internal organs through the mouth and nose, individual muscular groups going into spasm and intense pain are but a few of the effects.

The agonising death from 1080 is also governmentally well known in other countries. It is illegal in Europe and China as it is also a threat to human life. It has been known to enter the water table. It has been the subject of countless petitions to have it banned here, eg:

A similar bait which contains a toxin that halts the supply of oxygen in the blood called “Curiosity” is being used in all other parts of Australia. Can you imagine the suffering of an animal that has its oxygen supply cut off and dies of asphyxiation.  Any asthmatic who has felt themselves drag in what they thought to be their last breath will immediately identify with this torture. Like 1080, cats poisoned by Curiosity, in a trial in Roxby Downs, were found lying in their own vomit, having defecated and showing cyanosed soft tissue around the mouth.  Roxby Downs Trial paper- (section 2.2.8 Postmortem examination)

“Cats that do not die from a direct result of consuming a Curiosity Bait, are recovered after 27-29 days  … using VHF tracking techniques until they could be approached and shot or had sought refuge in a rabbit warren. These warrens were fumigated with phosphene gas tablets (Apparent Pty. Ltd. Melbourne) and excavated the following day to recover the cat/collar.”

The report of the scientific study done on both Eradicat and Curiosity in a Roxby Downs trial area and it shows a 50% decline in corvids including the Australian Raven and Little Crow:

Of course all up line predators of the cat will suffer the same fate and this contradiction in protecting wildlife has been disregarded, whist it was the whole aim in the first place. We also know that birds, such as Wedge tail Eagles and Falcons, can carry the poison baits for kilometres, either dropping them on the way or taking them back to their young to also be poisoned. Foxes can also carry these baits a long distance to poison other animals and possibly children.

Farmers risk the lives of their working dogs and people travelling through the area where there have been no warning signs that 1080 has been laid down have lost their pets whilst taking a pet toilet stop. They watched in agony as their dog frothed at the mouth, fitted and suffered whilst all they could do was to flag down a passing car hoping that the owner had a gun so they could end the dog’s suffering. petition (In Memory of Kenya)


A mechanical device, called a “Grooming Trap” sprays an unnamed poison on to the fur of the animal to exploit its cleanliness in grooming itself. This devise now in action in Kangaroo Island claims to discriminate between free-living and owned cats, but this cannot be proven – pets will cross the pathway of this spraying device. Threat Abatement Back Paper Pg 15 (2.6 Other use of Toxins)


With cruel steel jawed traps that leave the cat, or any other animal, in unbearable suffering until it dies or bites off its own leg in an effort to escape the pain or so called “humane” traps where the animals are left in the boiling sun and pouring rain for possibly days, until they are collected. Some cats may be eaten alive by bull ants.


Many cats are just gut shot or otherwise injured and left to slowly die where they cry in vain for help. C.A.T.S. Inc received a call regarding a mother cat with her back legs shot off who was still trying to feed and care for her kittens. Channel Two’s 7.30 report on February 24 showed shocking footage of Members of the Sporting Shooters Association shooting a cat with a bow and arrow on Kangaroo Island.  The cat is shot in the head with an arrow,  runs around with the arrow sticking out of its head, gets caught in fence in terror and agony, is shot in again in the shoulder, struggles free of the fence and runs off into the bush with two arrows sticking out of its body to die a slow and agonising death.

View the ABC footage here. (Cat shot with two crossbows and fleeing injured is shown around the 4 minute 18 seconds mark.)


The Government calls on the public to join in the cat witch hunt. A phone app, would you believe, has been devised to help locate these cats.  Greg Hunt says “Freely downloadable for IPhone and Android devices, the app will grow citizen science and community participation to support feral cat eradication. Together, these changes will make it easier for everyone, including farmers, community groups and scientists, to join in the fight against feral cats and reach our ambitious feral cat eradication targets.” Threatened Species Summit – Chair Summary

Australia has brought upon itself international disgrace and has been condemned by organisations and individuals including the Brigitte Bardot Foundation who wrote an open letter to Greg Hunt to slam his Plan and British singer Morrissey.

Bardot’s bid to save Aussie feral cats Comments

Apparently it is considered politically correct to promote a witch hunt on cats, and this has occurred every so often, throughout the centuries, and in many cases lead to disastrous results, such as the Bubonic Plague. According to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Biosecurity Queensland Fact sheet March 2015 page 2, cats have been here at least 5 or 6 centuries, at least 3 hundred years before the so called damage they are doing to wildlife became apparent.

Tim Low in his book “Feral Future” found that cats are being used as a scapegoat for the real reasons for the decline of wildlife in Australia: the destruction of almost all of our native forest and bush land and the excessive and indiscriminate use of poisons and pesticides.

Without cats we would be overrun with other introduced predators which the cats currently control, as cats are now fully integrated as part of the Australian ecosystem.

The Plans put forward by Greg Hunt are flawed and will not eradicate cats in open Australia.  “Eradication can only exist in a closed system such as an island. Most cats do not live in closed systems”. Studies show that attempts of this kind are actually increasing cat numbers due to a phenomenon observed in regard to “dominant” cats. (See the study by Lazenby and the findings of C.A.T.S. in its submission to the Federal Government.)

It can be seen from the eradication program that was carried out on Macquarie Island, the disaster that would occur if this same method was to be used in open Australia. On Macquarie Island, after the eradication of the cats, the population of rabbits exploded and ate all the vegetation so that the birdlife was decimated. How this can be quoted as a success story by those associated with Threat Abatement is mind boggling. Threat Abatement Backpaper Page 12  2.1 Eradication. Then the rabbits were eradicated but this would never happen in open Australia because there has never been a successful eradication of rabbits in open Australia and matters are further complicated by a million issues such as the fact that Wedge Tailed Eagles depend on rabbits as food.  Macquarie Island is a good example of how “Messing with Mother Nature”, apart from causing immeasurable animal suffering, can only cause problems, not solve them.

Also in the Threat Abatement Background Paper was this enlightening confession: “… further conditions that will provide an indication that eradication is the best option to be pursuing:  There is a suitable socio-political environment. …Because feral cats are so well established across the whole continent, it is not possible to meet the rate of removal requirement.” Pg 12 2.1 Eradication

So then we have to ask – why torture millions of them when it won’t make a difference? – 2 million might not even be close to the 57% success rate needed.

Further on the same point, in the Sydney Morning Herald, July 2, 2014, Dr Andrew Burbidge chairman of the Western Australian Threatened Species Scientific Committee, said “more research was needed to determine which other animals might be at risk from the bait, such as marsupial carnivores. But for native mammal populations to recover sufficiently that feral felines needed to be eliminated from the entire continent, something that was likely to be achievable only through a genetically engineered disease that killed or sterilised pests”.

C.A.T.S. Inc has always been willing to discuss the alternatives with Governments and has stood ready to provide financial assistance to de-sex. Now C.A.T.S. Inc, The Cat Protection Society of SA Inc, and Cat Supporters Group of SA call for Animals Australia and member associations to take a firm stand against the Government’s Threat Abatement Plan,  lobbying Government and arousing public awareness  to change the “socio-political climate” and generate the necessary public outrage.


Government propaganda is trying to fool journalists, animal advocates, advocate organisations and the general public by putting it around that Curiosity baits “will simply put cats into a sleep from which they will not wake up.”

“The government has invested $4.1m in developing humane, target-specific feral cat bait called Curiosity. The toxin in Curiosity works in a way that is similar to the cat falling into a deep sleep and not waking up.” The Guardian Online. Oliver Milman – Environmental Journalist. Wednesday 2 September 2015 12.51 AEST Last modified on Thursday 3 September 2015 09.01 AEST

We have found evidence to the contrary in:

“Field Efficacy of the Curiosity Bait for Management of a feral Cat Population at Roxby Downs

2.2.8 Postmortem examination

Radio-telemetry techniques were used to locate cats when their collar had switched to mortality mode. The carcass was photographed in position and immediate surrounds searched for evidence of cause of death. Vomit, defecation, cyanosed soft tissues in the mouth, and presence of Rhodamine B dye indicated that death was as a result of consuming Curiosity® bait(s). An estimate of the number of baits found in the stomach was made during a subsequent examination. Carcasses were retained and stored frozen.”

Additionally Curiosity may kill mother cats leaving their babies to die in misery from thirst and starvation or be slowly eaten alive by the bull ants.

Bidda Jones, Chief Scientist of the RSPCA, has this to say: “We do not support the target of killing 2 million feral cats set by Minister Hunt in the Threatened Species Strategy Species Strategy ……. We also do not support the idea that feral cats can be totally eradicated. In fact, determining the total number of feral cats across Australia is impossible, with various estimates being questioned, which makes setting a removal target even more ridiculous.”

cat postmortem

Photo from Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research

Figure 14. Postmortem examination of cat 8. Note the Rhodamine B dye stain and presence of multiple baits.

Page updated: 23 November 2016