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Sunday 25 February 2018

Australia draws up plans to ban pet cats from going outdoors

Australian officials are planning a mass culling of feral cats in the coming weeks
Australian officials are planning a mass culling of feral cats in the coming weeks

David Kearns

Australia could ban domestic cats going outdoors in an attempt to protect native animals.

Proposals have been drawn up to keep cats under ‘house arrest’ by Gregory Andrews, Australia’s threatened species commissioner.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that he is arguing the move would benefit not only the country’s wildlife but pet cats as well, who are happier and healthier when left indoors.

By preventing cats from roaming, it is argued, the growth in the feral population could be curbed.

This would particularly apply to some suburban areas where the risk is deemed greatest, Mr Andrews said.

"The plan over the long term is to make this part of our culture, and then it becomes normalised. It's a journey that Australia has to go on.”

However the Australian Government will not be able to impose the curfew itself, it will have to relay on local authorities to implement the plans.

The proposed curfew is part of a wider strategy which could also see as many as two million feral cats culled.

Such a mass killing would not be the first time that Australia has called for such a drastic culling of wildlife.

In 2007, experts called for the slaughter of thousands of wild camels in the outback, while in 2001 plans were put forward massively reduce the number of koalas loose in the wild.

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