$10 CAT SCALP BOUNTY: CQ Council bites back at PETA attack
THREE MONTHS since announcing the implementation of a feral cat bounty, a Central Queensland council say it is too hard to tell yet if the bounty is a success.
"There has been a general interest in the bounty but it is still too early to gauge exact numbers and activity,” Banana Shire Council Acting Director Council Services Chris Welch said.
Response to the introduction of the bounty went off like wildfire as comments streamed rapidly on Facebook and social media. Within four days, over 7,000 people shared their opinion in a Morning Bulletin online poll for or against the bounty.
Amongst all the commotion, animal welfare organisation, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) also spoke out against the bounty.
PETA said they were under negotiations for an outdoor billboard to be placed near the Banana Shire Council's headquarters in Biloela.
They also said feral cats had the same feelings as pets do and the only solution to Australia's feral cat issue was to embark a widespread sterilisation campaign with immune-contraceptive solutions to humanly decrease the population.
Banana Shire Council has fought back at these arguments and said the bounty was more than necessary.
"The feral cat bounty was council's response to both concerns from the Wildlife Preservation Society Queensland (WPSQ) and a report published by Biosecurity Queensland,” Mr Welch said.
"WPSQ detailed the devastating effect that the abundance of feral cats in the shire are having on the natural environment.”
The council allocated $25,000 in it's Land Protection budget for the program as $10 is given for an adult cat's scalp and $5 for a kitten.
"Council has an obligation under Biosecurity Act 2014 to manage invasive animals as declared by the Act,” Mr Welch said.
"The bounty bonus payment combines with council's other pest management programs to fulfil this obligation.
"The scalps of the animal are much easier to bring into council, as opposed to a whole carcass.”
Part of the major misunderstanding in the introduction of the bounty, was that it is only specified to rural areas.
"Council only accepts scalps obtained from rural properties within our shire, this excludes all urban areas,” Mr Welch said.
"The Bounty only applies to animals destroyed on a rural property with the written consent of the land owner, or from the land owner themselves, any other attempts to claim the bounty will be ineligible.
"The bounty is in place for feral cats, not domestic cats.”