Cats suffer as cruelty spirals

WHAT’S Rocky’s problem with cats?

That’s a question that’s got an animal welfare officer scratching his head.

According to the central region’s RSPCA senior inspector Shayne Towers-Hammond a large number of the district’s animal cruelty matters involve the abuse of cats.

“Cats are having a very bad time here,” Mr Towers-Hammond said.

He was speaking after the recent attacks on a cat and kangaroo by someone firing arrows at animals.

Earlier this week Mr Towers-Hammond had to put down a kangaroo after it had been shot with an arrow to the leg in a garden area at CQUniversity, North Rockhampton.

It’s the latest in a worrying list of animal cruelty attacks and the RSPCA is concerned by the growing severity shown in many of these.

While there hasn’t been a dramatic jump in the number of incidents, the level of cruelty appears to be worse.

“It could be that in general terms today society is becoming more violent,” said the RSPCA’s Queensland media manager and an expert in the field, Michael Beatty.

“Whether the immunity levels are being built up by videos and computer games, I don’t know.”

He said he didn’t think Rockhampton or Central Queensland had a higher prevalence rate than other areas.

“The problem is just as bad in a suburb in Brisbane as it is in Rockhampton,” Mr Beatty said.

“It’s occurring across the board.”

He said it was hard to generalise what animals were most targeted on a state level.

“There is a feeling out there among some people that cats are feral and cause a problem,” Mr Beatty said.

He said the RSPCA’s strategies to tackle animal cruelty included urging magistrates to impose tough penalties on convicted offenders.

Animal cruelty can carry fines up to $100,000 and long jail terms.

The organisation is promoting its education awareness programs aimed at children.

Anyone with information about the attacks on the kangaroo or cat should call Mr Towers-Hammond on 0427 595 312.

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