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Cat Defender

Exposing the Lies and Crimes of Bird Advocates, Wildlife Biologists, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, PETA, the Humane Society of the United States, Exterminators, Vivisectors, the Scientific Community, Fur Traffickers, Cloners, Breeders, Designer Pet Purveyors, Hoarders, Motorists, the United States Military, and Other Ailurophobes

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Aussies' Mass Extermination of Cats Opens the Door for Mice and Rabbits to Wreak Havoc on Macquarie

"Of all the creatures ever made he (man) is the most detestable. Of the entire brood he is the only one ... that possesses malice. He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain. The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot."
-- Mark Twain

Although it has been almost two-thousand years since Lucretius warned the world in the De rerum natura about the folly of attempting to conquer the infinite, the egomaniacal scientific community still refuses to take heed. Whether it is space exploration, genetic engineering, micromanagement of the environment, or some other undertaking, they still pigheadedly persist in attempting to mold all of creation to their liking.

Being far too cowardly to experiment on themselves and too much in love with their own wickedness to mend their anti-social ways, they have instead made guinea pigs out of the animals and Mother Earth. A good example of their runaway hubris, gross ignorance, and boundless cruelty can be found in the Australians' mass slaughter of the cats on Macquarie.

Macca, as it is known to the cognoscenti, is a windswept, rainy island only thirty-four kilometers in length and five kilometers in width. It is located fifteen-hundred kilometers south of Tasmania in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica (See map below) and passage from Hobart takes about three days by sea.

There are not any roads on the island and the only way to get around is a pied. There likewise are not any hotels or restaurants and the only accommodations are provided by Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) which maintains a base (See photo above) and eight field huts scattered about the island.

The island's only permanent residents are the twenty employees of ANARE who conduct biological, botanical, meteorological, medical, and aurora australis research. The number of researchers doubles during the summer and since the island was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1997 it annually attracts around nine-hundred tourists.

It does, however, play host to some rather impressive visitors each spring. In particular, millions of Royal penguins (See photo at the bottom of the page), petrels, and wandering albatrosses (See photo below on the right) stop by to bred and moult as do countless elephant seals (See photo below). In a misguided effort ostensibly designed to protect the seabirds' eggs and newborns, Mike Anderson (See photo above) and other members of ANARE have exterminated all of Macca's feral cats.

In true Australian fashion, the cats were mercilessly gunned down, poisoned, and caught in kill traps over a number of years until the men of science were finally able to boast in 2004 that the island was now cat-free. (For more information about Australia's extensive cat-killing operations see Cat Defender post of August 11, 2005 entitled "Barbaric Australians Come Up with an Ingenious New Poison in Order to Exterminate Cats.")

Afraid of incurring the totally justified wrath of cat-lovers all over the world, the cowardly Australians have not revealed how many cats that they slaughtered but more than likely the number was in the hundreds if not indeed thousands. That estimate is based upon what their cousins in apartheid South Africa did with their unwanted felines on Marion Island.

Located in the Indian Ocean seventeen-hundred-seventy kilometers south of Port Elizabeth and measuring only nineteen kilometers in length and twelve kilometers in width, Marion is approximately the same size as Macquarie and the South Africans exterminated more than thirty-four-hundred cats there during the 1980s. The cats were done in by the feline panleucopenia virus (distemper) which the racists deliberately infected them with; those not vanquished by the deadly disease were shotgunned to death during the night by snipers equipped with flashlights.

For the cats, death was agonizingly slow. Fever, depression, weight loss, dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, and severe stomach pain are just a few of the symptoms of distemper. (See Cat Defender post of March 23, 2006 entitled "South Africans, Supported by Ailurophobic PETA, Are Slaughtering More Cats on Robben Island.")

The Aussies' easy victory over the felines on Macquarie has turned out to be a Pyrrhic one, however, because it has led to an explosion in the population of rabbits, mice, and rats. The rodents have begun preying upon the eggs and chicks of the seabirds while the rabbits have decimated the island's vegetation which in turn has led to widespread erosion and an ecological catastrophe. The erosion is so extensive that some experts are predicting that it could take thousands of years before green grass flourishes again on Macca's once verdant rocky slopes.

Even breeding grounds have been destroyed. "Rookeries that exploited caves and crevices covered by cushion-shaped tussocks lost their cover in as little as one short southern summer, while the loosened debris plunged down onto the rocky beaches favored by Royal, King, Gentoo, and Rockhopper penguins and the fur and elephant seals," The Brunei Times reported on September 11th. (See "Ecological Disaster Ravages Jewel of Southern Ocean.")

"It's an embarrassment, it's a shocking situation. The tourists really are distressed when they see this horrible destruction all around them, and it's a very embarrassing thing to explain to well-traveled international tourists," Jenny Scott (See photo below), a biologist at the University of Tasmania, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on September 1st. (See "Macquarie Island Criticized as Environmental Disaster.") "So they (the slopes) now look brown, with tussock stumps and big erosion gullies and it's just heartbreaking to see."

It is not clear from press reports but apparently the feral cats largely kept the rabbits and mice in check and since they had relatively plenty to eat themselves they, too, left the seabirds alone. All of this took a disastrous turn for the worst in 1978 when the scientists decided to thin out the rabbits by infecting them with myxomatosis.

Like the feline panleucopenia virus, myxomatosis is a merciless killer. Rabbits infected with it develop tumors on their heads and genitals and often go blind; they also become listless, loose their appetites, run fevers, and sometimes come down with pneumonia. Worst still, the virus, which is transmitted by fleas and mosquitoes, can take as long as thirteen days to kill its victims.

With their food supply thus sharply reduced, the cats then allegedly began attacking the nests of the seabirds. This in turn prompted the Aussies to inaugurate their feral cat extermination program which in turn has inadvertently led to the current situation that is imperiling both the birds and the environment.

The Australians' barbarism and stupidity in this regard is reminiscent of the Catholics' mistreatment of cats during the Middle Ages. Declared by the Church to be the familiars of witches, cats were exterminated en masse which in turn led to the spread of the deadly bubonic plague by the unchecked rodent population. It is estimated that this sottise cost Europe twenty-five per cent of its citizens. (See Cat Defender post of May 22, 2006 entitled "Belgian Ritual of Tossing Stuffed Cats from Belfry Makes Jest of Hideous Crimes of Capitalists and Catholics.")

Like a rubber ball bouncing off the wall, the quick-witted Australians are now planning to launch an eradication program aimed at the rodents and rabbits as soon as the money is appropriated and the fingerpointing subsides. They may be able to get rid of the rabbits without too much trouble but ridding the island of the mice and rats will be considerably more difficult.

This is true for several reasons. First of all, some of the rodents may be indigenous and, secondly, undoubtedly more of them will continue to arrive on ships and in cargo containers. As is the case in the Galapagos and Robben Island, increased tourism will bring with it at the very least non-native parasites, insects, flora, and diseases never encountered by the native avian and mammalian populations.

According to Scott, the current situation could have been avoided if the scientists had left two-hundred or so cats alive to control the growth of the rabbit and rodent populations. This would have also given ANARE, she reasons, time to develop a comprehensive extermination program that would have rid the island of the entire kit and caboodle of all of them without engendering the current imbalances in nature and the attendant ecological disaster.

The Australians' barbaric treatment of animals, exploitation of the environment, and unparalleled stupidity are as old as the discovery of Macquarie. Starting with their arrival in 1810, the English colonialists immediately began exterminating the seals and penguins for their valuable pelts and oil.

Of course, wherever the colonialists have ventured they have brought along with them cats and rabbits. Because they multiply so profusely, rabbits were valued as a source of food both on long sea voyages and in new lands. Cats, on the other hand, have always been valued for their unmatched ability to keep the rodent population under control.

Clearly, neither the Australian capitalists nor the scientific community has either any intelligence or morality when it comes to the treatment of animals. Exploitation and extermination are all that they know or ever care to know. Their only solution to every problem that arises is to exterminate. The only value that either the animals or Mother Earth have to them is a monetary one and once they have gotten all that they can get out of them they are expendable.

The cats, rabbits, and mice who either live or used to live on Macquarie were brought to the island against their will by the colonialists and they are therefore the responsibility of the exploiters. Since they have decided that these animals' continued existence is detrimental to their pursuit of ecotourism dollars, they have a moral responsibility to humanely return them to their native lands.

Anderson and his fellow exterminators should be arrested and jailed for the remainder of their lives. Not only does justice demand that this be done, but it is the only way to ensure the continued survival of the rabbits, mice, and other non-income producing animals that live on Macquarie.

Contrary to what the murderous and greedy Australians believe, cats, rabbits, and even mice have just as much of a right to life as do birds and humans.

Photos: ANARE (base camp, seals, Jenny Scott, penguins), ABC (Mike Anderson and albatross), and Wikipedia (map).