Australian RSPCA Sells Out by Readily Agreeing to Gun Down Charles Sturt's Defenseless Rock Cats
"We are absolutely disgusted and appalled that a council could resolve to commit such an atrocity on defenseless little cats."
-- Christine Pierson of CATS
In the centuries old contest between Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa to determine which country can kill the most cats, the Aussies appear to have forged ahead after the Charles Sturt City Council voted on April 14th to have West Beach's so-called rock cats shot on sight. (See photos above and below.)
For the past twenty years, hundreds of cats have roamed the rocky beach west of Adelaide. Currently there are believed to be about thirty of them remaining, which is already a significant reduction from the fifty-five or so reported at the end of 2007. Presumably, prior eradication efforts account for the discrepancy in numbers.
Although this dispute has been simmering on the back burner for a number of years, the council apparently was goaded into taking action by three loudmouthed cat-haters who complained that the cats have been scratching at their doors and relieving themselves on their precious jalopies.
Blowhard media personality Bruce Abernathy was unable to contain his glee at the council's death sentence. "They're feral animals; it is as simple as that," he told Messenger Community News on April 16th. (See "Rock Cat Cull.") "In winter, we have fifty-five cats trying to find shelter in our garages, coming into our backyards...urinating on our cars and in our gardens."
Just because he talks like a complete moron, does not mean that Abernathy is unaware that birds, mice, squirrels, raccoons, and countless other animals, especially beasts like himself that strut around on two legs, make far bigger nuisances of themselves than do cats. Nonetheless, absolutely no one goes into histrionics about their behavior; it is only cats that provoke such outpourings of antipathy and malice aforethought.
Jim Douglas of the Western Adelaide Coastal Residents Association echoed Abernathy's blatant ailurophobia by declaring that his group was "totally and absolutely supportive of the council's decision."
To top it all off, the phony-baloney RSPCA has agreed to act as hit man for Charles Sturt. In fact, the organization is quoted in a council report as advising that the most "consistent and reliable means of humanely killing an animal by shooting is by firing a bullet into the brain."
With friends like the RSPCA, cats and other animals in Australia certainly do not have any need for enemies. Besides, if it had a scintilla of honesty in its wicked old bones the organization would change its name to the Royal Society for the Promotion of Cruelty to Animals.
Mayor Harold Anderson, however, remains equivocal as to the exact method of execution. "Euthanasia by firearm will only be considered where all other options fail and it is deemed to be the humane and appropriate course of action as advised by the RSPCA," he told Messenger Community News in the article cited supra.
Despite that concession, Anderson has branded desexing and rehoming efforts undertaken by Cats Assistance To Sterilize (CATS) as a failure. It is therefore highly unlikely that the cats will be allowed to remain under any circumstances.
Knowing that its action would enrage the cats' protectors, the city council chose to arrive at its draconian decision in secret and to announce it without public debate. This cowardly act, quite expectedly, has drawn the ire of CATS' Christine Pierson. "We are absolutely disgusted and appalled that a council could resolve to commit such an atrocity on defenseless little cats," she told the Messenger.
West Beach resident Dennis Wignall complained to the Messenger's web site that the council had "caved in to several noisy residents and a local celebrity to kill the cats."
Sendy Radecki, another West Beach resident, not only concurred with Wignall's assessment of the council's motivation but also scoffed at the idea that eradicating the cats would prevent further dumping of unwanted animals.
"Do you seriously think by killing these innocent cats that the problem will go away?" she asked incredulously. "It won't stop people using the site as a dumping ground."
Half a world away, the editor of Moggies was equally outraged. "How sick of a so-called humane country to allow the RSPCA of Australia to kill (murder) cats. This is what you get from a backward country, not a democratic one," she wrote. "Humans do far more damage than any group of cats. To think otherwise is selfish and pathetic. As for the so-called residents, how much damage to the environment have they caused? Do we shoot them in the head as well?"
There is some evidence, however, that the worldwide outrage engendered by Charles Sturt's diabolical plan may be having some effect upon officials. For instance, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported on April 18th that the RSPCA is having second thoughts about gunning down the cats. "All we can do is make sure first and foremost that we try to remove the cats any way possible short of destroying them," the organization's Ben Johns is quoted as saying. (See "No Cull for Foreshore Ferals.")
The ABC's story is poorly written and contradictory and therefore cannot be taken as gospel. Even more telling is the petit fait that all other media outlets, including most notably the Messenger Community News, are silent on the RSPCA's reported change of heart.
Whether it be mass extermination campaigns on Macquarie and elsewhere or imitating the Chinese by killing cats for the pot, Australia has a long history of gross crimes against the feline species. (See Cat Defender posts of September 7, 2007 and September 21, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Australians Renounce Civilization and Revert to Savages with the Introduction of a Grotesque Plan to Get Rid of Cats by Eating Them" and "Aussies' Mass Extermination of Cats Opens the Door for Mice and Rabbits to Wreak Havoc of Macquarie.")
Its mass extermination campaigns directed against domestic animals and livestock no longer needed in the twenty-first century is equally shameful as has been its treatment of kangaroos, koalas, dingoes, the now extinct Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus), and other indigenous species. (See Agence France Presse, September 25, 2005, "Millions of Animals Face Death Sentence in Australia" and Cat Defender post of October 20, 2005 entitled "After Ridding the Ohio Statehouse of Rats, Cats Now Find Themselves Facing Eviction.")
Amazingly, of all the mammalian species that have gone the route of the dinosaur during the past two-hundred years, forty per cent of them lived in Australia. (See The Independent, March 25, 2008, "Australia Facing Threat of Wildlife Catastrophe.")
Australia's English colonizers have seldom shown any compassion toward either the continent's indigenous animals or the ones that they imported to help them conquer the forbidding landscape. Their policy always has been to extirpate any animal that either stood in the way of their financial interests or that they took a particular dislike to for whatever reason.
Their current elimination campaigns directed against cats and other imported species is part and parcel of the same policy. Au fond, it amounts to nothing less than greedy capitalism dressed up in the trappings of conservation and ecotourism.
Photo: Messenger Community News (cats on rocky ledge) and ABC (cat near the shore).