Mandatory de-sexing may be the fix for feral cat problem
IT'S staring straight into my soul. And I don't like it.
Cats in general make me slightly shiver with fear.
The thought of stray cats overtaking the CBD is utterly terrifying.
Okay, so we won't have an evil cat overlord anytime soon.
That notion may be a bit far-fetched - albeit an excellent plot line for a thriller - but the reality is that the number of stray cats is an actual ongoing concern in Gladstone.
The good news is that there is action happening to address the issue. But is more needed?
Councillors voted to ensure regulation of cats remained with them this week. Friends of the RSPCA's Betty Bridge says that a cat registration would not fix the problem, rather a proper neuter and release program would help more.
I think she's on the money.
That fact she said: "Feral cats are created by feral people" just makes me think Betty's got the common sense that council should be listening to when further devising a plan to fix this problem.
Humans introduced cats to this country, so it is our responsibility as pet owners and a society to ensure they don't threaten our wildlife.
Trapping and neutering is an effective way to break the cycle.
I personally also believe stricter regulation on breeding of domestic cats may help.
A petition on the issue to introduce such laws in Queensland was rejected by the State Government in October.
Some people may think talk of mandatory de-sexing is extreme and I can understand where they are coming from.
Babies are adorable. Whether it is kittens, cubs, puppies or mice, they're all so tiny and sweet.
But if every person who owns a cat decides having a litter of kittens in the home would be a nice experience, we'll keep having an over-abundance of unwanted litters and the associated problems of surrendering to animal shelters, abandonment or interbreeding with feral and semi-feral populations.
Addressing this issue will require strong leadership.
Create a win-win situation for both people and pets.