Cats are beautiful, but not for our wildlife

Cats are beautiful creatures, and they make admirable pets.

However they are efficient killers, and play a large part in the disappearance, even extinction, of many of our native creatures - birds and small mammals in particular.

Tim Flannery is just one scientist who has highlighted the plight of our native species.

Some of the reasons for this are beyond our control. But we could do more about lessening the damage done by cats.

Ballarat City Council has a curfew, requiring owners to restrict their pets to within their property from dusk to dawn.

I suspect that few owners take this seriously.

I suggest that the council should insist on people owning cats having an awareness of this requirement, along with any penalty for non-compliance.

As well, the council should promote the installation of mesh walkways that are easily installed on or above the walls of houses and accessory buildings.

Cats using these have enough room for exercise and outdoors exposure, and are at the same time protected from potential trouble.

And we might be helping the survival rate of some of our native species.

MERYL MCLEOD

Buninyong

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