Feral cats are a problem for the native wildlife in Banana Shire, in Queensland, Australia.
A big one.
“They climb up trees — they choke the life out of the animals by grabbing them by the throat,” Torris told ABC.
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To combat the problem, the Banana Shire council started a program that puts a bounty on the cats, according to ABC.
It offers $10 Australian ($7.59 in U.S. dollars) for adult cats; $5 for kittens.
The money comes from $25,000 allocated in the council’s land protection budget, according to ABC, and the program will continue until that money is gone.
The cats’ scalps must be presented to claim the bounty and must be accompanied by a payment application form, available on the council’s website.
“Scalps must be dried or salted, include the nose, ears, and tail,” the site says.
The program was met with opposition from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which put up a billboard last week warning local pet owners that their cats were at risk, according to the Guardian.
“Not only is a cat scalp bounty cruel, it likely won’t have the desired long-term effect of lowering the population. Instead, we’ll end up in an endless and expensive killing cycle,” Peta spokeswoman, Laura Weyman-Jones told the Guardian. The program might backfire completely, causing a spike in the food supply and accelerated breeding, according to the Guardian.
“Research tells us that lethal control doesn’t provide a long-term solution to the issue of invasive animal populations,” Weyman-Jones told the paper.