Feral pests

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GuySmiley started the topic in Sunday, 30 Dec 2018 at 11:03am

Of the animal kind

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GuySmiley commented Sunday, 30 Dec 2018 at 3:09pm

Australia has a major problem with feral pests.

If you want to see how far feral cats have invaded our country go to the absolutely remotest municipal tip at night. Cats, foxes, rabbits, deer, pigs, donkeys, camels, horses, frogs, fish, ants and birds kill off and/or compete with our native birds and animals.

Any frequent traveller and walker into our national parks will see the problem first hand but the problem is mostly hidden so most people aren't aware enough to care and governments, all governments, just look the other way. I have personally seen feral cats while walking in remote SW Tasmania and at most southern end of Wisons Prom and a walk in the Grampians isn't compete without stumbling across a herd or two of deer. There are conservation areas now fenced against feral animals that show how the land and animals can come back but these are in private hands.

In an ideal world government would act, compulsory sterilisation of domestic cats leading to ban on ownership would be a great start and real money spent on eradication programs including the reintroduction of the dingo and other native predators. There is a farmer in WA that has allowed the reintroduction of the dingo on his property with great success but he is now threatened by the law. I don't hold out much hope in the short term because its all too emotional, try banning granny from her cat or all that bullshit about brumbies and cattle in the high country, go up to the high country and see for yourself the damage hard hoofed animals do up there ...... Australia the lucky country.

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Blowin commented Sunday, 30 Dec 2018 at 3:16pm

You don’t consider it evolution ?

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Sunday, 30 Dec 2018 at 3:35pm

Devolution.

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freeride76 commented Sunday, 30 Dec 2018 at 4:16pm

fuk dem moggies

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indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 30 Dec 2018 at 6:06pm

I have friends that hunt deer and its surprising the amount of wild dogs they also shoot and then there sre dogs that are kind of half dingo half dog.

Looking at their Deer hunting Facebook pages one day and going through all the old post was interesting many don't really hunt to get rid of deer as a feral animal though as they treat it more like fishing now, not shooting big breeders etc or too many to ensure populations are stable. (that kind of surprised me)

We are suppose to be fox free on Philip Island now which is pretty cool, rabbits are still in plague propositions and still feral cats about though.

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Blowin commented Sunday, 30 Dec 2018 at 6:10pm

To preserve the quality of the hunting.

Hunters I know will release pigs into areas they’d like to hunt.

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GuySmiley commented Sunday, 30 Dec 2018 at 7:28pm

@blowin, not evolution at all but you raise an interesting point when it comes to plants and trees. Wondering as the planet warms we will need to more readily accept trees like pine trees for carbon capture purposes than we currently do.

@blowin & indo, the word "hunter" covers many behaviours from total dickhead to professional. Bounties would fix much of that. I know a deer hunter that shoots and butchers his kill on the spot and carries all the meat out, its all used, skin and meat for his table and dogs ... extremely critical of most other so-called "hunters".

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AndyM commented Sunday, 30 Dec 2018 at 8:25pm

"Pet dogs and cats could be banned from North Stradbroke Island, according to a draft resolution proposed by government and community groups.
In six months from October last year there had been at least 24 incidents of domestic dog attacks on kangaroos, wallabies and koala, resulting in 23 deaths."

I doubt it would be implemented, but still...

https://www.redlandcitybulletin.com.au/story/5371476/pet-dogs-and-cats-c...

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Blowin commented Sunday, 30 Dec 2018 at 8:38pm

I hate what ferals can do to an environment, but to consider it not mere evolution is hard to swallow.

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GuySmiley commented Sunday, 30 Dec 2018 at 8:59pm

@AndyM, that line in the article about pet ownership being a basic human right sums it up, there is no arguing with stupid. People are so hot on their rights but forget the responsibilities.

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AndyM commented Sunday, 30 Dec 2018 at 8:58pm

You could see it as evolution but evolving backwards - less species, less diversity, a less healthy ecosystem.

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tubeshooter commented Sunday, 30 Dec 2018 at 9:07pm

I agree AndyM , in that it won't be implemented ,re Straddie. Nor do I believe it should be.
The rangers there are fairly proactive at least.

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blindboy commented Sunday, 30 Dec 2018 at 9:06pm

Individual species evolve much more rapidly than once thought so both the introduced and the native species evolve as the environment changes as a result of the introductions. Ecosystems do not evolve in the strict biological sense but they change, sometimes very rapidly (where did that rainforest go? It was there last week!). One of he problems in Australia is that we do not notice the local mammal extinctions as they are nocturnal, so as th feral cats and wild dogs render the local mammals extinct, what we see on our daily stroll doesn't change.

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AndyM commented Sunday, 30 Dec 2018 at 9:18pm

Blowin, as far as I'm concerned, to evolve is to progress, to devolve is to degenerate to a worse state.
Surely to have less species and for those species to be common and ubiquitous can only be defined as devolving.

Tubeshooter I think there's been fair success with culling foxes on Stradbroke but they're still there. To be honest I'd like to see no introduced animals or vegetation on the island, but I'd rather people have their pets there than have such authoritarian laws in residential areas.

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AndyM commented Sunday, 30 Dec 2018 at 9:36pm

Also Tubeshooter, (off on a tangent I know), I think the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation and its rangers are a bit on the nose at the moment - they want to build a large interpretive centre on the northern headland at Point Lookout.

Seems there's more than 12,000 people who think it's a bad idea.

Personally, I can't fathom how anyone could think it's a good idea.

https://www.redlandcitybulletin.com.au/story/5633178/qyac-reassures-resi...

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tubeshooter commented Sunday, 30 Dec 2018 at 10:06pm

Didn't know about that one AndyM. I was just up there just before those major fires hit . I have family there and visit infrequently.
This sort of thing doesn't surprise me anymore,

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AndyM commented Sunday, 30 Dec 2018 at 10:16pm

Yeah just saw it on Facebook the other day, I'm out of the loop too.

Being so close to Brisbane, the money that can be made over there through tourism is substantial and is only just starting to be realised post-mining and with a string of new national parks (although largely on mined land).

I dare say it'll be a continuous struggle over there in the future but then, it always has been in one form or another.

At least the Point Lookout Development Control plan was a big win back in the 90's, without it the Point would be something else entirely, more Caloundra than old-school Australian coastal town.

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I focus commented Monday, 31 Dec 2018 at 10:42am

I live on 5 acres and had a pair of foxes move in a couple of years ago they killed every living thing on the block (bandicoots through to goannas, birds) within about 4 weeks. I was staggered on how effective at killing they were.

I support any nut case shooter who hunts ferals.

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udo commented Monday, 31 Dec 2018 at 11:43am

If anyone has acreage with a Feral pest problem
Licenced shooters will come kill all Ferals on your property free of charge as there hobby.

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GuySmiley commented Monday, 31 Dec 2018 at 11:48am

I share a boundary fence with a significant and large nature conservation reserve managed by the state. The local government authority has a night time curfew on cats. Walk the streets at night to see how local residents and their cats respect all that. Every 12 months they do a fox cull in the conservation reserve, baits and traps, and about 1/2 of all animals caught are cats, all destroyed. We tried chooks and decided along with other neighbours it wasn't worth it because of the foxes. Dogs are banned outright from the reserve but routinely at night we see/hear them running around with their dickhead owners.

Down the road a bit is a major chain of wetlands that are internationally significant because of migratory birds. One particular billabong is extremely significant because it's the last remaining known permanent waterhole used by Aboriginals before settlement. This billabong has been adopted by the local primary and high schools as part of its rejuvenation back to its natural state. A lot of money has been spent here over the years including fencing it off to protect the plants, birds and native fish as its now surrounded by housing. You would think that with all that work locals would respect it, but no, they constantly cut the fence so as to let their dogs swim in the water.

Just a couple of examples to show strong laws are needed to protect what little we have left.

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blindboy commented Monday, 31 Dec 2018 at 12:18pm

Very sad Guy. It is really hard to watch the good work of community organisations and governments being undone by idiots with no understanding or respect for the environment, be it pet owners, hoons with their 4 wheel drives and trail bikes, those who dump their waste in the bush, builders who can't be bothered preventing run off, people washing their cars into stormwater etc etc.

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Westofthelake commented Monday, 31 Dec 2018 at 2:39pm

Good post GS. It certainly got me reading. Our neighbour has had both outdoor rabbits and chooks both in wire enclosures and both times have had them taken by foxes. There is some truth to the statement 'cunning foxes'.

"Since 1788 more than 25 mammals, 20 birds, 4 reptiles, 1 frog, 34 fish, hundreds of marine species, an unknown number of invertebrates and more than 2,800 weeds have been introduced to Australia."

Apparently the dingo was already here well before Europeans.

"The impacts of the various introduced animals on the the Australian ecosystem have been broadly classified below.
Beneficial - These species have been useful to humans or the environment.
Benign - These creatures have had no noticeable adverse impact on the Australian ecosystem.
Invasive - species have a tendency to spread their range into new areas
Feral - Domestic animals brought to Australia that have gone wild and significantly impact the ecosystem.
Pests - These animals have a direct negative effect on the Australian ecosystem and are difficult to control."

https://panique.com.au/trishansoz/animals/australia-introduced-animals.html

Personally I have had direct experience with cane toads. When I lived in Cairns years ago and it rained for the first time in a while it was mind boggling the amount of cane toads that would come out of the wood work. You would literally drive down the road and run over hundreds of them. Some of those ugly little nasty fuckers were so big you could both hear and feel them being run over. Stories were also told about the practicality of golf clubs....
The road toads were unavoidable though it was my preference to try and avoid them. I never was a golfer and the act to intentionally kill anything (even cane toads) is not in my nature. I've become a proficient spider re-locator over the years.

Got to admit though,

Believe  It or Not

Humans have been the most destructive animals ever introduced to Australia.

shoredump's picture
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shoredump commented Monday, 31 Dec 2018 at 1:29pm

Everything starts and ends at some point. Aussies are feral pests aren’t we? Not really, humans are nature too. I’m with Blowin on this one. Things happen, it’s all natural really.

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blindboy commented Monday, 31 Dec 2018 at 3:02pm

In some sense that is true shoredump but the issue is not about ideological purity it is about managing the environment for maximum benefit to humans and all the evidence is that maintaining biodiversity and ecological stability is the way to go. Ecosystems are too complex for us to accurately predict the consequences of a change so when changes occur it is wise to counteract them as far as possible. Prickly Pear is a good example of how a problem can be managed.

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indo-dreaming commented Monday, 31 Dec 2018 at 3:10pm

The sad thing is, most of these things were introduced on purpose often to make the english folk feel at home.

When i lived at Fraser Island it was sad to see the amount of cane toads there.

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mattlock commented Monday, 31 Dec 2018 at 3:52pm

Shoot ferals.......................the animals as well.

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GuySmiley commented Monday, 31 Dec 2018 at 4:16pm

I have some sympathy for that line of argument @shoredump & blowin but only in very remote locations where any change is less likely to be catastrophic and the footprint of those living there light. But living on the edge of the great urban sprawl of Melbourne as I do the proper management of the natural resources as they still exist is most certainly needed.

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shoredump commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 6:54am

It seems almost every problem in the world can be solved with population control. I don’t dispute anything written above, I just could never support killing of animals to achieve it, unless it’s for food. Sterilisation is the best solution, and that includes of us humans

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simba commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 7:34am

Exactly SD the problem is there are too many of us and they need to bring it under control otherwise the planet is in big trouble....somehow think mother nature will sort us out if nothing changes.

simba

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blindboy commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 10:32am

The only proven way to stabilise or reduce population is by increasing standards of living. So if you really care about environmental issues you should support a significant increase in our aid budget, fair trade initiatives and current levels of immigration.

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AndyM commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 11:52am

"So if you really care about environmental issues you should support current levels of immigration."

Haha, wow, how can you type that with a straight face BB? ;)

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blindboy commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 12:21pm

Because it's true on a global scale Andy. When people move to a country with a higher standard of living their reproduction rate drops from what it otherwise would have been. Demographics 101. If you believe that the current human population level is unsustainable then raising the standard of living in poorer countries and maintaining immigration from them to wealthier countries are the only strategies proven to be effective. Yes, it places more stress on the Australian environment but if we ignore global effects most of our environmental problems are the result of appalling management over many decades. A larger population in Austrailia is not the fundamental problem. It's poor governance.

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freeride76 commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 12:44pm

"A larger population in Austrailia is not the fundamental problem."

There will come a reckoning when that kind of magical thinking is seen for what it is.

I keep chickens and have lost many to foxes. It's usually a total bloodbath , foxes kill everything they can and just drag off one or two chickens.
No problem shooting or poisoning foxes.

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AndyM commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 1:57pm

BB I certainly agree that a higher standard of living and education in the developing world is the key to dealing with population growth.

But there are 1.2 billion people in Africa, never mind the rest of the world.
It's a nonsense argument to say that bringing 0.025 percent of the African population to Australia per year is going to play a part in dealing with an out of control population.
Where do you get these ideas from??

But of course the impact this level of immigration has on Australia and it's environment is clear.

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blindboy commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 1:51pm

Andy, if you add in the contributions from other developed nations and calculate the compounded effect, it is significant.

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freeride76 commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 1:54pm

This idea: that we can somehow "govern" our way out of high immigration, with all its attendant impacts on the environment, infrastructure etc etc is a kind of magical thinking that almost has the status of religious belief at the very highest levels of government, and of course the chief proponents of high population growth in Australia, the property council, Business Council of Australia etc etc .

In effect, it consigns large segments of Australia to continuing rapid environmental degradation and the capital cities to being permanent work sites.

it's a pretty frighteningly dystopic vision of Australia in the next 20-50years and it does bear asking, who benefits?

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AndyM commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 2:02pm

Do you have any evidence or figures BB?

Take your time, I'm going to run across the road and see if some of this wind chop is surfable.

Even if 50 million Africans were accepted as immigrants in developed countries, that's still only 4.2% of the continent's population.

I'm guessing that the answer ain't in that direction BB.

I really think you're played like a cheap Taiwanese fiddle.

Who benefits indeed - certainly not the mug punters.

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blindboy commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 2:24pm

Assume about half of Australia's intake reproduces at an average of 3 kids per family when they would have had 6 in their country of origin. Run those numbers over a few generations and you end up with a population reduction, just from Australia's immigration, of millions. Who benefits? The immigrants, the global environment, the economy and so nearly all of us. Who loses? Some people do suffer from, increased population density, changes in the character of the neighbourhood etc. . There is also a potential to further damage aspects of the Australian environment but these problems can be avoided with improved environmental management. On balance, immigration is beneficial.

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indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 2:32pm

Family sizes are dropping world wide, id expect transferring people from developing countries to developed countries just increases the overall carbon foot print.

As individual peoples carbon footprint in developing countries like India is tiny compared to the carbon footprint of those in developed countries like Australia sometimes up to 20 times higher.

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AndyM commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 2:23pm

Such a nice walk BB, you should've been there.

First though the Cypress Pines and then on through the Tuckeroos and Banksias to a little lookout in the bush.

Cicadas doing their thing and that smell of Brushbox leaf litter in the air.

Nice.

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blindboy commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 2:30pm

Valid point Indo, hard to determine if the reduction in population growth would balance out that difference over time. My own view is that we will soon start to get big reductions in emissions driven purely by economics. The prices of low or zero emission sources are falling rapidly and fossil fuels are becoming uncompetitive. Still a long way to go but the signs are hopeful.

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AndyM commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 2:39pm

BB, we've had a net global population increase in the last 14 hours of 136 000 people.

Your talk of making a difference of millions is just a distraction.

The earth is set to add another 3 000 000 000 people in the next 30 years and you're talking about a few million over a time frame longer than that 30 years.

Again, you're talking about less than one percent.

Unprecedented levels of immigration to Australia is just a feel-good Ponzi Scheme mirage for the benefit of the few.

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AndyM commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 2:41pm

BB I'll ask again - do you have any credible papers or references which demonstrate that taking in immigrants will have any effect on the world's increasing population?

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blindboy commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 3:02pm

Not much available online Andy. Lots of opinion, plenty of data on numbers of migrants but no comparative global population projections. I stand by my point. You claim that millions don't matter, I think that they do. This is good on the broader picture.
http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/popfac...

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AndyM commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 5:03pm

BB, the U.N. and the W.H.O talk about economic development, education, birth control and also government incentives as methods to address population growth in developing nations.

There's mountains of information on this but none that you or I can find which suggests that Australia or any other developed nation taking in large numbers of immigrants (compared to the host nation) is a viable plan.

That says it all, especially considering it's such a massive issue.

At best it seems your beliefs are "opinion" motivated by emotion only.

I think you were right in the first place when you said Australia should increase it's aid budget and look to help developing countries be stable democracies with functioning health and education systems for a start.

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sypkan commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 6:11pm

"...This idea: that we can somehow "govern" our way out of high immigration, with all its attendant impacts on the environment, infrastructure etc etc is a kind of magical thinking that almost has the status of religious belief at the very highest levels of government, and of course the chief proponents of high population growth in Australia, the property council, Business Council of Australia etc etc ."

Have you heard the cornicopian versus malthusian argument regarding environment? Clearly the business council (and blindboy) are in the cornicopian camp.

Whilst the rest of us are just negative pricks.

I'm happy to be labeled a 'negative prick' considering recent developments.

"...magical thinking that almost has the status of religious belief ..."

Yep, that's pretty much what we're dealing with....from all sides....

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sypkan commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 5:49pm

"...Family sizes are dropping world wide, id expect transferring people from developing countries to developed countries just increases the overall carbon foot print.

As individual peoples carbon footprint in developing countries like India is tiny compared to the carbon footprint of those in developed countries like Australia sometimes up to 20 times higher."

Inconveniently pointing out a fundamental flaw to blindboy's (and the powers that be's) argument there indod.

Conversely, can we just continue like the consuming pigs we've become? And put all the blame on poor people for having large families in the process? Large families that traditionally served these cultures well?

Converse conversely, we can hardly blame a large african family of ten or so for environmental degradation, whilst our small 'nuclear families' of four or so consume much more than the family of ten per year. Like a family of four producing 80 ton per anum. whilst the 'large' african family only produces about 30 ton. Then we selfishly go on to live to 80 years - consuming at that higher rate for an extra 20 - 30 years. Way more tons for the family of four no matter how you look at it.

Yep, importing poverty won't fix anything. As they all inevitability adapt to our lifestyles.

Converse conversely again, people from poor countries living in rich ones like Oz send bucket loads of money home by way of 'remittance payments'. These are much better targeted and helpful than any foreign country aid intervention can possibly be. One of the most efficent ways to address poverty actually. I'm surprised more aid groups etc. don't focus on this fact and make this very valid point.

There's one in favour for you blindboy...

For balance...

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tubeshooter commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 5:55pm

We've gone from feral pests to anecdotal opinions on immigration and human population levels.
I find it amusing. I imagine those newer to this forum would find it confusing however.
Meanwhile , back in the scrub ferals are getting away with murder.

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sypkan commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 6:22pm

feral pests ?

Yep, I can't kill em either.

Even when a pesky wabbit tries to run under my wheels.

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tubeshooter commented Tuesday, 1 Jan 2019 at 9:30pm

It's not up to the public to either eradicate or control ferals , In many cases and areas it would be illegal to do so . So now we must rely on the authorities to implement control programs. Good luck.