Australia is trying to kill its cat population by dropping poisonous sausages from planes
Australia is waging war, but it has an unlikely opponent.
The Australian government is trying to kill two million free roaming cats by 2020 in an effort to rid the country of its feral cat population, reports CNN. The country's total feral cat population is estimated to be between two and six million.
Cats are the single biggest threat to Australia's native species according to Gregory Andrews, national commissioner of threatened species. Cats kill more than 1 million native birds and 1.7 million reptiles in Australia every day, says CNN, and felines span nearly 100 percent of the country.
Officials are carrying out the killings by dropping sausages from airplanes into areas where the cats are known to be living, reports Insider. The sausages, which are laced with an ingredient deadly to animals, are cooked with flavors most appealing to cats, per The New York Times.
"They've got to taste good. They are the cat's last meal," Shane Morse, who works with the sausages, told the Times.
But despite being a conservation effort, many conservationists disavow the killings. Tim Doherty, a conservation ecologist from Deakin University in Australia, told CNN that the plan is based on shaky science, and he said it only helps if the killed felines were already living in an area where they threatened native species.