Peter Rolfe
Sunday Herald Sun
January 22, 2012 12:00AM


HUNTERS would be allowed to shoot cats that stray from houses on to public land under a controversial plan being pushed by a Victorian gun group.

The Sporting Shooters Association of Victoria wants the State Government to change the law to allow hunters to kill any cat it considers a risk to native fauna.

The push to legally destroy family pets and feral cats is among a range of changes the group is seeking.

They include new hunting seasons for cockatoos and galahs, the vulnerable crested pigeon and new regulations for slaying of eastern grey kangaroos.

In a report requesting amendments to wildlife regulations, the association says destruction of native wildlife in Victorian forests could be “partly mitigated if there was a provision to destroy cats within specified distances of dwellings.

“Cats within 200 metres of dwellings or on public land should be considered a danger to native fauna. Such animals within these areas should be able to be legally destroyed,” the report says.

The cat killing push has angered animal rights groups and comes as Bendigo residents were warned last week to keep pets inside after threats on public notice boards vowing to trap cats after dark and tan their hides.

Upper House Greens leader Greg Barber said the cat owners would be horrified shooters had their pets in their sites: ” … this shows they are out of touch with community values and they don’t care about people because it would be absolutely devastating to people if they lost their cat in this way,” he said.

The report is expected to be given to the Baillieu Government mid-year.

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