Local News

Queensland council stands by their bounty for feral cat scalps

Banana shire rewards $10 for an adult cat scalp, $5 for kittens.

By Lorna Gray
Qld council stands by their bounty for feral cat scalps

Last month a local Queensland council took drastic action in dealing with feral cats, offering a bounty for their scalps.

Council staff from Banana shire, west of Rockhampton, said this measure was due to “an exploding population” of feral cats killing native wildlife.

Recent research found feral cats kill 272 million birds each year.

The bounty currently sits at $10 for an adult cat scalp and $5 for a kitten.

Banana shire council allocated $25,000 in its land budget to cover the cost of reward money.

However Mayor Nev Ferrier said they haven’t had any cat scalps brought in since they introduced the scheme late last month.

But he’s hopeful it will take off and says farmers in particular want to cull the cats.

"I've had a couple of farmers call me up up and say they want to give us money to increase the bounty," he said.

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An online petition started by international animal rights group Alley Cat Rescue to ban the bounty has already amassed over 133k signatures at time of publishing.

They argue the only “humane and effective solution” to feral cat overpopulation is ‘trap-neuter-return’ aka catching the cats, de-sexing them then returning them to the wild.

Cr Ferrier said the prospect of a successful and widespread de-sexing program was "ridiculous".

PETA has also joined the fight, putting up a billboard near the Banana shire council office, warning residents to lock up their pet cats in case they get killed.