From a blog post in the July - "Brisbane City Council (BCC) continues cat culls - declares G2Z success" - BCC Councillor Matthew Bourke said about their cat culling program, that cats deemed "feral" are given a "thorough assessment" that Council officers are trained how to conduct "temperament tests" to check cats for "domestic characteristics" and that,
"Council is committed to a comprehensive assessment process for all cats captured during these programs to ensure domestic cats are separated from feral cats"
As part of their seek-and-destroy cats mission, BCC visited a local vet, to appraise the temperament of two cats who had been trapped, and booked in by local cat rescuers for desexing and microchipping. A review of this process was sent in a letter to the rescue group (full letter here);
When Council officers arrived, they rolled up their proverbial sleeves, and started their "comprehensive assessment process" to determine whether the cats - still drowsy from surgery - could be deemed "feral" and be seized and killed.
This is Council's "thorough assessment, temperament test" process, in their own words;
So the test used to determine these cats were unsaveably feral was to ... here kitty kitty... then pick up the cages they were in and peer inside. When the cats (who had just had surgery), hissed and swiped, that's how council knew they're like totally feral. #sciencey
Seize, kill, dead. Job done.
Except, the rescuers involved went public and demanded that the now desexed and microchipped (ie. OWNED) cats be returned to them. Thanks to huge community backlash, Council was forced to back down and the two cats went back into rescue's care (after a full six days of impoundment).
But being shamed into not killing cats who were owned by a volunteer cat rescue group, doesn't mean BCC can't sabre-rattle at anyone working to help the City's cat population. BCC has asserted that any cat rescuers found to be “feeding" or "moving" cats that Council should deem “feral” (using their state of the art, shake-the-cage-and-see-if-they-spittle cat "temperament appraisal" protocol) will be at risk of a fine of up to "$64,000 dollars". Should said cats also be unwell at the time they are rescued, the fine will be bumped up to a whopping "$378,000".
And that this rescue of these two little cats - according to Council - breeched both offences and that council is doing rescuers a FAVOUR in not pursuing them for the best part of half a million dollars per animal.
Which should horrify, not only cat lovers who support rescue groups in finding solutions for at-risk stray and homeless cats, but every single major charity shelter and animal rescue group whom could at any moment become the victim of a Council cat seizure raid and bankrupting level of prosecution.
What a bunch of heartless thugs BCC is. Utterly shameful.