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Alex is committed to government transparency and accountability; protecting the natural and urban environments, open space and Sydney’s unique heritage; retaining inner city social and affordable housing; the humane treatment of animals; improving transport options; and fairness and equality for the LGBTI communities.

Animal Welfare (Population Control)

This Thursday I will introduce my Animal Welfare (Population Control) bill in NSW Parliament to support trap neuter and release programs (TNR).

TNR is a scientifically proven way to humanely control cat and rabbit colonies in our community. Please join me for the introduction from 10am in the NSW Parliament.

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  • commented 2014-09-17 10:42:02 +1000 · Flag
    Thanks Ray,

    It seems that there is a focus on the action of enthinasing pests being cruel. I would think that the appropriate response would be to reclassify the pests as pets (ie; take ownership of the animal).

    After all it would seem that pests in a competative environment would face a daily struggle to survive. Hence the idea of “a stable group on neutered cats may help limit others..”. It is interesting to monitor the use of language in the bill reading. The human interaction is described as “cruel methods”…although there is very little said as to the methods feral animals have in the wild.

    I also not that their seems to be a focus on – stable numbers instead of decreasing numbers – since these are isolated groups surely the ability to control improves?

    As a resident of Sydney, I’ve experienced the heartache of seing treasured backyard chickens taken out by feral cats. Chickens, I would add, that provide cheap (comparative to cage eggs) organic cage free returns. Obviously the impact of losses affects the economics/viability.

    So my thoughts are:
    -if their is genuine regard for the welfare of the animals they should be owned – not managed without regard to their daily stuggle (ie; bird reduction, disease spreading, injured animals)
    -animal ownership should be licensed
    -more thought needs to be put into eradicating pests in urban environments. with the reduction of habitat the native animals need all the help they can get.
    -need to consider the rights of other urban pets (including cats within their own backyard or chickens – which provide a welcome alternative to cage eggs and a delightful pet)
    -perhaps eradication methods can be re-examined to ensure humane methods

    All this said – I think its a matter of the animal rights people being able to take partial responsibility for these pests. At least it doesn’t impact the rights of other members of the community in removing them from their environment.
  • commented 2014-09-17 09:54:36 +1000 · Flag
    There seems to be confusion amongst the PRO TNR supporters. STRAY Cats are not different from feral cats. Feral cats and Stray cats are one and the smae. Releasing back into the environment feral/stray non-native animals should be a criminal offence. The best way to handle stray cats is a low cost and effective population reduction method.
  • commented 2014-09-15 10:30:46 +1000 · Flag
    This bill would ensure that volunteers can desex and return unowned animals already in the community under a trap-neuter-return (TNR) program without breaching “abandoning” or “liberating” offences. TNR programs involve desexing the majority of animals in a colony then returning them to where they were found. TNR programs already operate across the country, predominantly on stray street cat colonies in the metropolitan area.

    Evidence shows that TNR can help stabilise populations and because it is humane, volunteers who would never destroy animals run the programs, which means they operate in addition to, not instead of other population control methods. At the absolute minimum TNR programs increase the proportion of non-native animals in the community that are desexed, preventing further breeding.

    Alex’s bill requires TNR programs to be sponsored by council, the RSPCA, the Animal Welfare League or the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service in a national park. Programs for declared pests run outside of Sydney must also be approved by the minister.

    The bill doesn’t force any organisation to sponsor or run a TNR program and all other lawful population control methods would continue. The bill provides a framework for what already happens, giving volunteers legal certainty.

    Please read Alex’s introductory speech at
  • commented 2014-09-13 16:38:12 +1000 · Flag
    Emailing bird watch groups and national parks. Am also concerned how proposal interacts with Threatened Species Conservation Act. Does this proposal give rights to people who would be currently classified as offenders to casually reintroduce a pest into a environment where it can do damage to protected native fauna?
  • commented 2014-09-12 16:38:37 +1000 · Flag
    Are you kidding? Get your head out of your latte and check out what real science such as our own CSIRO is saying and doing about the feral cat problem.

    In 2011 the then Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities published one of numerous papers on the feral cat problem, headlining the paper “The feral cat is found in nearly all habitats across Australia. It has caused the extinction of some species on islands and has contributed to the disappearance of many ground-dwelling birds and mammals on the mainland. Feral cat control is feasible on islands, but elsewhere, management is difficult due to the lack of effective and humane broad-scale control techniques, and the presence of domestic cats”.

    You, now, having apparently successfully trapped a feral cat intend to spend taxpayer’s money on that animal so it can be released back in to the wild? I find that an intriguing interpretation of your claimed commitment to government accountability and protecting the natural environment.

    I note also you claim to be committed to the humane treatment of animals and here’s a thing Alex – that recently neutered feral tabby might have been humanely put down, but instead he will be stalking the natural bush killing our native species by violent means to feed himself. He, and according to the CSIRO his 15 million mates, will be killing as many as 75 million small animals a day.

    Have a think about that will you; Alex Greenwich, protecting the natural environment. Your Bill is just about the stupidest think I’ve heard of this year. If it wasn’t so sad it’d be a laugh, you dill.