are cats killing native species?

Cats are cunning nocturnal hunters who are driven by instinct and not hunger. Good luck in imposing a curfew on your well-fed, urban, de-sexed pet moggie (“Pet cats part of the problem: Plibersek”, September 2). Tanya Plibersek has taken the line of least political resistance and is playing politics. As environment minister she should be stopping land clearing and habitat destruction. These are the main causes of Australia’s world’s highest extinction rate. They also contribute to global warming. The predation of domestic cats in urban places, by comparison, is insignificant. Geoff Black, Caves Beach

Feral cats have proved difficult to control and have been devastating to native mammals.

Feral cats have proved difficult to control and have been devastating to native mammals.Credit: Hugh McGregor/ Arid Recovery

A roaming cat is not a loved nor protected pet. They invade neighbouring properties and bushland causing problems. While living opposite bushland, I have observed on many occasions the neighbourhood cats exiting the bush with a bird or lizard during the day. Cats need to be confined to their owners’ properties, and if not, treated as has occurred with stray dogs for decades. Brian McDonald, Willoughby

I like cats, however it is way past time to phase out the pet moggies in Australia. It should be compulsory to de-sex and microchip all existing pet cats under all states and territories legislation.
Stop cat breeding and the sale of kittens. Introduce fines for the owners of roaming cats. Neil Craddock, Wollongong

I believe that there is a simple, if heavy-handed, solution to Australia’s feral cat ongoing killing spree. Have all pet cats inoculated, at government expense, against a highly infectious and fatal disease, and then release that disease at multiple sites throughout the country. The roaming and rapacious nature of cats would soon see it nationwide, with beneficial results to our native animal, bird, reptile and insect communities. Veterinarian advice could no doubt select a disease that is harmless to all non-feline species. Dave Williams, Port Macquarie

On the subject of pets destroying the environment, the elephants in many rooms, of course, are dogs. Chris Hughes, Clovelly

It is not only cats that hunt and kill wildlife; unrestrained dogs are also responsible. The other day, two dogs caught and killed an echidna in my area. Why do people not keep their dogs confined to their properties? Dorothy Gliksman, Cedar Brush Creek

I have always kept my cats indoors, not so much to protect wildlife, as to protect them from cat haters and the sort of people who proudly display bumper stickers stating, “Missing your cat? Check under my wheels. Flat cat society”. Wendy Young, Glebe

“There is no such thing as a locked door to a lover or a cat”: Anon (Letters, September 8). Alicia Dawson, Balmain

It will be hard to forgive the Flying Kangaroo

Your writer suggests Vanessa Hudson needs to talk to staff and customers to help restore the battered trust in the disaster that is the Qantas brand (“Forget the spin: Restoring trust won’t be easy or cheap”, September 7). Having spent nearly three hours on hold yesterday to finally, hopefully, have my money restored from the deep pockets of the Qantas machine, I can but suggest she also needs to reach out to ex-customers. I was once a loyal user of Qantas. My next trip overseas, in a few weeks, will not be on their flight. My recent trip to Melbourne became a road trip. It is going to take a lot for me to forgive. While the actual human I reached yesterday was courteous and helpful, the process I was put through to even reach that person says so much about what Qantas thinks of us. We are but mugs to be fleeced. Brian Everingham, Engadine


The fact that women were strip searched is a serious issue, but one over which Australia has no jurisdiction regarding the punishment of the perpetrators (Letters, September 8). Punishing an entire airline to the detriment of the travelling public who would otherwise be gaining access to the benefit of healthy competition, while simultaneously benefiting Qantas’ bottom line, simply won’t fly. Fred Jansohn, Rose Bay

The government has been caught on the hop with their decision to protect Qantas (“Albanese’s team on autopilot”, September 8). It’s not just a wake-up call for Labor but a reminder that even good governments can become complacent. Far from re-Joycing, I’m hopeful Labor will take the criticism onboard before those loyal to their brand take flight. Janet Argall, Dulwich Hill

Surely, it is good government policy to keep airline ticket prices high, and discourage the mass transit of people by air, one of the great causes of heat-inducing emissions and global warming. Sound government policy. David Brown, Robertson

Mud in your eye

Call me old-fashioned, but being trapped in a sea of mud and god knows what else with 70,000 bohemian kids who have been spirited halfway around the world by the grace of oh-so-choice fossil fuel, to be then caught in the crossfire of “the world’s most mind-blowing DJs”, the only respite being a grope in the Orgy Dome then a slog to the overflowing port-a-loo … I’m sorry, but Dante’s inferno couldn’t look any worse (“Burning Man wasn’t hell on earth, it was heaven”, September 8). Simon Pitts, Riverview

Rich pickings

Sydney’s best property at $95 million? Well, maybe that’s taste in a city whose looks are determined by developers, not architects (“Sydney’s ‘best property’ and the epic effort to purchase it”, September 8). Peter Farmer, Northbridge

Always was

Australia should take India’s lead and return to a First Nations name along with many British names bestowed on various cities and towns (“India or Bharat: The dinner invite that sparked frenzied speculation of a name change”, September 8). Stephen Wilson, Kangaroo Valley

Spin city

Sitting curbside at a Surry Hills pub I was shocked at the stream of very fast e-bikes flashing past in the bike lane. Food delivery multinationals now have a delivery fast lane. Time to ban anything other than actual pedal bikes from bike lanes? Julius Grafton, Birchgrove

Avoiding a panelling.

Avoiding a panelling.Credit: Cathy Wilcox

Our choice: fossil fuels, or life on earth

Recently global warming has cost us, in addition to the burning of the Greek islands, of much of Europe and the beautiful Maui, the loss of almost a generation of Emperor penguins as the Antarctic ice breaks up early and the chicks, with only their baby feathers, drown (“Climate breakdown begins”, September 8). How much more are we willing to lose to feed our reliance on fossil fuels and the money they bring? Penny Rosier, North Epping

Regardless of all the practical reasons for the ongoing massive pollution of our atmosphere from burning fossil fuels, it has to be the biggest example in history of doing the proverbial in our own nest. Dennis O’Hara, Wanniassa (ACT)

Tactical timing

Jacinta Nampijinpa Price is correct (“Timing hurts postal votes, Price says”, September 8). Anthony Albanese’s “deliberate delay” in issuing writs, which allows people to register for a postal vote, will most likely disenfranchise voters who are unable to attend voting booths on October 14. Such a tactic by the prime minister should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Riley Brown, Bondi Beach

No negativity

After thoroughly reading the arguments of the No side in a referendum pamphlet, I think it’s time the Yes side used similar tactics. Here’s my attempt. If the Voice is not recognised in the constitution, life as we know it will grind to a halt. For one thing, the popular TV show The Voice will no longer be made in Australia. We will have access only to the inferior British and US versions. Some will say that this is a good thing, but it will result in the loss of thousands of low-skill jobs in the television industry. Secondly, there is no doubt that John Farnham’s song You’re the Voice will be challenged in the High Court and will be banned, resulting in the demise of the bagpipe industry. And, as if these are not bad enough, a leg of lamb will cost $100, all tradies will be forced to drive EV utes, and we will be forced to have windmills in our backyards. So, for God’s sake, vote Yes. Tom Orren, Wamberal Heights

Whispering Pete.

Whispering Pete.Credit: Matt Golding

American nightmare

I arrived in Australia on January 3, 1973, ostensibly for a two-year teaching stint (“Trump’s martyrs or American traitors? Just imagine it here”, September 8). I met a young Australian girl to whom I am still very happily married. When I look at the state of affairs in America today, I am totally appalled at the discord and violence that I see going on back there. The last time I talked to my sister, now a rabid supporter of Donald Trump, was during Barack Obama’s second term, when she told me “the best thing would be is if somebody shot him”. The current goings-on make me so thankful that I now live in a safe and peaceful democracy, not one that has gone totally bonkers. William Bielefeldt, Kembla Grange

Heal thyselves

How interesting that the confected outcry by the Pharmacy Guild is over the doubled 60-day dispensing policy, when it is really not dissimilar to the warehouse “one-stop bulk buy shop” business model that has taken away from the independent local chemist and brought about their gradual demise (Letters, September 8). They seem to want it all (and they got it) and then some more. Anthony Connolly, Beacon Hill

School’s lessons

Our schools, no matter the system, are always more than the possibility of academic success (“NAPLAN data shows single-sex schools’ academic edge”, September 8). They offer individual resilience for students; friendships that are often life-long; wider opportunities for study and leadership; and the ability to moderate society’s issues and problems. They offer so much more than academic results. None of these are easy to measure or even promote, but they are essential and the grassroots work should be acknowledged, appreciated and shouted from the highest of rooftops. Janice Creenaune, Austinmer

Coalition knee-jerks

China is Australia’s largest trading partner, yet the Coalition thinks it’s a bad idea for our prime minister to go there (“Albanese takes up invitation to Beijing”, September 8). Is it frightened he’ll come back brainwashed? Or is it just the Coalition’s usual knee-jerk reaction to everything the government does? Ian Adair, Hunters Hill

Swans robbed!

Your article about the bias by Victorian AFL umpire against the Sydney Swans and other non-Victorian teams exposes a truth noted by Swans fans over the decades (“So the Swans get all the free kicks?”, September 8). As a Swans’ member for 35-plus years, it has always been obvious the Victorian umpires prefer Victorian teams and adjudicate on that basis. Some time back, a friend showed me a 10-year cumulative total of Frees For vs Frees Against; it came as no surprise that the Swans were 18th – dead last. The AFL Commission and its administration obviously know of the Victorian umpiring bias, but choose to do nothing, but then the AFL hierarchy is filled with Victorians – end of story. Michael Davis, Balmain East

Are you really suggesting that all of those umpires regularly conspire against the Swans during finals matches in Melbourne? You raise only one incident that purportedly happened during the final with the Bulldogs but fail to clinically review all of those “biased” free kicks over the whole period you claim the Swans have been dudded. Utter nonsense. Ian Ferrier, Long Jetty

Musical intro

When I studied to become a primary school teacher, we were required to have some musical instrument capability (Letters, September 8). This requirement has been lost. The recorder may not appeal to adults, but it’s a cheap, easy way to teach music to children, who, in my case, learned faster than their teacher. Every child, no matter their academic abilities, mastered the basics of this much-maligned instrument. Roslyn Staib, St Ives

We can get satisfaction

I have only known a world where The Rolling Stones were a band (“Stones release first album in 18 years”, September 8). I first heard Sticky Fingers when I was eight years old and then Tattoo You when I was 13, and I can’t believe I’ll be hearing Hackney Diamonds at 55. I have seen them perform four times. Thank you, lads, for a lifetime of great music and entertainment. You definitely haven’t gathered any moss. Clare Raffan, Campsie

They may have been athletic enough to fit their band name 50 years ago, but perhaps “Slowly Creeping Rocks” would be appropriate now for these old men. Joan Brown, Orange

Change the line

Who needs Pete Seeger and his reworked song I’ve Been Working on the Metro when we have our own Gary Shearston and his 1965 hit Sydney Town (Letters, September 8)? Just update the line “I’ll get a job that will suit me fine on the eastern suburbs’ railway line”. Peter Riley, Penrith

Cater- what now?

“Caterwauling” twice on Friday’s letters pages. Is this a puzzling clue from David Astle (Letters, September 8)? Micheal Traynor, Bellambi

Come together

Surely the Beatles’ NOwhere Man is a no-brainer for the Coalition’s anthem (Letters, September 8)? John Christie, Oatley


“Surely, the word of the week was Geraldine O’Brien and Brian Byrne’s ‘caterwauling’. Both contributors would be worthy recipients of items that enable them to demonstrate their bragging rights. Tea towels sourced from The Store sound ideal,” wrote Col Shephard of Yamba. Great idea, but kudos will have to do. Surprisingly, this evocative word was used in only one of the big topics of the week – the environment minister’s call for a cat curfew in a bid to save our native species.

Not surprisingly, however, letter writers found many other choice words to express their feelings about what was this week’s biggest issue – (former) Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce’s early departure from the airline. Mal Kirkpatrick of Coombabah (Qld) was impressed by correspondents’ missives. “I am forever in awe of the knowledge and wit of Herald letter writers but this week’s comments about Joyce’s departure as CEO hit new heights. They were funny, poignant and accurate. Some amusement to be had out of such a serious situation at a one-time Australian icon.”

The Departure Lounge.

The Departure Lounge.Credit: Matt Golding

Concord’s David Mansford reacted differently to correspondents’ comments about our feline frenemies. “Some letters were sad examples of why debate in this country often gets lost and goes nowhere,” he wrote. “Domestic cats are part of the extinction problem, not all of it. Humans cause more damage than cats. Keeping domestic cats inside will not fix the extinction problem. All true, but the answer is not to do nothing. There are very few silver bullets in life so let’s not expect every progressive policy to fix everything.” A truism, perhaps, but it’s always worth discussing it on the letters pages. Pat Stringa, letters editor

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Justin Scaccy

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