The Australian government is killing millions of feral cats by airdropping sausages laced with poison across the Outback.
The cats die within 15 minutes of ingesting the sausages, which are produced at a factory close to Perth.
Officials said they also trap and shoot the cats.
The Australian government launched the killing spree in 2015, insisting the animals pose a massive threat to rodent species that are already on the brink of extinction.
Cats are said to be a major threat to at least 27 of Australia’s unique species including the big-eared hopping mouse, according to The Australian government.
They reportedly kill around 377million birds, and 649million reptiles each year in Australia.
With an aim to slaughter at least two million felines by 2020, officials killed 200,000 by 2016, the Royal Melbourne Institute said.
Dr Dave Algar, who helped develop the poison recipe said he used his cats to test the taste of the sausages before adding the poison to check the flavour.
He added: “They’ve got to taste good. They are the cat’s last meal.”
Hundreds of thousands initially opposed the scheme, including the likes of singer Morrisey and Brigitte Bardot.
Morissey, from the band The Smiths, blasted the government, claiming “idiots rule the earth” after more than 160,000 signed a petition to save the cats.
Ms Bardot wrote a letter calling on the government to stop “animal genocide”.
But the species commissioner at the time replied to both of their public calls, claiming many of the country’s “delightful creatures” had already been killed by the feral cats.
“Feral cats are a real menace and a very significant threat to the health of our ecosystem,” Australia’s former environment minister Josh Frydenberg said.
Not everyone opposed the schemes, with many claiming Australia is known for its wildlife, so anything that poses a risk to it should be eliminated.
Queensland veterinarian Katria Lovell told the newspaper: “Australians have a huge appreciation for our natural fauna. It’s sort of what we’re known for…
“I think there is a general feeling that something has to be done.”
Although the poison-laced sausages have proven most effective at killing the felines, it’s the farmers and shooters that have killed more in total.
Statistics from The Royal Melbourne Institute revealed individual shooters killed 83 percent of feral cats who were deliberately killed across the country.
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