On Thursday, July 16, 2015, Hunt spoke with the Australia Broadcasting Corporation. The environment minister said:
We are drawing a line in the sand today which says, 'On our watch, in our time, no more species extinction.'
Feral cats or domesticated cats released into the wild were thought to be responsible for 28 of the 29 native mammal extinctions over the last 200 years, according to Hunt. He stated that the "war against cats" is vital to avert subsequent extinctions. He stressed the importance of emphasizing that Australia does not despise cats.
It's just that the country can't take the devastation the cats are causing to its animals any longer. Greg Hunt stated that the federal government hopes to exterminate 2 million wild cats by 2020.
Australia currently has an estimated 20 million cats, and they kill 75 million native species every day. He stated:
By 2020, I want to see two million feral cats culled, five new islands and 10 new mainland 'safe havens' free of feral cats, and control measures applied across 10 million hectares
Feral cats will now be called "pests" in all of Australia's territories and provinces. Wild cats will be killed in large numbers by shooting, poisoning, and setting traps for them.
A "humane toxin" called para-aminopropiophenone has been made into pellets and put into a new kind of bait. The pellets of the humane toxin are put in sausage. When eaten, it gives the cat a fast-acting poison that puts them to sleep and makes sure they never wake up.
The reason why Australia declared war on cats is that feral cats find native creatures to be easy prey. Cats are thought to kill more than 1 million native birds and 1.7 million reptiles in Australia every day. This figure is stated by Australia's Department of Environment and Energy.
Moreover, feral cats have already contributed to the loss of over 20 mammal species and are threatening the survival of at least another 124 native Australian mammals.