Feral cats - an export market?

To: "'birding-aus'" <>
Subject: Feral cats - an export market?
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2015 10:12:10 +1100
I would like to add a bit to this. When I was in China 5 years ago at
various places (though mostly in the poorer small cities), I often saw a
cage with one or a few kittens (not adult cats) delivered to the
restaurants, the cage would just stay out on the footpath until needed. It
was not very nice for the young cats to be in a little cage with all the
people walking by, not to mention the vast numbers of cars, bikes, etc. At
first I wondered why restaurants, rather than pet shops would receive young
cats. In general the demand for cats was not huge, compared to other meat
sources. There may be something in it that they like the meat to be freshly
killed. Then again I did not see or was not told of these mentioned on the
menus (It doesn't help that I can't read Mandarin!) Can you imagine a live
export trade of mature feral cats from Australia to Asia? I doubt it.......
Quite apart from the PR outrage it would raise from within Australia. Why
would they be interested in the huge logistic problems and costs of
obtaining cat meat from remote parts of Australia? They have more than
enough feral cats within their own cities and no doubt rural areas. Sure it
is a nice idea what has been put forward from our point of view but I
suggest it is fanciful. For the scheme to be big enough to work to fulfil
our wishes, it would need to appeal to huge numbers of people. The huge
numbers of people is the class of the population that are very poor. They
sure are not interested in doing this for the cause of rare species
conservation in Australia. They would not be remotely interested in, nor
aware of these issues. The Chinese (especially the non wealthy ones) are
interested in conservation of the Giant Panda and a few other species but
that is about all. Their own lives are hard enough. It appeared to me that
generally Chinese people have little concept of any difference between wild
fauna and farmed food animals (although I'll admit I am generalising and my
sample size of knowledge is small). And yes it is also my experience that
Chinese people (e.g. my Chinese former wife and her son) would probably
prefer to eat such things rather than eat lamb, as Charles says they don't
like the smell of lamb). 

Similarly I have just returned from Philippines, where most people are far
poorer than in China, the huge numbers of stray and partially wanted cats
and dogs just living on the street and presumably eating human food scraps,
rodents, Tree Sparrows and whatever other little things they can find, would
be a far easier source of food than by obtaining wild cats in remote
Australia (although I did not detect any culinary interest by the
Philippinos in eating cats). In any case if there is a market, the economics
would need to be generated with huge financial subsidies by Australia such
that the local price in Asia would need to be negligible for this to work in
order to compete with local supply. Some may say sure Asians spend huge
amounts on exotic food and yes some very wealthy ones do. This does generate
conservation tragedies for various rare species but I doubt that cats are
included in that. But there are relatively few of the very wealthy compared
to so many who are very poor. 

These are just my observations and opinions (which I would not have had any
idea about without my travels there). Others may have more detailed economic


-----Original Message-----From: Birding-Aus
 On Behalf Of Peter Shute
Sent: Thursday, 19 February 2015 12:52 AM
To: Charles     Cc: birding-aus Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Feral cats - an
export market?

If that poisoning method is more selective then great. I don't know if
exporting is a good idea though. Apart from the outcry, any hunting that
generates profit is likely to either fizzle out when density gets low, or
encourage people to breed more of them instead of hunting.

Peter Shute

Sent from my iPad

> On 18 Feb 2015, at 10:07 pm, Charles <> wrote:
> Hi Carl,
> True in some regards. A friend of mine from Myanmar likes to eat cat
> (and can't stand eating lamb - hates the smell).
> Cats are very hard to catch.
> They are every where.
> I saw a very large black feral cat last August (2014) near the famed
> Golden-shouldered parrot site near Musgrave Roadhouse.
> As you know the GSP is primarily a ground feeder.
> I've seen feral cats at most of my favourite bird watching sites
> across Australia (from Nightcap NP to Cape York to Fitzgerald River 
> NP).
> I spoke with a guy from Northern Queensland last week who said he uses
> them for bait in crab nets. They are excellent bait he said.
> This approach to cull them is the best I've seen for a while, see link
> below:
> nique-for-controlling-feral-cats-20141107-11iehz.html
> Cheers,
> Charles Hunter
> Bronte, Sydney
>> On 18 Feb 2015, at 6:29 pm, Carl Clifford <>
>> wrote:
>> Cat meat is quite popular in parts of Asia and there is a good market
>> for cat fur in China and Korea. Perhaps there is a chance for 
>> Australian entrepreneurs to not only take advantage of these markets 
>> and help the control. After all, just shooting the cats and leaving 
>> the carcasses where they fall only gives other cats a free meal.
>> Just a thought.
>> Carl Clifford

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