No mate, maybe not. My point is that I do not think eradicating or attempting to eradicate feral cats would be politically difficult, unlike feral horses, which is. It is technically difficult and could be very expensive to get rid of feral cats, unlike the
horses which would be easy (relatively speaking).
There may be technology that could make it easier, such as that which Con eludes to. That would need to be subject to the full regulatory process to ensure safety. Internationally, this may cause issues if such a man-made virus could or did find its
way into populations of wild Felis spp. many of which are endangered. Australians may not care but our trading partners may take a different view. Something similar is going on in NZ with Possums see http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/42005/biocontrol_of_possums.pdf
I wonder how Australia would respond if such a 'thing' made its way over here by 'whatever means'?
I stand to be corrected by those who know more than I, but I'm not sure if anyone anywhere has done such a thing with a mammal and got it through the full regulatory process and released it into the natural environment. That process wont come cheap or
If we take Con's figure of 400 million birds a year killed by feral cats at face value for one moment. It sounds a lot. Let us divide it by the land area of Australia (7.692 million Km2),
that gives you about 52 birds a year killed by cats per Km2. Or put it another way - one bird a week per Km2! Sounds a bit on the
low side to me, however we know that the impacts of cat predation would not be the same everywhere, e.g. island and seabird colonies and some species at more risk than others etc. etc. Is that level of predation significant to the survival of bird populations
in general? Would preventing it make a difference?. I do not know but, I think we can be pretty sure that when compared to other bad things we are doing to the environment, this level of loss, if true, is probably relatively trivial.
In a competitive granting world, I am not sure how such impact numbers would stack up against the impact of other possibilities for the environmental protection dollar. I suspect not well, except possibly for specific local situations.