Outdoor pet cats kill 390 mln wild animals per year in Australia: research

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SYDNEY, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Pet cats in Australia killed 390 million wildlife a year in average when they were outdoor, a local study revealed on Friday.

The scientific program sponsored by the Australian government found each outdoor pet cat kills 40 native reptiles, 38 native birds and 32 native mammals per year in average.

The research led by Prof. Sarah Legge from the University of Queensland combined 66 different studies on pet cats and was able to quantify the wildlife killed by pet cats in a national scale for the first time.

Legge said pet cat's nature hunting instinct will inevitably cause heavy loss to neighboring wildlife if they were allowed go outside.

"Just under a third of these pet cats are kept contained 24 hours per day and are not a threat to wildlife, but 2.7 million pet cats, or 71 percent of all pet cats, are allowed to roam and when they do, they hunt," Legge said.

"Every cat counts; there are documented cases of even single pet cats driving the decline of a species in their local area, sometimes to the point of local extinction."

Legge added the only way to avoid the problem associated with roaming pet cats was to keep them domestic all the time.

"Devices like bells and cat bibs can make hunting harder for cats but are not completely effective and do not prevent cats from disturbing animals."

"The only way to keep wildlife safe is to keep cats contained 24 hours per day." Enditem

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