Council stymies cat catcher plan to reduce pests

TWEED Heads man Barry Clugston was a keen feral cat catcher with a Tweed Shire Council-supplied cat cage.

But when the cats kept coming, council rangers decided to withdraw their cage service, Mr Clugston said.

And he has so far been unable to find a suitable alternative in his campaign to reduce feral cat numbers.

"This is a town problem, these cats harm our native wildlife," Mr Clugston pointed out.

He said feral cats lived in drains near the Tweed Mall shopping centre, where they scavenged for food scraps.

Mr Clugston was unable to fit the large cat cage inside his small car to take his feral bounty to the pound, so until recently shire rangers were delivering the cat catch to the pound for him.

But he said when it became apparent the delivery task was going to be a regular trip, the rangers dropped the initiative.

So Mr Clugston bought his own cat cage and then approached the RSPCA to see if a delivery trip to the pound could be arranged.

No luck there, either.

Mr Clugston has now contacted the Daily News to ask if anything can be done about feral cats.

"The state government goes after feral cats in state forests, but it seems no-one is interested in the feral cat problem in our urban areas," he said.

"My car's too small to take a cat cage, I can't fit it in.

"But those 10 cats I trapped would probably have bred 100 cats over 12 months.

"It seems a waste to stop doing this.

"There's a lot of cats out there, I was catching one a night."

Mr Clugston has decided to set his cat cage again and hopefully trap some more of the furry feral menaces.

The Daily News yesterday was unable to contact Tweed Shire rangers.

Mr Clugston said he would be interested to know if transport could be arranged to get his feral haul to the pound.

"I'm willing to set the trap and catch the cats, I need to find a way to take them to the pound."



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