Port of Newcastle cat shooting
To the Port of Newcastle, via feedback form, 22 December 2020
I’m writing in relation to the disastrous ‘cull’ of cats (on 17 December 2020) living at the Stockton breakwall.
I note that you now find the ‘outcome of this activity’ to be distressing. It is difficult to imagine what other outcome you expected, since hiring people to shoot cats would have the likely outcome of cats being killed and injured by shooting.
You say ‘elements of the activity did not meet our expectations’. What expectations were outlined in your contract and which elements were not met? Which elements ‘don’t align’ with your ‘values as an organisation’?
In the Newcastle region there are numerous animal welfare agencies and community groups with whom you ought to have consulted if you were concerned about the presence of the cats. News reports refer to The Stray Cat Project as being active in trapping, desexing and seeking homes for cats from this site. Did Port of Newcastle consider their assistance? Did Port of Newcastle approach any animal welfare agency?
Your statement says you have engaged ‘an expert’ to look for injured animals and that you’ve launched ‘an investigation’ with ‘external experts’ to examine ‘all aspects of the activity’.
The statement is bland, non-specific and lacks transparency.
Cats are sentient beings and their welfare matters. The community expects standards of animal management to be humane and transparent. Port of Newcastle has failed in this, and you have not clearly explained what you are doing in response to that failure. Paying the vet bill for one injured cat is not sufficient.
We would ask that the Port of Newcastle explains your actions, before and after this cat shooting, whether such has been referred for independent assessment in relation to animal welfare laws and standards, and whether you will undertake to not shoot cats in the future.
Kristina Vesk OAM
Chief Executive Officer
Cat Protection Society of NSW
If you wish to express your views, complaints can be made to the Port of Newcastle through their online feedback form.