AFP

SYDNEY

French actress Brigitte Bardot has condemned an Australian plan to cull two million feral cats, blamed for wreaking havoc on native animals, to stop them further harming vanishing populations.

Feral cats have been identified as the main culprit behind Australia’s high rate of mammal extinction, with more than 10 percent of species wiped out since Europeans settled here two centuries ago. Environment Minister Greg Hunt has said the advice he has received is that the cats number 20 million across the country and devour countless native animals every night.

‘They are tsunamis of violence and death for Australia’s native species,’ he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation last week. Hunt said a target of eradicating two million feral cats had been set for 2020, in addition to creating feral-free enclosures to aid the recovery of birds and mammals among other measures.

The government has stressed the eradication of cats will be carried out humanely, but Bardot urged the government to reconsider the plan which she said was ‘appalling’ to the international community.