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Aussie serves up feral cat casserole

Bush tucker plan to protect indigenous wildlife

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An Australian kids' book writer and illustrator has come up with a tasty plan to protect the Lucky Country's indigenous wildlife from the feral cat menace - eat the blighters.

Brits brought the first cats to Oz in 1788, the Telegraph notes, and the felines quickly set about going native and laying into the local wildlife. Studies have shown they'll eat just about anything they can get their claws on, including "lizards, small mammals and spiders, as well as 180 species of Australian native birds".

Accordingly, Kay Kessing - who "campaigns to save wildlife from the depredations of cats and other introduced animals, including camels, donkeys and wild horses" - walked it like she talked it at a bush tucker competiton held last weekend in Alice Springs by serving up wild cat casserole.

She reported: "It's a white meat. They vary a lot. The first cat I cooked didn't have a strong flavour. I put a lot of ingredients with it and made a beautiful stew. This cat that I've cooked is slightly larger. It has a slightly stronger flavour, but not as strong as rabbit."

However, since this is Australia and not China's Guangdong province, Kessing insisted she'd never tuck into a domestic moggie. She said: "It should always be wild. And we should be eating donkeys and horse meat, like the French do."

The Oz readers among you who fancy a bit of feral cat tucker action should first heed the words of the director of Northern Territory's health department, Xavier Schobben, who cautioned: "It is not illegal to eat feral cat for your own consumption, or your family's. But there is no guarantee that any feral animal that hasn't been subject to post-mortem examination is safe." ®

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