UPDATE 11.20am: THE public is torn between being outraged by controversial comments made by cat haters, and admiring those who made them.
The division between those who support the self-confessed "cat haters" and those who are disgusted by their actions is clear on The Northern Star's Facebook page.
Some readers have applauded those who made comments stating they caught cats in traps and used them in crab pots, or, in another case, encouraged their dog to kill their neighbour's cats.
"He would have saved thousands of our native birds and animals," Wayne Sheppard said.
"We need more civil servants like this guy!" Tom Shellshear said.
"Why can cats kill native animals but humans can't kill cats? If cats were killing people there would however be a cull," Uri Sturridge said.
"Great idea for cats that are roaming around," Tor Mcalpin said.
"Perfect solution to a monstrous problem. I don't believe in cruelty to anything but and this is a rather extreme way of dealing with cats, nevertheless at least the crabs are getting fed and I'm sure you don't mind eating crabs," Julia Chapple said.
Others, however, were horrified by the violent comments.
"I'm no fan of feral cats... but this is not the way to go about it!" Maddy-Rose Braddon said.
"That's disgusting! While I do agree that roaming cats can be a problem, this IS NOT the way to combat the problem." Kid-Nee Been said.
"Can't believe this, it's so heartbreaking, particularly as my indoor cat got out 2 weeks ago & haven't seen him since. These people who harm cats should be prosecuted & jailed. What next?" Ros Zem said.
"Mankind has done more damage than any other creature, so maybe it should us that are kept inside!" Stephen Trewin said.
"Special place in hell for people who are cruel to animals. Never mind the children's hearts he's breaking by killing family pets. what an oxygen thief," Lu Dean said.
"It is NOT a civil service! It's deranged, cruel and illegal. Who the $$@% does he think he is! How about we go get something that's precious to him and carve it up for a bit of fun hey?" Terri Hall said.
"To kill animals in this manner clearly shows that this person is deranged and dangerous," Cathie Lee said.
"This person has bought equipment and set traps to do this. Starts with cats and who knows where it ends up. Kills cats as bait for crabs and then kills and eat crabs. I'm sure this person's motive is to 'protect our native wildlife'," Michelle Went said.
"We are not talking about feral cats, we are talking about peoples loved animals, .and before you start I believe ALL CATS should be kept in at night with heavy fines if not. I also believe all pets should be desexed. Why does this person have the right to take 'willy nilly' whatever cat he traps? They should be handed over to rangers and dealt with from there. Not used because this sicko can't/won't by his own bait," Terri Hall said.
TUESDAY 6.30am: CAT haters on the Northern Rivers have revealed they kill animals in backyard traps and use the dead cats as bait in their crab pots.
Others "encourage" their dogs to kill neighbourhood cats, while some people believe poison should be used to get rid of all felines in the area.
The disturbing practices have been uncovered following a surge in complaints from residents about cats killing wildlife.
When The Northern Star asked readers whether cats should be kept inside at all times, many people said yes.
"I hate cats," one readers posted on the Star's Facebook page.
"The neighbour has six of the dirty things.
"Terrorising day and night frogs, lizards, birds.
"Shame they won't jump the fence to play with my mastiffs."
Another reader posted: "Every cat should be sterilised and then phased out."
But some readers have already taken action into their own hands.
A number of readers, in a public thread on The Northern Star's Facebook page, admitted to abusing and killing cats.
"Years ago, we had about 150 feral cats around our place," one reader said.
"My dog killed 'em all in about a month, then she killed other neighbours cats after that.
"I used to encourage my dog to kill cats on the street at night. I hate cats."
Another said: "I use cat traps in me yard (and) whenever I get one I put it in me crab pots. Crabs love 'em."
Suzanne Lavis, the office manager at Animal Rights and Rescue Group in South Lismore, said it was "really sad to see this level of hatred" for cats on the Northern Rivers.
She said she kept her cats indoors, and urged other pet owners to do the same to prevent their animals from becoming neighbourhood targets.
In response to the comments made on the Star's Facebook page, Ms Lavis said cats got a "raw deal" in this region.
"I'd hate to imagine what they (the readers) do to humans if they'd do that to animals," she said.
Despite the shocking comments, Ms Lavis said the animal rescue group had not seen many cat cruelty cases lately has they had in previous years.
She stressed the importance of desexing cats to avoid unwanted litters and dumped animals.
"Desexing is the answer," she said.
A lack of desexed cats leads to an excess of cats, which can lead to more frustration with the furry creatures in our region.
Visit www.animalrights.org.au for more information.
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