EJ brought up a very good point about this article - how much taxpayers' money has been spent on this one person trying (and failing) to get rid of all the cats in the area?
If you've been trapping and killing for several years - and there are still cats in the area, I think it's time to change your methods because they're clearly not working. Mr Tan has refused offers of help to go down and try and cat proof his house (including offers that I've made). He's refused to use the Scarecrow (which would have been loaned free to him) or even to meet to discuss possible solutions. So why are the authorities continuing to fund him? There must be a point at which the authorities should cut him off.
Let's say he's spent $9000 of taxpayers' money. This is assuming my guess-timate for trapping and killing cats at $30 a cat is right (and that involves food and water for the cat before it is killed, transport and labour to pick up the cat, gas for the van, labour to care for cat while it is at the AVA, the vet's salary since vets euthanise the cats, cost of medicine to inject the cat, etc). The actual amount could be less, but considering he stopped counting at 300 cats, I think it's probably more. Should we continue to spend more just because he's not happy that the cats come into his yard especially if he refuses to even consider other methods?
What's $9000? Quite a lot to Public Assistance (PA) Recipients (and whom I might add, have to fulfill certain criteria to even qualify for the scheme). We're so careful about welfare - and making sure that we don't have a system of reliance on the authorities. By continually funding Mr Tan's activities, this is in direct opposition to that ethos.
Let's break this down. Single PA recipients receive $330 a month.
That works out to 28 and a half months of public assistance money - so that means that someone who cannot support themselves could get more than TWO YEARS on the money that has been spent on Mr Tan. Alternatively, that means 28 individuals or 8 families (with 5 of more individuals) could get one month's worth of public assistance - these are people who are having trouble feeding themselves. Not people who are upset a cat came into their house.
Isn't it time that taxpayers' money stops being wasted on this man?
Say it is your 'right' not to have cats in your garden - but it IS your property and you ought to take some responsibility for it. Certainly it is not your right to sit around and ensure that the authorities take care of any problems you might face. Say your roof collapses, or you put up a fence - should the government pay for that too?
A few years ago we had a hive of hornets or wasps in our garden. My Mom didn't want to kill them but a previous hive had ended up in our dogs being stung pretty badly. Nparks and the NEA were helpful when my Mom rang for advice. They even eventually sent someone to take a look. We were told that if they swarmed and attacked, it could lead to injury or worse. If this was on public property, or abutting public property, the hive would be considered a hazard and would be removed free of charge. However, because the site of the hive was not facing the road and our neighbours were far enough away the only people likely to be injured was our family. As a result, we would have to pay to remove them, which was fair enough.
So why is it that Mr Tan and the cats in his yard have become something that public money is subsidising?