Animal advocates are demanding the resignation of Australia's president of the Pet Industry Association after he posed smiling in a photograph holding a dead cat.
According to Australian newspaper, the Herald Sun, Pet Industry Association of Australia president Steve Austin is pictured smiling with two friends as he holds a dead feral cat dangling by its neck off a piece of white rope.
PIAA chief executive officer Roger Perkins defended Mr. Austin, saying he was "having a bit of fun'' after a day of hunting feral cats in the Kimberleys.
Mr. Austin defended himself saying, "This judgment does not reflect my feeling toward companion animals and as PIAA president I respect people's passion for their pets and am committed to ensuring our pets welfare.''
Austin went on to say that feral cats were not like ordinary house pets. "Feral cats, like the one pictured, are not like our friendly pet moggy but are a devastating problem that decimate and kill our Australian wildlife in the millions,'' he said.
Animal advocates across Australia are demanding Austin step down as president.
Debra Tranter, founder of animal advocacy group Oscar's Law, was quoted as saying, "This is the president of PIAA, which represents thousands of pet owners, was quite happy to pose for a disgusting photo with a cat dangling off a rope. It just shows complete disregard and lack of respect...Animals should be treated humanely and with respect even if they are dead,'' she said.
We want the PIAA to remove Steve Austin as the president in light of his disregard for the life of any cat, whether feral or tame.