It’s raining poison sausages in Australia, in regions of the country that are home to thousands of feral cats.
Airplanes dropped the deadly bait over dozens of square miles of ground, as part of the Australian government’s initiative to reduce populations of feral felines. These invasive predators kill hundreds of millions of native birds, mammals and reptiles each year and have already driven many species in Australia to extinction, The New York Times reported on April 25.
The poison payloads are packed with kangaroo meat and seasoned with spices and chicken fat, and they also contain one deadly ingredient: a poisonous chemical called sodium fluoroacetate, which occurs naturally in Australian plants in the Gastrolobium genus. This compound is lethal to cats and other nonnative carnivores but will not harm indigenous Australian species that have evolved resistance to the toxin, according to the Times.