Hervey Bay Animal Refuge has been criticised after 26 cats suffering flu and ringworm were euthanised.
Hervey Bay Animal Refuge has been criticised after 26 cats suffering flu and ringworm were euthanised. Megan Popefrarefuge

Cat spat hits the fan after 26 moggies euthanised

FUR has been flying over the deaths of 26 cats at the Hervey Bay animal refuge, which were put down after suffering ringworm.

A stream of more than 300 Facebook comments targeting Hervey Bay Animal Refuge have collectively accused the organisation of needlessly euthanising the animals over the long weekend after there was a outbreak of ringworm and cat flu.

Criticism from the community stems from the fact that the illnesses are treatable in most cases.

But Hervey Bay Animal Refuge managing director Maree Hill has hit back at critics, saying that the actions were justified and based on advice from a local vet.

"We did seek treatment for those few animals initially affected by the disease," she said.

"However, after we had spent days administering washing, isolation and medical treatment as advised by the refuge vet we found that the disease had spread to others."

The veterinarian who tended to the animals, Ron McKay of Hervey Bay Veterinary Surgery, also spoke out, saying once a situation like that broke out it was almost impossible to control.

"You need to have every cat on a high level of anti-fungal medication, they all have to be bathed daily and then you wouldn't guarantee that you would control the situation even then," he said.

As a result of the uproar, Hervey Bay Animal Refuge has decided to hold a public meeting with the hope that questions surrounding the incident can be addressed.

"No one wants to put down a cat and people are acting like this is something we do regularly," Ms Hill said.

The meeting will be held at the Hervey Bay Animal Refuge at 4.30pm on Thursday.


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