[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 2 September 2007, 06:28 GMT 07:28 UK
Australians cook up wild cat stew
By Phil Mercer
BBC News, Sydney

Cat (file photo)
Wild cats eat marsupials, lizards and birds
Australians have come up with a novel solution to the millions of feral cats roaming the outback - eat them.

The felines are the descendants of domestic pets and kill millions of small native animals each year.

A recent Alice Springs contest featured wild cat casserole. The meat is said to taste like a cross between rabbit and, perhaps inevitably, chicken.

But wildlife campaigners have expressed their dismay that Australia's wild cat now finds itself on the nation's menus.

Cat stew recipe

Feral cats are one of the most serious threats to Australia's native fauna.

One of the competition judges found the meat impossibly tough and had to politely excuse herself and spit it out

They eat almost anything that moves, including small marsupials, lizards, birds and spiders.

The woman behind the controversial cat stew recipe has said Australians could do their bit to help the environment by tucking into more feral pests, including pigeons and camels.

But it was a recipe for feline casserole that impressed some of the judges at an outback food competition in Alice Springs.

Preparing this unusual stew seems simple enough.

The meat should be diced and fried until it is brown. Then lemon grass is to be added along with salt and pepper and three cups of quandong, which is a sweet desert fruit.

It is recommended that the dish be left to simmer for five hours before being garnished with bush plums and mistletoe berries.

Marinated moggie was not to everyone's taste. One of the competition judges found the meat impossibly tough and had to politely excuse herself and spit it out in a backroom.

Wild cats are considered good eating by some Aborigines, who roast the animals on an open fire.

This outback cuisine does come with a health warning.

Scientists have said that those eating wild cats could be exposed to harmful bacteria and toxins.

US state takes aim at feral cats
13 Apr 05 |  Americas

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific