Last winter I had many many birds at the feeders and several mice in the garden as a whole. 30+ house sparrows used to ground feed on seed around the garden and I always had a good few blackbirds dotted about the garden.
This winter, a bird at the feeders is rare and unusual, I have very few blackbirds and no sparrows.
Last winter I spend just short of £80 on feed, this year I have spend less than £20 so far and I'm going to be left much of it the way things are going. I thought at first that the cause was a relatively mild winter and an abundance of natural food.
It wasn't until a week or so ago that I found out why, I now have at least 4 cats visiting the garden on a regular basis.
I've always believed for years though that ALL pets / domestic animals should be mandatorily licenced, electronically tagged and insured and before anybody can have a domestic animal they should first attend a mandatory college course and obtain a certificate to prove the course was completed which must list the animals and breeds that the bearer is allowed to keep and look after. The course should establish if the person(s) are fit and able to have an animal, if the property that the person lives at is a suitable property to house an animal.
Animals capable of inflicting injury should be mandatorily muzzled at all times including the home.
Any domestic animal outdoors at any time unattended should be caught, if untagged it should be destroyed, if tagged the owner fined at least £100 plus costs incurred.
Farmers, I believe have a right to shoot dogs harassing livestock, should we have the right to shoot a domestic animal (cats) trespassing and unattended in our gardens causing damage, death to our wildlife and general disruption!?