Cat Management Plan “big step forward”

Cat Management Plan “big step forward”

RSPCA Tasmania says the State Government’s draft Cat Management Plan released today is a big step forward from the existing Cat Management Act, which CEO Peter West has previously described as a “poorly drafted, toothless tiger”.

Speaking at the launch today at the RSPCA’s Launceston Animal Care Centre, Mr West said

“The new draft Plan looks at legislative and other changes to the Cat Management Act to address the contemporary challenges of domestic, unowned and feral cats in Tasmania.

“This is a challenge the whole Tasmanian community needs to consider so importantly, the draft Plan allows almost ten weeks for community consultation and feedback about this significant and growing problem allowing all stakeholders to be part of the discussion.

“RSPCA Tasmania is pleased that the new Plan incorporates many of the issues discussed over many months by the Cat Management Reference Group, which identified that the revised plan needed to be a mix of action, education and more research.”

Mr West said RSPCA Tasmania expects swift outcomes after the consultation period expires.

“We have waited a long time to see meaningful movement in this area and we hope that the Government ensures that the final plan is rolled out in a timely manner.”

Roy Morgan Research* shows that 34% of Tasmanian residents live with cats and 16% of residents live with both cats and dogs.

“As the state with highest level of pet ownership in Australia, it’s fitting that we should have a strong plan to tackle the ongoing challenges of feral, unowned and domestic cats,” Mr West said.

He said RSPCA is particularly keen to see a clarification of the roles played by the state and local governments, as key stakeholders, in managing stray and unowned domestic cats and trapped feral cats.

“Feral cats remain a massive problem for this State,” Mr West said.

“While humane control in certain areas is possible, RSPCA Tasmania believes that total eradication should be the ultimate goal despite being practically impossible to achieve.

“More research will be the key to helping us understand how feral cats operate in remote and wild areas and what measures can be taken to control their numbers.

“I urge the Government not to delay implementing any achievable recommendations identified in the consultation period and to maintain momentum on this issue.”

More information on the draft plan can be found at http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/invasive-species/cat-management-in-tasmania/draft-tasmanian-cat-management-plan

(*Roy Morgan Research - Doggone it: pet ownership in Australia 4 June 2015)