Cat Management Plan
RSPCA Tasmania welcomes “mixed bag” Cat Management Plan
The new Cat Management Plan released today by the state government – featuring some much-needed reforms and missing some opportunities – is a step in the right direction, says RSPCA Tasmania CEO Peter West.
“RSPCA Tasmania welcomes a number of constructive changes that will positively impact the wider community, primary producers, save more wildlife, and provide a greater focus on tackling feral cats in this state,” Mr West says.
“RSPCA supports the decision to actively manage feral cat issues under the auspices of a newly proposed Tasmanian Biosecurity Act.
“However, any control measures must be humane and also integrated with initiatives to maximize the protection of vulnerable birds and animals.”
Mr West says RSPCA Tasmania also appreciates that the new Cat Management Act has stronger penalties for cat owners who fail to de-sex or microchip their cats.
“We will continue to encourage the creation and promotion of subsidy programs that could greatly increase opportunities for owners to be responsible, safeguard the welfare of their cat, and avoid these penalties.
However, Mr West says it’s an opportunity missed in not doing more with Tasmania’s 29 municipal councils to introduce programs to implement cat registrations and confinement.
RSPCA Tasmania recognises that the new plan incorporates many of the recommendations from the Cat Management Reference Group, which included representatives from key stakeholders including RSPCA Tasmania, TFGA, LGAT, cat breeders and welfare organisations, and the AVA. The reference group recommended that the new plan needed to be a mix of action, education and more research.
“RSPCA Tasmania is looking forward to seeing things progress quite quickly now that the plan is in place,” Mr West says.
“We have waited a long time to see meaningful movement in this area and we hope that the Government ensures that the new strategy is rolled out in a timely manner.
“As the state with highest per capita pet ownership in Australia it is fitting that we should have a strong plan to tackle the ongoing challenges of both feral and domestic cats including owned and unowned.”
As this issue is also a national one RSPCA Australia is inviting comment on an important national Cat Management discussion paper released last week to increase collaboration across the whole of Australia and implement more consistent evidence-based approaches to improving the welfare and management of cats, while minimising adverse impacts.