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Download Feral cat fact sheet - draft report
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Feral cat management State-wide review of pest animal management Draft report The issue Current status Draft report recommendations • Feral cats have been identified as the likely cause of seven mammal species extinctions, and are a threat to approximately 90 mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. • The national feral cat Threat Abatement Plan aims for reduced stray and feral cat abundances in areas around human habitation. • The draft report recommended the NSW Government align the draft NSW Invasive Species Plan 2015-2022 with the federal Threat abatement plan for predation by feral cats and: • Stray and unconfined domestic cats are also a threat to wildlife and can contribute to the feral cat population. • The plan encourages state and territory governments to provide for effective management of domestic cats through cat confinement regulations. • Cat management is focused on reducing the threats posed by individuals and suppressing the population of feral cats, particularly in areas of high biodiversity value. • NSW lags many Australian jurisdictions that have tightened the management of cats through measures including limiting numbers, compulsory desexing, breeder registration and confinement. • Control techniques for feral cats are generally expensive and labour intensive, and require continuing management effort to be effective. However, cat-specific baits are expected to become available later this year. • Responsible cat ownership, including confinement and desexing, is promoted by animal welfare agencies including the RSPCA. - declare feral cats as a pest by including them in a pest animal regulation under the Biosecurity Act 2015 - prioritise within the NSW Invasive Species Plan 2015-2022 the management of feral cats in areas of high biodiversity value - support continued research into the scale, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, sustainability and risk of cat control methods. • The draft report also recommended that the NSW Government amend the Companion Animals Act 1998 to provide for: - the compulsory desexing of all cats by the age of four months if not exempted - requiring all owners of sexually entire cats older than four months to be registered as a breeder - all sexually entire cats to be registered annually - local governments to declare and enforce cat confinement areas. • Also recommended was that the NSW Government should partner with the RSPCA and other organisations to deliver targeted education campagins to raise awareness of the risks of stray and feral cats and to promote responsible pet ownership. Image: Darren Marshall, courtesy Invasive Animals CRC. Natural Resources Commission, August 2016.