Feral cats de­clared a pest

Mt Buller News - - FRONT PAGE -

THE State Govern­ment is act­ing to pro­tect Vic­to­ria’s pre­cious bio­di­ver­sity and threat­ened wildlife by declar­ing the feral cat as an es­tab­lished pest an­i­mal.

The dec­la­ra­tion ap­plies to ar­eas of Crown land man­aged by the De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment, Land, Wa­ter and Plan­ning, Parks Vic­to­ria, Phillip Is­land Na­ture Parks, and Vic­to­ria’s four Alpine Re­sorts.

Min­is­ter for En­ergy, En­vi­ron­ment and Cli­mate Change Lily D’Am­bro­sio said “this dec­la­ra­tion is an im­por­tant mile­stone in the pro­tec­tion of Vic­to­ria’s threat­ened wildlife”.

“Feral cats have a dev­as­tat­ing im­pact on our na­tive species and it’s im­por­tant we man­age them prop­erly – that’s what this dec­la­ra­tion will en­able,” Ms D’Am­bro­sio said.

Feral cat con­trol will be im­ple­mented by de­part­ment and agency staff and their agents to pro­tect threat­ened wildlife most at risk from feral cats.

A code of prac­tice will be de­vel­oped in con­sul­ta­tion with an­i­mal wel­fare or­gan­i­sa­tions to guide and de­velop best prac­tice for feral cat man­age­ment.

Feral cats will not be de­clared as a pest an­i­mal on pri­vate land, meaning farm­ers and other pri­vate land­hold­ers will not be re­quired to con­trol feral cats.

Pri­vate land own­ers will still be able to man­age cats roam­ing on their prop­erty in ac­cor­dance with cur­rent laws.

Recre­ational hun­ters will not be per­mit­ted to hunt feral cats on Crown land, un­less they are ac­cred­ited vol­un­teers op­er­at­ing in con­trol pro­grams man­aged by Parks Vic­to­ria or the De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment, Land, Wa­ter and Plan­ning.

Feral cats are a threat to some of Vic­to­ria’s most crit­i­cally-en­dan­gered na­tive wildlife, such as the moun­tain-pygmy pos­sum, hel­meted hon­eyeater, orange-bel­lied par­rot and plains wan­derer.

Feral cats are es­ti­mated to kill 466 mil­lion rep­tiles and 272 mil­lion birds in Aus­tralia ev­ery year.

Govern­ment re­cently un­der­took pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on the pro­posed feral cat dec­la­ra­tion.

Over 1000 sub­mis­sions were re­ceived, with more than 75 per cent of re­spon­dents sup­port­ing the dec­la­ra­tion of feral cats as pests.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the feral cat dec­la­ra­tion go to en­vi­ron­ment.vic.gov.au.

BUSTED: Parks Vic­to­ria, Game Man­age­ment Author­ity, and Vic­to­ria Po­lice staff dur­ing the re­cent firearms op­er­a­tion in the Alpine Na­tional Park.

UN­WANTED: Feral cats have been de­clared pests in Vic­to­ria’s four Alpine Re­sorts.

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