Feral cats a de­clared pest on crown land, alpine re­sorts

Myrtleford Times - - News -

FERAL cats have been de­clared an es­tab­lished pest an­i­mal by the State Govern­ment with the aim to “pro­tect Vic­to­ria’s pre­cious bio­di­ver­sity and threat­ened wildlife”.

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: Mount Hotham Alpine Re­sort Man­age­ment Board, Mount Buller and Mount Stir­ling Alpine Re­sort Man­age­ment Board, Falls Creek Alpine Re­sort Man­age­ment Board, and South­ern Alpine Re­sort Man­age­ment Board (re­spon­si­ble for Lake Moun­tain and Mount Baw Baw alpine re­sorts).

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

Feral cats are a threat to some of Vic­to­ria’s most crit­i­cally-en­dan­gered na­tive wildlife, such as the Moun­tain­pygmy Pos­sum, Hel­meted Honeyeater, Or­ange-bel­lied Par­rot and Plains Wan­derer, and are es­ti­mated to kill 466 mil­lion rep­tiles and 272 mil­lion birds in Aus­tralia ev­ery year.

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 and 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.

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