Support for Responsible Cat Ownership
Thu 17 May 2012
Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage
Today's State Budget provides $255,000 to support responsible cat ownership and protect Tasmania's natural environment.
New cat management laws and regulations come into effect on July 1st this year, under the Cat Management Act 2009.
"We know that feral, stray and even domesticated cats can cause major damage to wildlife and local environments if they're allowed to breed and spread without monitoring or restrictions," Mr Wightman said.
"Desexing and microchipping of cats will become compulsory in the future, to help create controls and limit that damage
"DPIPWE is developing programs to help and encourage pet owners to take an active role in cat management.
The funding in this year's budget supports that work - including assistance to cat centres (including project material), the RSPCA, local government and the community.
"The Department is working closely with stakeholders like the RSPCA to ensure the new laws don't adversely affect their operations," Mr Wightman said.
The Act restricts the breeding of cats, requires that cats that are sold or given away are microchipped and desexed, and provides for the control of unidentified, stray and feral cats - particularly on rural land and prohibited areas like national parks and forest reserves.
Mr Wightman said the newly-formed Invasive Species Branch has centralised expertise across DPIPWE, to focus on combatting existing and emerging weeds, as well as invasive animals like feral cats, foxes and rabbits.
"Fox eradication remains a priority, so foxes don't gain a destructive foothold in Tasmania," Mr Wightman said.
"The skills and knowledge developed by the Fox Eradication Program will help tackle other invasive species by identifying future threats and responding to possible new incursions," he said.
While the State will continue to fund the Invasive Species Branch, DPIPWE will actively seek ongoing Australian Government assistance for invasive species projects from the next round of Caring for our Country submissions.