Cats are much loved and valued pets for many people. It has been estimated however that cats kill more than 75 million native animals a year. They can also spread diseases to livestock, humans and wildlife.
As we live in an area abundant in native wildlife, some of which are threatened, and where agriculture is an important industry, we encourage all cat owners to be responsible cat owners.
For information on cat management in Tasmania, including controlling cats under the Cat Management Act, visit the state government cat management webpages.
The Cat Management Act includes rules for trapping cats (seizing, detaining, destroying and releasing). Animal welfare must be the first consideration for cat control.
The introduction of the Cat Management Act in 2009 initiated new efforts to tackle cat problems in Tasmania. In 2016 the Tasmanian Government released its Cat Management Plan and in 2019 it launched the Tasmanian Cat Management Project ‘TassieCat’ and drafted amendments to improve the Cat Management Act.
It has been estimated that cats kill more than 75 million native animals a year in Australia, including some species threatened with extinction. Cats also can carry diseases which affect sheep, other animals and humans, such as toxoplasmosis which can cause miscarriage and birth defects.
As we live in an area abundant in native wildlife and livestock grazing is important to our local economy, we encourage all cat owners to understand their responsibilities as a cat owner. Three things to do are microchip and desex your cat and keep it safe, at home and not roaming.
Use the TassieCat website to find out more about how and look out for changes to cat management in Tasmania and opportunities for responsible cat management in the future.
If you are concerned about stray and roaming cats near you the Cat Management Act includes rules for trapping cats (seizing, detaining, destroying and releasing). Always treat animals humanely and respect their welfare (the Animal Welfare Act applies).
Under the current Cat Management Act (2009) the owner of private land, or people working on their behalf, may trap, seize or humanely destroy a cat found:
- on rural land used for primary production relating to livestock, or
- on any land further than one kilometre from any residence.
Where a cat is trapped or otherwise seized, the cat should be transferred as soon as practicable to a cat management facility or may otherwise be returned to its owner where known.
Managers of Crown Land and formal nature conservation reserves (Prohibited Areas for cats) may trap, seize or humanely destroy a cat found on those areas. Council can declare Council land as Prohibited Areas also, and declare Cat Management Areas elsewhere, to support actions to reduce cat populations and to encourage responsible car care.
You can find more information from the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.
For more information on feral cat management see the Biosecurity Tasmanian feral cats website
Break O’Day Council has participated as part of a statewide push to address cat management in the past and is following the state Cat Management Project to take action where possible. A regional Cat Management Strategy is being developed to encourage responsible cat management and make use of anticipated changes to the legislation.