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.
We are supporting a Northern Regional Cat Management Strategy and collaborating with other councils and stakeholders to promote responsible cat management as part of the state Cat Management initiative.
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 amendments to improve the Cat Management Act started coming into force in March 2021.
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 amendments to the Cat Management Act coming into force 1 March 2021:
- A person will be permitted to trap a cat on their private property, provided the trap is checked at least once within every 24-hour period after the trap is first set; and a trapped cat is either returned to its owner; or taken to a cat management facility or a nominee of a cat management facility, within 24 hours of being trapped. Arrangements should be made with cat management facilities before setting a trap.
- A person managing ‘primary production land’ or occupier of ‘production premises’ is permitted to humanely destroy a cat on ‘primary production land’ or at ‘production premises’. Persons undertaking lethal cat management action would need to comply with other relevant legislation, such as the Animal Welfare Act 1993 and the Firearms Act 1996.
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.
TassieCat has good information (here) that will help you and your neighbourhood if you are concerned about stray or roaming cat problems. Council does not have any facilities for the surrender and sheltering of cats.
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