Feral Cats Declared Pest Animal in Victoria
Feral cats have officially been established as a pest animal by the Victorian State Government, following a period of public consultation.
Over 1,000 submissions were received, with more than 75% of respondents supporting the declaration of feral cats as pests.
The declaration applies to areas of Crown land managed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Parks Victoria, Phillip Island Nature Parks, and Victoria’s four 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.
Image Source: Stavrolo
A code of practice will also 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 however, meaning farmers and other private landholders will not be required to control feral cats.
Private land owners are still 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 DELWP.
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.
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.”
The animals are estimated to kill 466 million reptiles and 272 million birds in Australia every year.
For more information about the feral cat declaration, visit: environment.vic.gov.au.