Rosalie Woodruff MP Greens Environment Spokesperson
The Greens welcome the government’s cat management plan and encourage the community to provide comment.
The recommendation for all cats to be confined to their home property, if done humanely, is a necessary part of reducing the livestock and wildlife deaths in Tasmania from cat predation.
We welcome the aim to shift community expectations from being a ‘cat owner’ to being ‘responsible for a cat’. The plan recognises that while cats play an important role as a companion animal for many people, all cats can have an environmental impact if not responsibly managed.
If the management of cats is to be pushed to local councils then this has to come with funding by the government, as councils are already struggling with adequately resourcing dog management.
Andrea Dawkins MP Greens Primary Industries Spokesperson
Without support to subsidise and organise cat desexing, there is a risk of an increase in cat dumping. In the past, Just Cats Tasmania have promoted mobile cat desexing services for the remote areas of the state, where vets are few and far between, and this would be a sensible initiative.
For compulsory desexing and microchipping to be successful it has to come with extensive community education. Tasmania needs a generational change in attitudes about the responsibilities that coincide with cat ownership, and it will take long-term coordination between state and local governments and community groups to achieve this.
The trapping and shooting of “colony” cats is essential, and it is highly skilled work that should be separately funded, to ensure training at the council level can be provided to guarantee it is effective and humane.