Tasmanians are being urged to send the Primary Industries Minister an Easter Bilby to highlight the urgent need for a State Feral Cat Action Plan to be established, and the Cat Management Act 2009 to be reviewed.
“It is estimated that each feral cat kills between 5 and 30 animals per day, with the majority of those being native marsupials, birds and reptiles,” Greens’ Primary Industries spokesperson Kim Booth MP said.
“The emergence of the Easter Bilby in the early 1990s was to highlight the threat feral animals posed to our native wildlife, including the state’s bandicoots and pademelons, and it appears Minister Rockliff needs to be reminded of this.”
“The Greens are urging Tasmanians to send the Minister virtual Easter Bilbies to remind him what is at stake if swift action is not taken to tackle the plague of feral cats.”
“The Commonwealth Threatened Species Commissioner’s Report released in February identified feral cats as a significant threat to the nation’s native animals highlighting the need for priority and targeted action to tackle feral cats.”
“There is also an economic imperative as feral cats pose a serious health risk to our primary industries sector. Sheep in particular, are highly susceptible to toxoplasmosis, a disease caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii carried by cats, resulting in heavy losses and costs for our farmers.”
“This disease also affects native fauna and can pose a serious health risk to humans as well.”
“The Minister needs to urgently review the State’s Cat Management Act and its implementation to strengthen measures to prevent ongoing recruitment into the feral cat population from the domestic arena, and commit to the urgent development of a Feral Cat Action plan to be funded in the State Budget.”
“For most Tasmanians the Easter Bilby arrives once a year. But for the feral cat population our native animals are on the menu of a multi-course feral feast each day,” Mr Booth said.