Feral cats finally declared an established pest in Victoria
The Victorian state government has just committeed to a law change that will see feral cats managed like problem wild dogs. This decision will pave the way for trapping, baiting and with some luck bounties for the Victorian hunters.
Several Australian studies over the past year have confirmed the damage these feral cats are causing to Australias delicate native animal populations.
Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio described the declaration as an important milestone in the protection of Victoria’s threatened wildlife.
“Forty-three threatened species are directly at risk from feral cat predation,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
“The declaration will enable humane, efficient and effective control of feral cats in areas of high biodiversity value on public land.”
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party MP Daniel Young was a member of the inquiry committee.
He believed changing the classification of feral cats could allow for baiting, shooting and a bounty, which are used to manage wild dogs in Victoria.
The inquiry received more than 200 submissions, including from Parks Victoria, which outlined the current regulation for managing feral cats in Victoria.
“The current rules says that a cat has to be taken to the local authority and tested to see if it is a domestic cat and then put down appropriately, which is a vet and green needle thing,” Parks Victoria told the inquiry.
Victorian Wildlife Management spokesman Daryl Panther said that was a safety issue.
“If you get a cat in a soft-jaw trap and you have to take it into town, it does not work,” Mr Panther told the inquiry.
“It turns into an OHS situation because a feral cat will rip you to pieces.”