Submissions on this draft Discussion Paper are open until Thursday, August 3rd, 2017 (Thank you, the online survey has now closed)
There are an estimated 3.3 million owned cats and at least 2.1 million feral cats in Australia. While most domestic cats are valued as companions and pets, many end up uncared for, and tens of thousands of healthy but unwanted cats and kittens are euthanased every year. At the same time, reducing the impact of feral cats on native animals is crucial to protecting the future of Australian’s biodiversity. Considerable efforts have been made by governments and animal welfare organisations over many decades to reduce the unwanted cat population and better manage domestic cats, yet many of the same problems remain.
The purpose of this Discussion Paper is to identify current best practice approaches to domestic cat management to help resolve the key issues of their impact on wildlife, high euthanasia rates, public nuisance, and poor welfare. This process involves building on the knowledge gained from previous strategies, including the effectiveness of existing legislation, reviewing current research in this area, and considering relevant aspects of feral cat management.
Over recent years the Australian community’s acceptance of cat management measures such as desexing, cat containment, registration and microchipping has increased, as has public awareness of the adverse impact of feral cats on Australia’s biodiversity. With this shift in the level of public understanding of the significance of the problem and the urgent need for a solution, it is hoped that the recommendations in this Discussion Paper will help shape more effective and consistent strategies in the future.
How can I comment on the draft Discussion Paper?
You are invited to comment on any aspect of the discussion paper, however, we are particularly seeking feedback on the 22 draft recommendations.
We encourage you to identify your reasons for support or non-support of the recommendations, as well as any issues or opportunities for improvement.
We also welcome further information on:
- Successful domestic cat management initiatives that have been undertaken at the community, state or national level.
- Evaluations of previous strategies or initiatives.
- Additional scientific papers describing relevant research findings.
- Details of perceived barriers and challenges to achieve effective and sustainable cat management.