26 September 2023

Environment pounces on cat control

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The Minister for the Environment, Matt Kean has announced that a program encouraging cat owners to keep their cats at home would help curb the toll on native wildlife caused by domestic cats across the State.

Mr Kean said domestic cats were estimated to kill around 67 million native mammals, 83 million native reptiles and 80 million native birds in Australia each year.

He said the four-year Keeping Cats Safe at Home program was supported by a $2.5 million grant from the Environmental Trust.

“We all love living close to bushland and even though we love our pets, we know native species and domestic cats don’t co-exist well, so we need to make sure our native wildlife is protected,” Mr Kean said.

He said that under the new initiative, RSPCA NSW would engage 10 urban and regional Councils across the State, providing education and advice for communities on the importance of containing their cats safely at home.

He named the 10 Councils involved in the program as Blue Mountains City Council; Byron Shire Council; Campbelltown City Council; City of Parramatta; Hornsby Shire Council; Northern Beaches Council; Shoalhaven City Council; Tweed Shire and Kyogle Councils; Walgett Shire Council and Weddin Shire Council.

Minister for Local Government, Shelley Hancock said all pet owners needed to be made aware of best practice when it came to keeping animals and native wildlife safe.

“This new program will be tailored to each Council’s needs, so they can customise the best plan to suit their community and protect our precious native wildlife,” Ms Hancock said.

She said the project would engage council representatives, veterinarians, companion animal groups, cat owners, the general community and wildlife groups in each council area.

Ms Hancock said school curriculum-linked resources would also be developed.

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