Feral cats will be declared an established pest animal on public land in Victoria.
This will come into effect later this year under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, which comes from a recommendation by the 2017 Parliamentary Inquiry into the control of invasive animals on public land.
Feral cats have a major impact on Victoria’s biodiversity and are one of the most significant threats to threatened wildlife. The survival in the wild of 43 listed threatened species under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 is at direct risk from predation by feral cats, Agriculture Victoria wrote.
The declaration will require public land managers to control feral cats where key biodiversity values are at risk. It will only apply to specified public land being managed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning or Parks Victoria. Only departmental and agency staff will be permitted to destroy a feral cat.
Feral cats will not be declared as a pest animal on private land, and farmers and other private landholders will not be required to control feral cats.