25 October 2019
The TCT today launched a petition calling for stronger laws to stop owned cats from being able to freely roam. The petition to the House of Assembly calls for the state government to amend the Cat Management Act to make it an offence for a cat to roam off the owner’s property and for there to be appropriate penalties.
In launching the petition, TCT Director Peter McGlone said ‘Cats are devastating Tasmanian native wildlife and many are owned pet cats that are allowed to roam uncontrolled.’
‘We need stronger laws to stop owned cats from roaming and attacking and killing our wildlife.’
‘A lot of people say to us that cats should be treated the same as dogs and we agree.’
‘It is an offence for a pet dog to roam off the owner’s property or be in a public place and not under effective control - and the owners can face hefty penalties if the dog is caught. Cats should be treated the same.’
The TCT said that the state government will soon be introducing a number of commendable amendments to the Cat Management Act but it is not proposing to act effectively on roaming cats.
The proposed changes to the Cat Management Act will only make it an offence for a cat to roam if it has not been desexed or microchipped and allows all other cats to roam uncontrolled. These provisions are only implemented if there is a cat holding facility in the area which is not the case in many regions of the state.
‘The government’s proposed approach may lead to more cats being desexed but it will not stop cats from wondering.’
‘It is not too late for the government to draft amendments addressing roaming owned cats.’
‘The reason given by the state government for not acting on roaming cats is it does not want to force all councils to police new rules. But legislation can be written to give a council discretion as to whether they enforce the new laws and that is what our petition calls for.’
The TCT urges all concerned Tasmanians to go to our web site and sign the petition:
The petition calls on the Minister Primary Industries and Water, Guy Barnett to propose amendments to the Cat Management Act that will:
make it an offence for the owner of a cat to let it roam off their property or be in a public place while not under effective control (e.g. being on a lead or in a crate);
provide a fine for owners of a cat found roaming or not under effective control that is similar to that applied to dogs and that harsher penalties apply for multiple, repeat or serious offences;
allows a council to appoint an appropriately trained officer to enforce these provisions but councils are not compelled to do so.
Tasmanian Conservation Trust
0406 380 545