Draft Cat Management Plan

To: canberrabirds chatline <>
Subject: Draft Cat Management Plan
From: Con Boekel <>
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2019 05:51:51 +0000
Hi everyone

IMO the key is not more research.

We know enough to act on the basis of the precautionary principle.

We know that domestic cat density is much higher than 'natural' feral
cat densities.

Australia-wide there is (very) roughly a cat per every two-three households.

We know that domestic cats on the loose kill large numbers of everything
that is smaller than cats.

We know that cats travel extensively.

Exactly how many species and how many individuals of species cats kill
might be interesting to know but it is not necessary to know this in
order to apply the precautionary principle.

If you build a suburb and add a cat for every second or third house
along a reserve boundary, and cats commonly travel up to a kilometer a
night, then you are adding massive predation pressure to all the other
edge effects already degrading reserves.

We know that cats do not discriminate between common species and
endangered species. They kill anything.

And it not just birds. When our last Jacky died the neighbours' cats
moved in for a feast.

Within a short period of time they had eliminated skinks completely from
our garden.

Cats are an important part of our society: they provide interest, a
hobby, and very important companionship to many members of our society.

But cat ownership is a privilege and that privilege does not extend to
reducing neighborhood amenity with nocturnal yowling or killing valuable

IMO, the key is not more research.

Educating cat owners is a useful marginal activity but is just that:
marginal because many cat owners either don't want to know or don't care
what their cats kill.

The key is more action based on the precautionary principle.

And the key to this action is mandatory containment.

This allows for cat owners to exercise their privilege properly and with
the best regard to the needs and best health of the cats.

And, once containment areas are legally-mandated, then beyond the
contained areas, all cat management becomes feral cat management.

Finally, it is not enough to have a Plan. It needs to be implemented,
monitored and reported on once it is in place.

One bit of action we can all take is to ensure the ACT Government
receives a voice of support from each one of us for the Draft Plan.



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