Draft Cat Management Plan

To: Jenny Bounds <>, "" <>
Subject: Draft Cat Management Plan
From: steven <>
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2019 23:12:11 +0000
If the precautionary principle is what we're using here, then I'm for it. If we can use it pertaining to human risk, why can't we use it pertaining to vulnerable species? The ACT gov is assigning a "patrol force" to issue on the spot fines to anyone walking their dog off leash. Where's the solid dataset for that? I doubt there is. It'll be considered acceptable to most of the community because they feel it protects them from what are extremely unlikely risks. If we can enforce the precautionary principle to prevent unlikely human risks, why can't we do the same to protect thousands of wild animals a year?

Sent from my Samsung GALAXY S5

-------- Original message --------
From: Jenny Bounds <>
Date: 9/04/2019 7:07 AM (GMT+10:00)
Subject: Draft Cat Management Plan

Con, thank you, I fully agree.


There has been a lot of work put into where this issue is now at Government/political level, and timing is right for community to get behind this.




From: Con Boekel [
Sent: Monday, 8 April 2019 6:29 PM
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Draft Cat Management Plan


The Precautionary Principle works for me.

Around 20,000 dwellings are going to go into the Molongolo Valley between Scrivener Dam and the Murrumbidgee River.

On national averages that introduces around 7,000 additional cats into the prime habitat of some of the ACT's endangered species.

The time to act is now, before the 7,000 cats arrive, not after they arrive.

Those cats are not going to wait for 'decent data' or for 'research'.

They are going to tuck in.

I urge everyone to hop on the link provided and indicate support for the Draft Cat Plan.





On 4/8/2019 5:47 PM, David Rees wrote:



As I have said before the 'precautionary principle' is not good enough,  Australia is not allowed in international law to use it for dealing with new/potential biosecurity/ exotic pest incursions in trade for example.  The proper way is management based on 'risk assessment', for that you need data


They had and still have the chance to get plenty of data, with the pilot suburbs already cat contained, yet the ACT Government seems to have chosen to do nothing to date with data collection to see if containment has any measurable effect on fauna.  Are the streets/gardens of Forde crawling with skinks, with the legal cats contained, if so, we need to know and add that data to the argument...  There are plenty in my yard, mind you I could stop that with 'astroturf' as too many people locally do, rather than my mostly native garden with complex cover. 


I would support this proposal if there was decent data which demonstrated it had a useful effect, 'till then lets concentrate on conservation matters we know actually do something, like preserving, making and managing habitat.  Making a big section of the population  do something that will cost them money on a maybe (aka 'precautionary principle') without good data that shows a demonstrable benefit  is a potentially dangerous activity politically.  Could do the conservation effort locally a lot of harm, that effort is good by national standards, credit where its due. Trust in Governments various is not good right now, lets not blow it. 













On Mon, Apr 8, 2019 at 3:52 PM Con Boekel <> wrote:

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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