Bruny Island was selected by the Federal government as one of five islands in Australia to progress feral cat eradication. With an extensive coastline and diverse terrestrial habitats Bruny is a sanctuary for nesting seabirds and shorebirds and has a wide diversity of other land dwelling mammals and birds.
The Mayor of Kingborough, Cr Steve Wass applauds the decision from the Federal Government to commit three years of funding for the Bruny Island Cat Management Project. “Recognising the potential threat that cats pose to the significant biodiversity values of the Island is a great step forward for all involved,” he said. “The funding will enable us to establish long-term assessments of the impact of cats, and how we can manage them.”
“Support from the Bruny Island community was critical to the Federal government nominating Bruny Island for funding and we have just seen nearly 90 per cent of residents and ratepayers supporting feral cat eradication and domestic cat management through the Bruny Life survey. This exciting project will offer a case study for other cat management programs across the state.”
The Ten Lives Cat Centre has been involved in many of Council’s cat management projects and their generous de-sexing and rehoming program has enabled a substantial reduction of the numbers of un-owned and stray cats on the Island.
“It was an easy decision for us to be involved,” said Noel Hunt. “We have been able to help people take responsibility for their cats and rehome cats where needed. The project is an excellent example of how the way we manage and care for cats in the long term can benefit not only the welfare of cats but also benefit the community and the environment.”
Work carried out by the University of Tasmania and DPIPWE Invasive Species Branch is also helping partners to better understand how cats interact with other species and how they use the landscape. Through this work the project is able to target and evaluate efforts, and more accurately assess the feasibility of eradication.
Further information and updates can be found on the Kingborough Council website at www.kingborough.tas.gov.au/cats-bruny-island.
The project partnership includes the Kingborough Council, Department of Environment (DoE), DPIPWE (Invasive Species Branch (ISB) and PWS), Ten Lives Cat Centre (TLCC), UTAS (Biological Sciences), Bruny Island Environment Network (BIEN), Bruny Island Community Association (BICA), Bruny Island District School, Tasmanian Land Conservancy (TLC), weetapoona Aboriginal Corporation (wAC), Threatened Species Recovery Hub (TSRH UQ), private landowners (incl “Fairyland”), Tasmanian Conservation Trust (TCT), Birdlife Tasmania (BLT), Inala Nature Tours, Pennicott Wilderness Journeys and Bruny Island Coastal Retreats.
Domestic Cats on Bruny Island
The cat management work on Bruny Island also includes the phase-in of By-laws for cat ownership. The By-law proposal includes the compulsory de-sexing and micro-chipping of domestic cats, a limit on the number of cats per household, the 24 hour containment of domestic cats and a prohibition on the feeding of stray or feral cats.
The proposal does not include the ban of domestic cat ownership and Council has not discussed or prepared any proposal to ban domestic cat ownership on Bruny Island.
Council is working with the community on this issue to achieve the best outcomes for the community, native wildlife and domestic cats. We recognise and acknowledge that key organisations and community members on Bruny have different perspectives and opinions on domestic cat management and we value everyone’s feedback on the proposal. We recognise the importance of domestic pet ownership to many individuals and families and are working towards a safer environment for native wildlife and domestic cats.