All cat owners who live on, or regularly visit Bruny (with their cat) must comply with the Bruny Island Cat By-law.
Here are some answers to common questions.
Why is the Bruny Island Cat By-law necessary?
Bruny Island has been identified nationally as an island with species of conservation significance that are at high-risk of predation by cats including the Eastern Quoll, Long-nosed Potoroo, Short-tailed and Sooty Shearwaters and Swift Parrot.
To manage feral cats on the island we must first control pet cats. Every feral cat currently on Bruny originated from pet cats that were once brought to the island.
The By-law includes compulsory registration, desexing and microchipping, keeping cats on an owner’s property, a limit of two cats per household without a permit, and the prohibition on feeding stray cats.
The By-law aims to improve outcomes for native wildlife, livestock, cats and the community and to reduce the source of unwanted and stray cats.
I understand that I need to desex my cat but why is registration necessary, especially if my cat is microchipped as well?
Registration enables us to quickly return cats to their owners if they are trapped during stray or feral cat control activities or if they get lost. It also enables us to check if all cats owners comply with the By-law. It only takes a couple of undesexed cats to multiply, and all our hard work is undone.
Microchipping is designed to locate the owner of a lost cat but often the information on the microchip is not up to date. For the safety of your cat, please register your cat and keep your cat’s microchip details up to date.
What does registration involve and how do I register my cat with Council?
To register a cat, owners must provide Council their contact details, address and information about their cat/s. This includes numbers of cats owned, description, microchip number, cat photo, and proof of desexing and containment.
Cat registration is free – (please complete form at bottom of page) or contact the Cat Management Officer at 6211 8200 or email@example.com.
Must I have an enclosure or keep my cat indoors?
Under the By-law cats must not stray from an owner’s property. You can choose how you do this. You can keep your cat in your house; attach an enclosure to your house, deck or yard; use a fence-top system around a courtyard or garden; or use a harness and lead when outside with your cat. Like dogs, cats can also enjoy being unrestrained in your yard when under your supervision.
Can I replace my cat when it dies?
Absolutely yes. If a cat dies, changes ownership or address, or if you get a new cat, you need to notify Council so that we can update our registration information.
What if I have more than 2 cats, can I keep them?
Yes, but you will need to apply for a permit by contacting Council.
Why is it illegal to feed stray cats, especially when it reduces the amount of wildlife they hunt?
Scientific studies have shown that even well-fed cats kill wildlife because of their hunting instinct. People feed stray cats out of concern. Feeding keeps stray cats strong enough to reproduce.
As an alternative, stray cats can be taken to the Cat Facility at Alonnah on Bruny (ph 0439 885 803 / 0409 804 340) or to the Ten Lives Cat Centre at New Town. Assistance is also available from Council to trap cats on private property. Wherever possible, trapped cats are reunited with their owners or rehomed.
How is the By-law monitored?
Trapping and remote camera monitoring is undertaken as a part of the stray and feral cat control program on the island. Community members also report sightings of stray and roaming cats. Since the By-law commenced, two pet cats have been trapped and three pet cats captured on camera.
Please contact Council (firstname.lastname@example.org or 6211 8200) if you would like any advice or help, including discounted desexing and micro-chipping; help with containment (including transitioning your cat, cat netting, cat doors and building assistance from the Men’s Shed); re-homing of cats and trapping cats on your property.
To find more information on responsible pet cat ownership and the By-law please visit Kingborough Council Website www.kingborough.tas.gov.au/cats or call 6211 8200 or email email@example.com
The program is supported by NRM South, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
(Banner Image – Truffle Mansion – courtesy of Todd Melville)