On 26 July 2018, the feral or wild population of the cat (Felis catus) (feral cat) was declared an established pest animal on specified Crown land in Victoria under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994. Versatile and adaptable predators, feral cats are estimated to kill 466 million reptiles and 272 million birds in Australia every year.
The declaration applies to areas of Crown land managed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Parks Victoria, Phillip Island Nature Parks, and Victoria’s four Alpine Resorts, with feral cat control implemented by department and agency staff and their agents to protect threatened wildlife most at risk from feral cats.
Recreational hunters will not be permitted to hunt feral cats on Crown land (Permission to hunt on Crown land does not extend to feral cats), unless they are accredited volunteers operating in control programs managed by Parks Victoria or the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
The Labor Government recently undertook public consultation on the proposed feral cat declaration. Over 1,000 submissions were received, with more than 75 per cent of respondents supporting the declaration of feral cats as pests.
For more information about the feral cat declaration, visit https://www.environment.vic.gov.au/invasive-plants-and-animals/feral-cats.