Feral, stray and roaming cats will be trapped and potentially destroyed as a council works to protect wildlife in its patch.
Feral, stray and roaming cats will be trapped and potentially destroyed as a council works to protect wildlife in its patch.

Killer cats trapped and destroyed to protect wildlife

FERAL, stray and roaming domestic cats which hunt along the coast will be the target of a Tasmanian council's trapping project aimed at protecting little penguins and other shorebirds.

The Central Coast Council will soon begin stage two of its pilot trapping project which last winter saw 25 traps set along a 5km stretch of beach between Preservation Bay and Howth 17 cats were caught and 13 feral felines destroyed

The coastal strip between Ulverstone and Burnie is prime little penguin habitat with remote cameras in the area recording the birds calling out as they make their nightly pilgrimage up the beach to their nests.

The cameras have also caught numerous cats roaming the beach over the past few months prompting the council to act.

Birdlife Tasmania convenor Eric Woehler said any efforts to minimise any potential predation of penguins has to be congratulated and encouraged.

Dr Eric Woehler. Image: Matthew Newton
Dr Eric Woehler. Image: Matthew Newton

"It sends a strong message to the community and cat owners they have a responsibility for their pets. We have been talking a lot about dog attacks on wildlife but clearly there is also an issue with cats," he said.

The council said it would work with the RSPCA to ensure all cats caught were treated humanely.

Semi-wild and domestic cats trapped will be taken to the RSPCA facility at Spreyton and kept till reclaimed - a fee will apply.

Unchipped cats will be desexed, chipped and rehomed if unclaimed. Feral cats will be euthanised.

Last winter, 25 traps were set over six nights and in total 13 feral cats were destroyed.

Three of the four domestic animals caught went back home to their owners.

The Cental Coast Council is not the first Tasmanian council to trap feral and stray felines.

In 2019, the West Coast Council caught and euthanised cats which were causing issues in Queenstown's main street.

 

helen.kempton@news.com.au

 

 

Originally published as Killer cats trapped and destroyed to protect wildlife


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