Environment Southland is currently asking for feedback on their pest management plan. It is an important document as it sets the strategy for pest control in the region for the next 10 years.
One of the questions being addressed is how cats are managed. Most of the species that harm our native species are managed in some way. Possums, stoats and rats are trapped or poisoned. Dogs are managed, and if they are found wandering without identification are rehomed or humanely euthanised.
At the moment it is difficult to control cats (arguably the biggest threats to our native birds, lizards and insects) because owed cats can’t be distinguished from unowned cats. Microchipping owned cats would allow cats to be managed in wildlife areas that are near settlements. Cats could then be trapped and microchipped cats returned to their owners. Unchipped cats could then be rehomed or humanely euthanized.
Community conservation groups such as those in Omaui, Bluff, Rakiura and Otatara put a huge amount of effort into controlling rats, possums and stoats only to see their work undone by cats. We need stronger regulation of cats to help protect our native species.
Environment Southland are looking at ways of protecting both domestic cats and our native wildlife. They would like your feedback on how cats and other pests could be managed. We encourage you to submit your feedback either using the quick form below or making a full submission.