Guy Barnett,Minister for Primary Industries and Water
Tasmania’s cat management arrangements have been strengthened with the passing of the Cat Management Amendment Bill 2019 through both houses of Parliament today.
The passing of the Bill confirms strong support for the measures put forward by Government. Our Bill focussed on getting the balance right, and it recognised that cats, if not cared for in a responsible manner, can have serious impacts on the community, agriculture and wildlife.
Cat management is a shared responsibility and our focus is on education and creating community awareness of responsible cat management.
Key amendments that will soon become law include:
- Compulsory desexing and microchipping of cats from four months of age;
- Limiting to four, the maximum number of cats allowed to be kept at a property without a permit (breeders will be exempt);
- Improvements to better support landholders to control cats on their property;
- Replacing the State Government-registration of cat breeders with a permit system to breed cats;
- A requirement for all cats to be microchipped and desexed before being reclaimed from a cat management facility; and
- Removal of care agreements.
Importantly, there will be a transition period of 12 months for some amendments to allow cat owners adequate time to adjust to the changes.
The amendments are the result of extensive consultation with industry, local government, animal welfare groups, environmental and agriculture stakeholders through the Tasmanian Cat Management Reference Group and other processes, and I thank them for their important feedback through all stages of this process.
The passing of the Bill is good news for Tasmania and strengthens cat management while getting the balance right.