The Andrews Labor Government is taking action to protect vulnerable native flora and fauna from invasive animals in Victorian parks and forests.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today released the Labor Government’s response to a Parliamentary Inquiry into the control of invasive animals on Crown land.
The Labor Government supports 29 of the Inquiry’s 33 recommendations in full, in principle or in part.
This includes full support for the recommendation to declare feral cats as established pest animals under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994.
Feral cats kill an estimated 75 million native animals every year in Australia. In Victoria, 43 Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 listed species are at risk of extinction from feral cats, including the critically endangered Helmeted Honeyeater, Mountain-pygmy possum and the Orange-bellied parrot.
The response to other recommendations include:
- Amending the Meat Industry Act 1993 that would allow wild deer to be processed as game and general meat-processing facilities for personal consumption
- establishing an inter-agency invasive species committee to provide a strategic, integrated and coordinated approach to invasive species across all land tenures
- 20-year management targets for invasive animals control across public and private land through the Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037
It’s proposed that feral cats will be declared as established pests on public land only. The declaration will not affect private land, nor place a control obligation on farmers or private landholders.
Public consultation on the feral cat declaration will start early in 2018, with stakeholders and the community to ensure that animal welfare objectives are met and responsible cat ownership remains respected and enshrined as a fundamental right for all Victorians.
The Labor Government will also engage with traditional owners and Aboriginal groups to increase Aboriginal participation in biodiversity and land management.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“This is about reducing the devastating impact of invasive animals in Victoria – and improving the management of these animals on Crown land.”
“The declaration of the feral cat as an established pest animal is an important milestone in the protection of Victoria’s threatened wildlife.”