Federal Member for Berowra, Julian Leeser MP, brought Melissa Price MP, Minister for the Environment, to Cowan yesterday to show her Hornsby Council’s innovative feral cat management program.
“I was delighted to show the Minister some of the ground-breaking work being done by Hornsby Council in managing feral cats”, said Mr Leeser. “The Council’s program has been picked up by several other Sydney Councils, which shows how innovative and effective their approach has been.”
Mr Leeser and Minister Price were joined by Councillor Nathan Tilbury, who has spearheaded Hornsby’s response to feral cats in the local area.
“With 70 per cent of Hornsby Shire being bushland, feral cats can have a devastating impact on our native wildlife”, said Cr Tilbury. “Not only do we need to take feral cats out of our local National Parks but we also need to limit the number of cats that enter native bushland in the first place.”
“Hornsby Council’s has recently commenced a trial Feral Cat Trapping Program, with great result. We are supporting this work with a greater focus on microchipping and de-sexing for pet cats. We are also improving cat registration processes and providing education for pet owners.”
Mr Leeser and Minister Price visited the home of Peter and Patsy Marshall.
“We have built a significant cat run on our property to provide our pets with appropriate stimulation and at the same time protecting local wildlife”, said Mr Marshall. “It is important to us to care for our pets in a way that does not negatively impact the incredible natural environment on our doorstep.”
Minister Price said she was extremely impressed by the approach adopted by Hornsby Council.
“Feral cats are implicated in the extinction of more than 20 mammal species and threaten a further 124 nationally-listed threatened fauna,” she said. “Our Threatened Species Strategy outlines a goal to cull two million feral cats by 2020, and we’ve mobilised more than $38 million since 2014 in recognition of the threat they pose to our native species.
“However, it’s important that local communities take action where possible to support the national effort, and I’m impressed by the initiative that I’ve seen here today.”