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Closing in on feral cats

THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 2018

Closing in on feral cats

Regulations about the need to inform land owners and householders when baits are laid to kill feral cats may be changed, if an application to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is approved.

Connovation Ltd, manufacturer of PredaSTOP, is proposing that owners and householders should be notified when PredaSTOP baits are being laid as part of a cat control operation if their property is within 500 metres of any bait station. Currently, such advice must be given if the baits are within three kilometres of a property.

The current three kilometre requirement sometimes requires thousands of households to be notified, imposing significant costs, Connovation says in its application. The aim is to keep domestic cats safe, but Connovation says the three kilometre distance is unrealistic.

It was derived from a study that showed one cat travelled 2.29km from its owners’ home. But the same study showed the average distance cats travelled from home was just 200 metres. Connovation says data from a range of studies suggests a 500 metre notification distance is sufficient to protect domestic cats.

Connovation says the risk to domestic cats will remain negligible. Its application notes that PredaSTOP is the only registered toxin for feral cat control in New Zealand. Feral cats are significant predators of native wild life, including birds, reptiles, bats and insects, Connovation notes.

Other existing controls set by the EPA would remain unaltered. These include advising owners and householders of the approximate dates when baits will be laid, the name and nature of the substance being used, the risks to domestic animals, available antidotes, and the location where baits will be laid. Contact details for the person laying the baits must also be provided.

The EPA is seeking public submissions on Connovation’s application. Submitters are asked to identify any adverse or beneficial effects that might occur if the application is approved, how likely they are, and their potential scale.

Further details about how to make a submission are available on the EPA’s website.

Submissions may be sent to: Predastop.Submissions@epa.govt.nz. Submissions open on Thursday 12 April and close at 5pm on Friday 25 May 2018.
Further information: media@epa.govt.nz

ends

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