The launch of the draft cat management strategy
Thursday, 22 September, 2016
At today’s Companion Animal Conference the National Cat Management Strategy Group (NCMSG) has launched their draft cat management strategy implementation document for feedback.
SPCA New Zealand is a member of this Strategy Group, along with the NZ Veterinary Association, Companion Animal Veterinarians, NZ Companion Animal Council, Morgan Foundation and Local Government. The Ministry for Primary Industries are observers and Department of Conservation are technical advisors to the Group.
“At the SPCA we recognise that cats are part of the family for many New Zealanders. But we also recognise that cats can have an impact on our native wildlife in sensitive areas,” says SPCA New Zealand Acting CEO Andrea Midgen.
In New Zealand, there are around 1.134 million owned cats, 196,000 stray cats and an unknown number of feral cats. To better manage these cats, the strategy calls for new legislation, supported by bylaws and greater public education.
The draft strategy and recommendations draws on best practice research, technical advice from central and local government agencies, and ideas from consulting with cat welfare and wildlife groups the last two years.
“We have been working with the other members of the National Cat Management Strategy Group to ensure that we can come up with a plan that educates our communities on how to be responsible cat owners,” says Andrea.
“The SPCA’s key priority with this cat management strategy is to ensure the welfare of cats in New Zealand. We can do this by promoting desexing, microchipping, rehoming and rehabilitating cats and kittens.”
The National Cat Management Strategy Group has been working together for two years. In February and March the Group sought feedback on draft strategic goals and outcomes and this has been taken into consideration in the drafting of these recommendations. The Group is now inviting comments from key stakeholders on the strategy implementation and recommendations.
After consultation, the Group will present the final strategy to Government before the end of the year.