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Controlling feral cats


 

Standard Operating Procedures

These standard operating procedures (SOPs) are a guide only; and do not replace or override the legislation that applies in the relevant state or territory jurisdiction. The SOPs should only be used subject to the applicable legal requirements (including OH&S) operating in the relevant jurisdiction.

GEN001: Methods of Euthanasia


The word euthanasia means an easy death and should be regarded as an act of humane killing with the minimum of pain, fear and distress. Euthanasia of a range of animal species is often necessary during pest animal control programs and occasionally in research involving the capture or restraint of pest animals. Therefore, all researchers and personnel involved with pest animal control must be familiar with the approved euthanasia methods for the range of species encountered (both target and non-target) and have appropriate equipment or possibly drugs on hand so that euthanasia can be performed effectively and quickly. Many recommended methods of euthanasia for captive animals are not feasible under field conditions; however the challenges presented by field conditions should not lessen the ethical obligation of the operator to reduce pain and distress to the greatest extent possible during euthanasia.

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Open PestSmart webpage: http://www.pestsmart.org.au/methods-of-euthanasia/ 
 

GEN003: Trapping using soft-net traps.

 
Soft net traps consist of a flexible metal frame and netting and/or bag which collapses over the animal when triggered. Soft net traps rely on entanglement to secure and hold the targeted animal, potentially reducing the risk of injury. Soft net traps are used to trap feral and nuisance domestic cats and dogs, foxes, birds and rabbits as well as native animals such as small wallabies, bandicoots and possums. Although soft net trapping is considered an ineffective tool for control of large populations, it may be useful in urban/residential or where numbers have already been reduced and individual animals need to be targeted.
 
 
 

CAT001: Ground shooting of feral cats

 
Shooting is one of the main methods currently used for feral cat control however it is labour intensive and not considered an effective broad-scale control method. It may be of use in reducing the local number of feral cats or targeting problem animals. Shooting is usually done at night from a vehicle with the aid of a spotlight, but can also be conducted during the day. Drives or ‘battues’, using a line of beaters often with trained dogs, are sometimes used to flush feral cats out from vegetation.
Shooting can be a humane method of destroying feral cats when it is carried out by experienced, skilled and responsible shooters; the animal can be clearly seen and is within range; and, the correct firearm, ammunition and shot placement is used.
 
 

CAT002: Trapping of feral cats using cage traps.

Although cage trapping is considered an ineffective tool for large areas, it may be useful in urban/residential areas where domestic cats are present, or where populations have already been reduced and individual cats need to be targeted. In urban/residential areas cage traps are preferred over leg hold traps as fewer injuries are sustained, non-target animals can be released unharmed and trapped feral cats can be transported away from the area for euthanasia. Padded jaw leg-hold traps should only be used at sites where the animal can be destroyed by shooting whilst still held in the trap. Leg-hold traps may be more effective than cage traps for hard to-catch-cats that have had minimal exposure to humans. Refer to CAT003: Trapping of feral cats using padded-jaw traps.

 
 

CAT003: Trapping of feral cats using padded-jaw traps.

Live trapping followed by euthanasia is one of the main methods of feral cat control currently used. In urban/residential areas, cage traps are preferred over leg hold traps as fewer injuries are sustained, non-target animals can be released unharmed and trapped feral cats can be transported away from the area for euthanasia. Refer to CAT002: Trapping of feral cats using cage traps. Leg hold (padded-jaw) traps should only be used at sites where the animal can be destroyed by shooting whilst still held in the trap. Leg-hold traps may be more effective than cage traps for hard-to-catch cats that have had mimimal exposure to humans.

 
 

Further information about feral cat management and control

 
Please visit PestSmart Connect - www.pestsmart.org.au
 
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