What does the inclusion of feral cats as a pest mean for my pet cat or stray cats?
Feral cats are proposed to be included in the Regional Pest Management Plan under site-led management programmes in the Otago Peninsula, West Harbour, Goat Island and Quarantine Island areas only. This does not give people free licence to kill any cat (feral or domestic), but simply means that ORC will help groups and communities in these areas manage feral/wild cats that affect the special biodiversity in these areas. It is not proposed for feral cats to be managed in any other areas in Otago.
Including feral cats in the pest plan means that ORC will support and bolster existing efforts by the communities in the site-led areas to protect the biodiversity values by managing a range of plant and predator pests.
More information on why feral cats have been included in the plan can be found on page 68 of the proposed Regional Pest Management Plan and further information on the implementation of site-led programmes can be found in the proposed Biosecurity Strategy.
What is in the proposed regional pest management plan?
What is a pest management plan?
Why are we reviewing the pest management plan?
How was it decided what pests would be a part of the proposed plan?
What is a biosecurity strategy?
The Biosecurity Strategy will be ORC's comprehensive approach to biosecurity management in Otago.
In addition to covering the pests in the proposed plan, it outlines ORC’s broader role in biosecurity, and a number of important actions and projects to better manage pests and harmful organisms.
This includes programmes to work more pro-actively and collaboratively with organisations and groups on pest management. It also addresses unwanted organisms declared under the Biosecurity Act 1993, and organisms of interest, which are harmful organisms that are of interest to Otago should the distribution or degree of impact of those pests, or our ability to control them, change.
The proposed strategy is split into four key priorities. Each priority has a series of actions that inform how ORC will undertake biosecurity management. An implementation programme also identifies key projects for the first five years.
What will the plan cost me in rates?
Implementation costs of the previous Pest Management Strategy 2009 were approximately $900,000 per annum. The recent Long-term Plan consultation highlighted the community’s desire for us to do more. As a result, there are a lot of new aspects to this proposed plan, bringing implementation costs up to approximately $1,800,000 per annum. Implementation of the plan will be funded out of a mixture of General Rates and Targeted Rates over time, however any new rates will be consulted on during normal Annual Plan consultation processes.
What does this mean for me if I live in an area where there’s a site-led programme?