Tasmania’s lower house has passed a bill which will require cat owners to desex their cat by four months of age unless they have a breeding permit.
The bill, which received more than 100 submissions during its consultation period, has updated rules and regulations on cat ownership for the first time in 10 years.
Under the new rules, to be approved by the Legislative Council, a cat owner would need to have their cat desexed and microchipped when it is four months old.
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There cannot be more than four cats living at a property without a permit or unless a breeder resides at the property.
The current registration process for cat breeders with the state government will be replaced by a permit system to breed cats.
Amendments to the Cat Management Act will allow all landowners involved in primary production to trap or humanely euthanise a cat found on their property.
Primary Industries Minister Guy Barnett in his second reading speech on the bill said a landowner should make an attempt to return the cat to its owner or take it to a management facility if it appeared to be clearly owned by somebody.
He said cats could cause significant issues for the agricultural landscape and wildlife if not managed responsibly.
The Tasmanian Greens moved an amendment during debate on Thursday to impose significant penalties on owners with cats who strayed from their property.
Mr Barnett said while the government encouraged the confinement of cats to a residential property, it would not make it a compulsory requirement.
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