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Plan wants all cats microchipped

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 21/09/2016

All cats will need to be microchipped and they may be banned from areas of high conservation value under a newly released national cat management strategy.

The plan, developed in conjunction with animal welfare and conservation groups, is an attempt to tackle the impact of cats on wildlife while recognising the benefits of cat ownership.

The strategy, which has been put out for consultation, seeks to focus on responsible pet ownership by requiring nationwide mandatory microchipping and desexing of domestic cats when ownership is transferred.

The product of eight national organisations, the plan also looks at humane cat management and environmental protection.

It recommends the humane removal of feral and stray cats in areas of high conservation value and says local authorities could impose limits on cat ownership and cat curfews in ecologically sensitive areas.

Wildlife ecologist John Innes said the plan was sensible.

"It does signal changes that are badly needed in the ways cats are regarded and managed, while acknowledging the complexity of the issue," he said.

Mr Innes said microchipping would allow separation of loved domestic cats from ferals and strays so appropriate action can be taken.

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