Hillarys�’ feral cats face final countdown

A COUNT of the remaining feral cats at Hillarys Boat Harbour will be done this week to determine if a future capture program is required.

The count is part of ongoing work to reduce the feral cat population, previously estimated at 24, to address the health and safety risk to local fauna.

Department of Transport coastal facilities management director Donna West said they had worked with volunteer organisations, including SAFE WA (Saving Animals from Euthanasia) and the Cat Club, to reduce the population by implementing an early identification and rehousing trial program.

“During the unsuccessful trial, feral cat numbers doubled and DoT received a number of complaints, including one from the City of Joondalup, about the threat to public health and safety,” Ms West said.

“Rotting food regularly left for the feral cats and feline urination and defecation on Northside Drive and Southside Drive continues to seriously impact the enjoyment of the area by the community and those visiting restaurants.

“The growing feral cat population has also had a devastating impact on native wildlife in the area, with a recent survey concluding all local fauna populations had been eliminated.”

Ms West said the Cat Haven had recently agreed to take on the feral cats captured as part of future campaigns at the harbour.

“DoT supports the efforts of those groups who are actively capturing and rehousing the feral cats but is concerned people only feeding the cat population are hampering the work of those trying to capture and rehouse them,” Ms West said.