Farmers can hear expert advice on feral cat management this weekend through another addition of the On Farm Forums, hosted by Tamar NRM.
The forum is in partnership with the National Feral Cat and Fox Management Coordinator and Tasmanian Landcare to offer free information on how to manage feral cats in Tasmania.
Pipers River farmer Brian Baxter who plans to attend the forum said cats were a huge problem on his farm.
"The problem exists two fold really, specifically it's the spread of toxoplasmosis which causes abortion in our sheep," Mr Baxter said.
"You can lose a lot of unborn lambs from that."
According to the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, toxoplasmosis is caused by a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, which cats carry and are a vital link to its life cycle.
Tasmania has one of the highest recorded rates of cat-carried Toxoplasma gondii infection in the world, according to a 2014 CSIRO study; which found over 84 per cent of stray and feral cats carried the parasite.
Mr Baxter said besides the disease, they caused extensive damage to wildlife.
"They do so much damage to all our little birds and critters, they eat thousands of them each year and it's a real shame," he said.
"We trap them on the farm and I reckon we get 10 or a dozen a year without even trying."
National Feral Cat and Fox Management coordinator Gillian Basnett said effective feral cat management needed to be well-planned, coordinated and targeted.
"It requires effective collaborative partnerships between stakeholders including farmers, landholders, organisations and agencies," Ms Basnett said.
West Tamar Landcare President and guest speaker Peter Voller said they had run community awareness programs on responsible pet ownership for the past four years.
"At the same time we run a coordinated trapping program across 6,500 hectares to try and reduce the number of feral cats active in that area," Mr Voller said.
He said attendees would learn about the legislation, rules and requirements around managing feral cats, and also principles of cat psychology.
"That's around how cats think and operate, and how they work in the bush," he said.
Mr Voller said their trapper, John Bowden, would be attending to teach participants how to safely and humanely trap feral cats.
"He's actually just caught his 1000th cat, which is a pretty big achievement for a bloke who's 80," Mr Voller said.
He said taking humane approaches to trapping was a focus.
"When we catch cats we treat them with respect and euthanise them on site, or if they're someone else's property we make sure they get back to their owner."
Tamar NRM program coordinator Kirstin Seaver said Tamar NRM had been involved with feral cat programs and strategies for nearly two decades.
"Forums like this, with our natural resource partners will help to inform new and small landholders about the issues and the solutions available to the community," Ms Seaver said.
The forum starts Friday June 2, and more information and the full list of guest speakers can be found on Tamar NRM's website.
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