Bengal cat owners need a permit to keep their cat friends and domestic cats will be chipped on Stewart Island / Rakiura and in Omaui under the proposed Regional Pest Management Plan from Environment Southland.
Under the proposed plan, released Tuesday, Bengal cats will be called an exclusion plague, because research suggests that they have the ability to breed with the existing wild population of wild cats to create a more efficient predator.
The cats must be chipped and registered with Environment Southland when they are six months old.
The regional council says that this would have significant consequences for biodiversity within Southland.
* Wild cats are not classified in the Pest Management Strategy of ECan
* Wild feline colonies that threaten Omaui
* Southland cats can have a curfew if nature protection zones have been introduced
Bengal cats can still be kept as pets in Southland, but a permit is required and a number of rules apply.
The report says that during the first year the regional board will subsidize micro-microchip programs for Omaui and Rakiura / Stewart Island.
It is the two communities where the site-driven programs are proposed in the plan.
This allows rules to be introduced that are specific to these areas.
In both locations, this means introducing rules that apply to domestic cats, including desexing and microchips.
These rules will manage the effects of pest cats and support efforts to improve native biodiversity.
The regional council has carried out a thorough review of its regional strategy for pest control and, in consultation with interested groups and individuals, has drawn up a proposal for a Southland regional pest control plan, accompanied by a biosafety strategy.
The proposed plan contains 72 specific pests, including animal pests, pests and marine pests. It contains rules for how they are excluded, eradicated or controlled, but it contains fewer specific pests and rules than the previous plan.
This is largely because many harmful species do not need regional rules for ES to manage them.
More information and consultation documents are available at www.es.govt.nz
Submissions close on October 23.