PAPP bait for feral cat control

A bait product for the control of declared feral cats was registered by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority in early 2020.

The bait product contains the active constituent PAPP (para-aminopropiophenone) and is called Curiosity Feral Cat Bait (Curiosity®). The registrant of the product is the Australian Government Department of Environment and Energy.

Additional controls have been established under the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1992 (the Act) to regulate the supply and use of the new bait product.

Authorisation to use

The new PAPP bait for feral cats is not be available to the general public. The supply and use of PAPP for the control of declared feral cats has been restricted to persons operating under a specific permit issued from Agriculture Victoria.

Only public land managers (e.g. Parks Victoria) will be eligible to obtain a permit to authorise the use of PAPP for feral cat control. Permits issued by Agriculture Victoria will detail the persons or class of persons authorised to use Curiosity® under the permit. Such persons must be employees of the public land manager or appropriately licensed contractors operating on their behalf.

The usual authorisations for 1080 and PAPP, such an Agricultural Chemical User Permit endorsed for 1080 and PAPP or a vermin-endorsed Commercial Operator Licence, will not alone, authorise a person to be supplied or use Curiosity.

The new permit requirement has been established by a Governor in Council Order made under section 25A of the Act, which regulates the use of the use of 1080 and PAPP. The Order was gazetted on 28 November 2019.

Feral cats are only a declared species on specified Crown land. Therefore, the control of feral cats can only occur on specified Crown land.Specified Crown land is Crown land managed by Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Parks Victoria, Phillip Island Nature Park and the four Alpine Resorts, other than excluded Crown land.

For further information about applying for a permit to use Curiosity®, please contact the Customer Contact Centre on 136 186.

Feral cats

Feral cats are a serious threat to native species and have caused the extinction of some native ground-dwelling birds and mammals.

Forty-three Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 listed threatened species are at increased risk of extinction as a direct result of feral cats.

DELWP has advised that unless feral cats are strategically managed on key areas of public land, critically endangered native species such as the Helmeted Honeyeater, Mountain-pygmy Possum and Plains Wanderer may be pushed into extinction in the wild.

Feral cats can also carry diseases, which can be transmitted to native animals, domestic livestock and humans.

Feral cats were declared as pest animals on specified Crown land by the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change in July 2018 as an important milestone in the protection of Victoria’s biodiversity and threatened wildlife.

Bait Design

Curiosity® is designed to target feral cats and limit risks to native species. The bait is a skinless sausage containing a small hard plastic pellet, which contains the toxin (PAPP).

The pellet is designed to dissolve in the stomach of the feral cat, who tend to swallow large chunks of food as they do not have grinding molars.

Research demonstrates that most native animals will reject the plastic pellet as they tend to nibble and chew their food.

PAPP is a relatively new toxin and is considered a more humane toxin than 1080. PAPP is currently used as the toxin in registered bait products for foxes and wild dogs.

1080 use prohibited for feral cats

No changes have been made to the controls over the use of sodium fluoroacetate (1080).

The use of 1080 is restricted to the use of foxes, wild dogs, rabbit and feral pigs. The use of 1080 for the control of feral cats is strictly prohibited in Victoria.

For further information please contact the Customer Contact Centre on 136 186.

Feral cat image © Richard Ali courtesy of the invasive Animal CRC.

Page last updated: 13 Jul 2020