Call for partners to manufacture and supply Curiosity® feral cat bait

6 November 2018

(Issued by Department of the Environment and Energy)

The Department of the Environment and Energy is seeking a partner to manufacture and supply a new humane bait that will help fight extinction by tackling the threat of feral cats.

This will be the first broad-scale bait targeting feral cats to be made commercially available in Australia. The Australian Government is seeking partners to commercialise this new and innovative feral cat management tool and is encouraging interested parties to submit an Expression of Interest.

Curiosity® feral cat bait uses a meat-based sausage containing a small hard plastic pellet to deliver a humane toxin. The pellet is designed to dissolve in the feral cat’s stomach and deliver a rapid dose of para-aminopropiophenone.

Threatened Species Commissioner Dr Sally Box said Curiosity® represented a very significant opportunity to save Australia’s wildlife from harm.

“Feral cats have contributed to the extinction of more than 20 mammal species since European settlement, and continue to wreak havoc on our unique native wildlife like our frogs, mammals and birds” said Dr Box. “We need new tools, approaches and partnerships to limit their impact,”.

“Traditional methods of feral cat control such as shooting and trapping is often time consuming, labour intensive and expensive”.

Dr Box also stated that “Curiosity® offers an effective alternative to traditional management techniques, especially across southern and central Australia where current management options are limited”.

Development work for the bait—including years of laboratory, cage trials and field trials across Australia—is already complete. The product is now undergoing assessment with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority before it can be sold. 

Curiosity® is the result of a long-term collaboration between the Department of Environment and Energy; the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research); the Western Australian Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions; and Scientec Research Pty Ltd.

More information on Curiosity® and details on how to submit an Expression of Interest can be found at: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/invasive-species/feral-animals-australia/feral-cats.