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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Council to move motion on advocating a cat curfew

The impact of cats on native fauna is well documented and on 13 February 2018, a response to a Question on Notice (QON18/001) articulated the constructive actions Eurobodalla Shire Council is taking to address the impacts of domestic cats on native wildlife. Whilst Council is conducting a wide range of excellent programs in this space, 24/7 cat containment has significant benefits to the welfare of cats and our wildlife. Research shows that cats have played a leading role in most of Australia’s 34 mammal extinctions since 1788 and are a big reason why populations of at least 123 other threatened native species are declining. On average, each pet cat that is allowed to roam (even for only part of the day or night) kills 186 reptiles, birds, and mammals per year in Australia. This means that each roaming pet cat kills, on average, more than two native animals every week. Collectively, roaming pet cats kill 390 million animals per year in Australia (Threatened Species Recovery Hub). Research has shown that cats who are allowed to roam live shorter lives than cats who are contained within their properties. Containing cats helps to reduce the threat of fighting, dogs, diseases or being injured or killed by a vehicle. RSPCA NSW has had a significant change to their approach regarding responsible cat ownership through their new project ‘Keeping cats safe at home’. This project aims to improve care for pet cats and to protect wildlife by encouraging cat owners to keep their cats within the boundaries of their properties. This project will receive $2.5 million in grant funding from the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust. The Cat Protection Society of NSW also acknowledges the negative impacts of domestic cat predation on wildlife. They provide valuable information to cat owners by outlining the benefits of creating safe outdoor areas for cats to enjoy while protecting wildlife. They also encourage that at a minimum, cat owners should keep their cats indoors from dusk to dawn. Cat restrictions are increasingly being introduced across Australia. Cat curfews, containment and cat-free zones have been introduced in some suburbs in the ACT, and many local government areas in Victoria and in South Australia. In some jurisdictions cat containment requires cats to be contained to the owner’s property, or under the control of the owner (eg, on a leash) when outside the property, in the same manner that is required for dogs unfortunately, this is not yet the case in NSW. This Motion being put forward at the Council meeting of August 23rd 2022 proposes that Eurobodalla Council submit to the LGNSW conference a Motion that the NSW Government Policy. The motion that: 1. Council supports advocating to the NSW Government to amend the Companion Animals Act 1988 to introduce legislation that enables councils to implement 24/7 cat containment in their jurisdictions. 2. Council submits to LGNSW for considerations at the 2022 LGNSW Annual Conference, the following motion: That LGNSW advocate to the NSW Government to amend the Companion Animals Act 1988 and to introduce legislation that enables councils to implement 24/7 cat containment in their jurisdictions. 3. Eurobodalla Shire Council delegates attending the 2022 LGNSW Conference vote in support of this motion. 4. Council receive a report on the outcome of the consideration of this motion at the LGNSW Conference.

NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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