PICTURE: Another successful hunt. The death of one more bird. Owners of roaming cats invariably deny their cat ever gets up to any mischief let alone tracking down and killing birds such as this. Image: Supplied
Key to keeping cats safe also keeps wildlife safe
The Invasive Species Council FACT SHEET on the impact of pet cats on Australian wildlife shows that pet cats allowed to roam and hunt are a major threat to local wildlife.
ALTHOUGH MANY OWNERS believe their cats don’t hunt because they never come across evidence their cat has killed native wildlife, tracking collars and scat analysis has established that the vast majority of animals killed by pet cats are not brought home.
There are many actions responsible cat owners can take to help keep our wildlife safe and their loved pet happy, but the key action is to keep your cat securely contained at home. The benefits of containing cats indoors are numerous. They include:
- keeping them safe from injury and disease, and
- having more wildlife in our local neighbourhoods.
were introduced by the hundreds into eastern and central Australia from the 1880s on.
PICTURE: Jenny McKinnon wants stronger control measures to keep cats contained and keep wildlife safe.(Supplied: Jenny McKinnon)
Cats do more harm than dogs, why not apply the same containment rules
A NEW SOUTH WALES COUNCIL wants to be given powers to enforce cat curfews, as wildlife experts plead for urgent action to stop the pets killing native animals, writes Victor Petrovic (ABC Riverina reporter, 26 Jul 2022) in: NSW council calls for statewide pet cat curfew and power to enforce containment.
Research reveals that each domestic cat in Australia can kill about 75 native animals each year. Cat curfews would be an effective way of reducing that mortality rate.
In some states, local councils are given the power to implement those curfews. The Australian Capital Territory began a district-wide curfew for cats bought after July 1 2022.
But New South Wales councils cannot enforce curfews, as part of the Companion Animals Act.
In the state’s south, Wagga Wagga Deputy Mayor Jenny McKinnon, called on the state government to give more power to local councils to enforce curfews.
She said, right now, the council’s only option was to encourage responsible pet ownership.
“It seems illogical that cats may roam freely while dogs and other companion animals are required to be contained,” she told the council.
MMM … Issue 36, February – March 2023