The subject of cats and the NSW Companion Animal Act allowing for domestic cats to roam will keep doing the rounds while ever there is this stubborn resistence to doing the right thing by both native animals and the cats themselves. As these extracts from four sources point out, the evidence is in and the jury of commonsense has spoken. What’s missing is resolve on the part of the NSW State Government. One of these reports is very disturbing, so please be aware.
# 1: Cat containment is LGNSW policy, but not State law
October 21, 2022 by Merilyn Vale
Hills Shire Council and Hornsby Shire Council both want new regulations to keep cats confined to their owner’s property.
As does Orange City Council and Albury City Council. And Liverpool City Council.
All five councils have lodged motions at the upcoming conference of local government calling for cat containment and the motions are being noted, not debated, as cat containment is already LGNSW policy.
But the laws on the management of cats, both urban and feral, are regulated by the Companion Animals Act 1998, a NSW State law which dictates what actions Councils can take.
# 2: Cat Fight Continues
By Annette Madjarian — Galston Community News, Oct 2, 2022
An online petition with more than 1,387 signatures and growing by the day is calling on Hornsby Council to overturn its decision to euthanise feral cats and lock up domestic cats in the home.
At its August meeting, Council unanimously voted to put the two contentious motions forward to the 2022 Local Government NSW Annual Conference this month for consideration.
However, both motions have come under fire by pet protection agencies, who have branded the proposals ‘deadly’, likening them to ‘convenience killing’.
Hornsby Greens Councillor Tania Salitra said she was “concerned by the inaccuracies and assumptions” made in the petition. Councillor Salitra said she encourages residents to read the motions and their backgrounds in council’s Business Papers.
“Cats contained within their owner’s premises in Australia live much longer, happier, healthy lives than roaming domestic cats who are exposed to life-threatening possibilities of infection from cat fights, dog attacks, being hit by a car and feline viruses,” Councillor Salitra told the Dooral Roundup. She added that cats were in fact lethal predators who, despite being well-fed, would “hunt native wildlife for fun”.
“Wildlife carers and vets have told me of the excruciating pain native animals suffer from cat toxins inflicted by a single scratch, and other horrific injuries. Vets have assured me that locating a microchip is relatively easy,” Councillor Salitra added.
Kenthurst resident and Hills Greens Councillor Mila Kasby, a veterinarian, said “microchips are very easily found by vets and vet nurses”. “We scan our patients routinely. Council rangers and impounding officers we deal with also have no problem locating them,” she said.
Councillor Kasby said she could provide first-hand accounts of “owners telling us that their cats regularly hunt and injure/kill wildlife, especially birds and lizards”. “We also see the results of these attacks when injured wildlife is brought to us for treatment. Many have sustained nasty tooth puncture wounds from cats, leading to devastating infections,” she added. Clr Kasby was so concerned that she was part of Hills Council’s move in June to pass a motion to lobby the NSW Government to allow for councils to enforce cat containment regulations. Similar to Hornsby Council, this has been put to the Local Government NSW Annual Conference this month.
“Other states (Victoria, WA) and the ACT are all well in front of NSW on this, already adopting containment rules or curfews as they realise it’s a win-win for both cats and wildlife,” she said.
A Council spokeswoman said the petition would be referred to the appropriate Council officer for review.
# 3: To: New South Wales State MPs
Confine Domestic Cats in New South Wales
Why is this important?
Currently in New South Wales, your neighbor’s cat can come onto your property and even into your house at any time of the day or night; defecate in your flower garden, vegetable patch or child’s sand box; spray your plants and walls, and scare and kill the native wildlife in your garden.
To an ordinary person, any cat doing any of these things would be deemed a “nuisance.” But NSW has a much narrower legal definition of a nuisance cat. NSW law considers a cat a “nuisance” only if it “makes a noise that persistently occurs or continues to such a degree or extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premises, or “repeatedly damages anything outside the property on which it is ordinarily kept” (Companion Animals Act 1998, Sec. 31) (emphasis added). The burden of proof is on you. Only if you can prove one of these highly subjective offences, can your local council make a “nuisance cat” declaration and act.
There are two reasons why there is no effective control of roaming cats. First, it is thought to be cruel or “unnatural.” Second, it is an unreasonable inconvenience to cat owners.
As to cruelty, the RSPCA recommends that Australia move to 24 hour-containment of domestic cats (https://kb.rspca.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Identifying-Best-Practice-Domestic-Cat-Management-in-Australia-RSPCA-Research-Report-May-2018.pdf). Further, when a well-fed domestic cat kills wildlife, arguably, its owner perpetrates a preventable and unnecessary act of animal cruelty through the agency of their cat. Research suggests that pet cats in Australia kill up to 230 million native animals per year.
PICTURE: At right – David, I’m a bronzewing attacked by a pet cat. We can’t wait until 2022.
MITCHAM SUPPORTS STATEWIDE CAT LAWS INCLUDING CURFEW
My motion last night passed with a clear majority 9-3 to support a model state-wide cat law under the Dog and Cat Management Act. Heather Holmes-Ross – Mayor of City of Mitcham will now write to David Speirs MP as the responsible Minister to make the request.
City of Mitcham already register cats and cap numbers, but a consistent law across all SA councils is needed, including:
1. Declare times within which a cat must be in confinement;
2. Wandering at large and attack offences for cats;
3. The trapping of Cats by a Council
I heard Minister Spiers on 891ABC this week saying that (like me) he likes cats – but INDOORS ONLY. Evidence of wandering pet cats MAIMING AND KILLING the native wildlife is well known. Just ask Bev Langley at Minton Farm Animal Rescue Centre who has been rescuing injured wildlife for 27 years – like the bronzewing pigeon pictured. Please support her efforts.
CALL TO ACTION : Let David Speirs MP know that we want the model cat registration and confinement laws as recommended by the RSPCA and the Animal Welfare League NOW – not in 2022 as is planned.
Be NICE – he’s a good guy : email@example.com
See .. https://www.rspcasa.org.au/cat-management-laws/ for more