THE Australian government named domestic cats as one of the major threats to its unique wildlife.
It is of such great concern that wildlife carer Kylie Laing was compelled to give a presentation to Council on Wednesday August 16.
She pointed out in the strongest possible terms that the Domestic Animal Act, section 26 is already in place and has been since 1994.
“Cats must not stray off their properties,” Kylie said. “We need to see the existing law enforced.”
She said that a growing number of Councils have now implemented the Cat Curfew.
Some of these include Frankston Shire Council, Bayside City Council, Yarra Ranges Council, Kingston City Council, City of Casey, City of Geelong, Mornington and Wyndham Council.
As of last year Bass Coast Shire Council has also adopted the Cat Curfew.
Kylie told the Councillors present at the public presentation that there are 68 species of threatened birds, 16 species of threatened mammals. 9 species of threatened fish, 4 species of threatened reptiles, 2 species of threatened amphibians and 5 species of threatened invertebrates.
WHY HAVE A CAT CURFEW?
- It is proven that cats who do not wander live healthier and longer lives.
- They are protected from being injured or killed by cars.
- They are protected from diseases such as feline aids.
- Cats that are confined cannot get into fights or be subjected to animal cruelty.
- Protected from unwanted breeding.
- For the general public cats can be a nuisance fighting at night.
- Defecating in children’s sandpit’s and vegetable gardens.
- Breaking into rubbish bags etc.
- To protect precious wildlife.
IMPLEMENTING THE CAT CURFEW
- Notifying cat owners that council will be introducing dusk to dawn cat curfew.
- Implementing dusk to dawn cat curfew with the expectation of the 24-hour cat curfew being introduced within 12-24 months.
- 24-hour cat curfew introduced.
- Public education
Cat confinement is not difficult with simple things like enclosing verandas, installing a cat aviary or simply keeping your cat indoors.
The RSPCA supports the cat curfew as for all the reasons already stated there is the added fact that cat’s saliva is so toxic it can kill an animal within 24 hours.
“A cat curfew will help protect wildlife for future generations,” Kylie said.