Friday, March 1, 2024

Cats on the prowl in Gunnedah

Gunnedah Shire Council says it has seen a recent increase in notifications about roaming or nuisance cats.

“There are many responsible cat owners who keep their much-loved pets contained in their home or yard,” said Gunnedah Shire Council Manager Community Safety, Wade Berryman.

“But there are also some who allow and even encourage their cat to roam freely.

Invasive Species Council research suggests that pet cats kill 546 million animals per year in Australia.

“Cats that are allowed to roam and are not confined within their own yard or home not only threaten the ecosystem, but they cause great frustration and consternation to many residents,” said Mr Berryman.

“Climbing on doors and windows, walking over cars, defecating in gardens, and uncontrolled breeding impacts on the amenity of people’s lives and neighbourhoods. 

“Council recommends that cat owners desex their pet to stop unwanted litters, and make sure their cat is micro-chipped so it can always be returned home safely. Where a cat has not been spayed or desexed and is older than four months, the owner must obtain an annual permit at a cost of $92 per annum.”

Dogs and cats are treated differently under the Companion Animals Act 1998. Under NSW Government legislation, dogs in public places:

  • Must wear a collar and tag
  • must be under effective control of a competent person by means of a leash, chain or cord
  • are not allowed in certain places
  • and importantly, must be micro-chipped and registered (with limited exception). 

Cats, however, must have a form of identification such as a collar or tag with the owner’s address or phone number, a microchip, or other form of identification but only when not on the property that is owned or occupied by the cat owner, or when being exhibited. 

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