Thursday, May 30, 2024

Council considers 24-hour cat containment curfew

Swan Hill Rural City Council is a considering the implementation of a 24-hour cat containment order, which would require all cats within the municipality to be confined to their owner’s property unless appropriately restrained in a cat carrier or on a leash.

Mayor, Stuart King said the proposal followed extensive community consultation aimed at addressing cat-related nuisance issues and promoting responsible pet ownership.

“Through significant community consultation, we have gathered vital feedback from our residents regarding cat management within our municipality,” the Mayor said.

“It is clear that addressing cat nuisance issues such as confinement and overpopulation, as well as promoting cat desexing, are key priorities for our community.

“An initial consultation process, conducted during the development of the 2021-25 Domestic Animal Management Plan (DAMP), yielded overwhelming support for measures to address cat-related concerns.”

Subsequent consultation conducted from Monday, 4 December 2023, to Wednesday, 31 January 2024, resulted in 352 survey responses received.

“The results demonstrated strong support for the implementation of a cat curfew, with 82% of respondents in favour. When considering the specific nature of the curfew, there was a closer divide between a 24-hour curfew and a dusk-to-dawn curfew, with 52% supporting a 24-hour curfew in both urban and rural areas, compared to 32% for a partial curfew,” Mayor King said.

“It is crucial that we take into account the preferences of our residents as we move forward with potential measures to address cat management.

“Feedback received will inform our decision-making process as we work to create a safer and more harmonious environment for both residents and their pets.”

Council says it will review feedback and assess the feasibility and implications of implementing a 24-hour cat containment order, ensuring that the needs and concerns of the community are carefully considered.

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