CITY of Whittlesea residents are being invited to share their opinion on council cat management, particularly on how to best manage a growing cat population and support cat welfare.
This consultation has added to ongoing conversations about how cats should be managed in the City of Whittlesea, with council’s consideration of cat curfews, cat confinement on properties and mandatory desexing previously covered in the Review.
Following last year’s consultation on the domestic animal management plan, the City of Whittlesea council resolved to continue the conversation about cats to better understand the community’s opinions.
Chair administrator Lydia Wilson said council was concerned about cat welfare and how a better relationship could be created between pets, people, other animals and the environment.
“We value pets and the role they play in our community and we need to balance the wellbeing and management of pets with the needs of the whole community,” she said.
“In the last eight months we have had 671 complaints from the community about cats to council.”
The plan was informed by more than 3000 pieces of feedback and was adopted to balance community and environmental needs.
The plan aimed to improve responsible pet ownership through initiatives including an annual pet expo, a program within local schools, and information pop-up sessions, as well as working with professionals and trainers to share information.
As the Domestic Animals Act 1994 only covers the confinement of dogs, it is up to councils to introduce orders requiring cats to be confined to their owners’ property or to be desexed prior to accepting registration.
“During the consultation for the domestic animals management plan we received a great deal of feedback asking for action on roaming pet cats and stray cats because of the harm they cause to wildlife and the nuisance they create for neighbours,” Ms Wilson said.
“That’s why we’re continuing the conversation and I encourage [people] to have [their] say and complete the cat management survey to let council know [their] thoughts.