A council overseas proposing a ban on all domestic cats to protect native animals has been labelled “extreme” by Wagga residents.
A New Zealand regional council have called for all domestic cats in the region to be neutered, micro-chipped and registered. Then, when a cat dies, residents would not be permitted to own another cat.
Bailey Porter, Best Friends Pet Rescue vice president, argued that this was a “harsh” approach and called for alternative solutions.
“There’s definitely better control methods than just blanket banning all cats,” she said.
“I think it’s very unfair to say that you can’t have an animal, but I do understand that cats can cause impacts on the environment so that’s where control measures should come into place.
“Keeping cats inside, especially at night or even making every cat wear bells so that wildlife can hear them coming.”
Lloyd residents have conditions in their development consent, where owners of domestic cats have to manage them so they are not freely roaming outdoors between sunset and sunrise.
However Ms Porter, a Lloyd resident, argued that this policy was not policed or controlled well.
Dr Joanne Connolly, veterinarian and senior lecturer in microbiology at CSU, said policing a ban on cats in all areas is a bit “extreme”, but they can be harmful to the environment.
“Cats definitely pose a threat to Wagga’s native animals, through attacking local birds and then the potential of spreading diseases,” Dr Connolly said.
“Diseases that can spread by cats can include toxoplasmosis, a parasite commonly transmitted through droppings from infected cats, which would be very dangerous if a pregnant woman came into contact with it.”
Cats have a range of social benefits, primarily suiting elderly people as they are low maintenance, as well as suiting those who live in apartments.
Dr Connolly said many cat owners are aware that indoor cats behave better.
“It’s a win-win situation, by cats being inside at night they avoid fights with other cats and being hit by cars,” she said.
Kitten foster for Best Friends Pet Rescue, Vanessa McGrath is caring for two 15-week-old kittens who were dumped on her door step a few weeks ago.
“It seems very extreme and I don’t particularly think domestic cats are the culprits of killing wildlife,” Ms McGrath said.
“People are the main culprits, you just have to look at all the roadkill on the side of the roads.
“There’s too many cat lovers in Wagga and I don’t think this would ever happen,” she said.