We all know that cats love to wander and keeping them locked up can sometimes be a challenge. But this South Australian town has had enough of cat-astrophes and are enforcing new laws that restrict the freedom of feline pets.
Mount Barker, a town 30 minutes from Adelaide, have passed new restrictions, in which pet owners will need to register their fur babies and ensure that their cats are not wandering outside their property between 8pm and 7am.
This new by-law, which comes in effect next year, also gives council staff the power to fine owners if their pet are caught killing native wildlife or doing their ‘business’ on other properties and just becoming a general ‘nuisance’.
Council workers would be permitted to become pet spies and set up “covert surveillance” if they received reports of pet “nuisance behaviour”.
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“We’re not going to have someone running around at night picking up the cats,” Mount Barker health and safety manager Jamie Tann said.
“But if someone says my neighbour’s cat is repeatedly coming into my yard, we’ll have covert cameras that we can set up in the yard and we could use that as evidence to say your cat is causing a nuisance.”
In addition, the laws also state that people are only allowed to own a maximum of two cats. Although those living in the area, who already have more than two felines will be exempt.
Keep Your Cat At Home
The local community is apparently fully supportive of these new rules.
Mr Tann spoke to The Messenger saying:
“We’re allowing cats to roam for part of the day, but at night when they’re most active and have the most impact on wildlife, we’re expecting them to be kept inside,” he said.
“The safest place for a cat to be is at home — that’s the message we’re trying to get across.”
Mount Barker is not the first council to pass these laws. Another town in South Australia, Adelaide Hills, have passed similar legislation, which comes into effect in 2022.
However, RSPCA South Australia head Paul Stevenson said the state needed to be careful not to “demonise and vilify cats”.
“In general we support councils introducing measures like curfews so our only concern with the Mount Barker measures is that the devil is in the detail,” he said.
“Most of the people who use traps don’t particularly like cats and there are huge problems with that. Some of the cruelty and suffering inflicted on cats through the use of traps is quite horrendous, and I’d just say one of the things we have to be very careful of all round Australia is to not to demonise and vilify cats.”
Do you think these laws should be implemented throughout the country? Tell us in the comments below.
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