There are calls for the city of Bunbury to update its local cat laws to protect wildlife.
Withers resident Jodi Larke called for changes in May that reflect the laws introduced in Manjimup earlier this year.
Manjimup is now requiring Shire officials to investigate every complaint and cats will no longer be able to roam a property unless the property owner gives the cat owner permission or facing a $ 200 fine.
The Manjimup Shire also recommends that cat owners keep their cat locked up.
Ms. Larke said she recently saw an endangered baby western ringtail possum that was killed by an “annoying” cat in her suburb.
Ms. Larke said she had given the cat to rangers several times.
“This cat is constantly on my property, spraying and harassing a number of neighbors by yelling at and attacking other cats at night,” said Ms. Larke.
“It’s registered and the rangers told me they spoke to the owner several times, but nothing is ever done. The rangers can only return the cat to the owner and raise it.”
Bunbury town’s local cat laws were last changed in 2019.
While local laws contain a number of prohibited cat areas and an owner cannot allow a cat to be or cause harassment, it is up to the individual to collect evidence in the form of a “harassment activity log” in order for action to be taken.
“A responsible pet owner is that you must be responsible for your pet’s actions. Roaming cats not only pose a threat to wildlife, but if they are allowed to roam freely, they can have a significant impact on the health of the cat.”
Braden Collins, Senior Veterinarian at the Bunbury Vet Clinic
Ms. Larke argued that it was a big encouragement for complaining residents to take the time to fill out such a protocol, which requires 10 consecutive days of observation and recording of the pesky cat’s activities.
Bunbury City Safety and Emergency Management Team Leader Mark Allies confirmed that it was the responsibility of oneComplainants fill out harassment logs to help rangers manage it.
When asked how often logs showed the same cat was causing a nuisance, Mr Allies said these statistics were difficult to find.
“Cats are mostly nocturnal animals so the behaviors tend to occur when we are all sleeping, but cats also tend not to walk too far so it is often the same cat that is disturbing a particular property,” said Mr Allies.
“Once a pattern of behavior is recorded in the log, the ranger will attempt to track down the owner and the city can begin looking at possible courses of action to stop the disruptive behavior.”
It is estimated that each domestic cat kills an average of 110 animals per year.
Bunbury Vet Clinic’s chief vet, Braden Collins, said cats are “very effective killers” and that each domestic cat kills an average of about 110 animals a year.
“… it is very rare that we can save her,” said Dr. Collins.
Ms. Larke said it was “bizarre” that dog owners would be fined for their pet killing animals, but cat owners seemed to get away with it.
“Shortly after we moved into our Withers property, a dog broke into our hen house and killed all of our chickens,” said Ms. Larke.
“The ranger fined the owner $ 400, who was very repentant and apologized.
“I just do not understand. You can’t let dogs run around the neighborhood killing things and causing problems, so why are we leaving cats?
Dr. Collins agreed that local laws should require cats to be locked in their property, saying the “historical belief” that cats should run around was not true.
“A responsible pet owner is you must be responsible for your pet’s actions.
“We expect dogs to be properly enclosed. So if there is at least one requirement to keep cats on the property, the city council’s rangers can manipulate problem cats, make sure they are microchipped and neutered as needed, and hopefully will.” there will be a shift. ” In an attitude of understanding what cats can do healthier and happier lives when they and the wildlife are safe. ”
According to Allies, the city of Bunbury is currently waiting for the state government to complete the 2011 Cat Act review before making significant changes to its own local laws.