Christel Yardley / stuff
Gore district councils have voted to set up a cat working group to monitor the number of cats in the district. (File photo)
How many cats are too many?
Some Gore district councilors have clawed the city’s cat population and have voted to form a cat working group to look into cat ownership in the district.
Speaking at a full council meeting on Tuesday, Councilor Glenys Dickson said cats had some serious health problems such as toxoplasmosis, they couldn’t be included in any department, and were dangerous to pregnant women.
She liked cats, but wondered if the council should have a cat policy.
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There are currently no statutes in the county governing the number of cats a household can own and they have “pretty much a free hand,” said council chairman Stephen Parry.
In the past, thought was given to regulating the number of cats, especially the concentration of cats in an apartment, which could lead to “smell and other unpleasant things”, and their predatory nature and the fact that people let cats out at night, to run amok, but the government has not moved on that front, he said.
Council members were discussing the bylaws of the Animal, Poultry and Beekeeping Council when the subject of cat ownership was raised.
Cr Doug Grant asked if there was a statute about the number of cats to keep. He referred to a case in Invercargill where one person kept large numbers of cats, causing problems for neighbors.
Glenys Dickson, Gore District Councilor, is concerned about the number of cats in the
Parry said statutes should be carefully considered. The council would need to identify the problem and how to address it. He suggested that the council set up a small working group made up of council members and staff to deal with the issue.
The council voted to form the Cat Working Party, which would also deal with the regulation and control of cats, but no council members were appointed to the party.