A council in Australia appears intent on effectively banning cats from being outdoors unless they are in the lead.
The planned changes to laws in Fremantle, Western Australia, would see felines banned from all council-owned areas, including roads, ledges and bushland.
Council members voted to approve proposals made by Chancellor Adin Lang, on the grounds that they would protect wildlife and eliminate the risk of cats colliding with cars.
“In the ’70s, dogs roamed our streets and I expect roving cats to also become a thing of the past,” he told Perth now.
“While we have no-go areas in our natural bush, cats are still coming in.
“At a minimum, our bushland areas need a no-go buffer zone. Many of our native gardens that also serve as wildlife sanctuaries also need protection from cats.”
Speaking to Western Australia Today, he added, “This is about protecting our wildlife and it’s also about helping keep people’s cats safe from cat fights or being hit by cars.”
The newspaper reported that the chair of the WA Feral Cat Working Group, Tom Hutton, recently gave a presentation to the Fremantle Council on why cat owners should keep their pets at home.
“There are two good reasons to keep your cat at home,” he said.
“The pressure that domestic cats allowed to roam put on urban wildlife, and secondly, the science that says domestic cats that are not allowed to roam live longer and are healthier.
“Urban cats kill 30 times more wild animals than adult cats in the bush.”
The changes introduced and approved by council members this week said: “The revised Cat Management Local Act will focus on expanding no-go areas for cats outside of our natural bushland areas, to include other wildlife refuges such as edge gardens, median strips, and street trees.
“Other city-managed assets such as roads will also be included as no-go zones to help protect the safety of individual cats at risk of being hit by vehicles.”
Officials will now draft a proposed amendment, which the board will then decide whether to be released for public comment for at least six weeks.