As part of the LGNZ’s AGM this week local councils will vote on a remit to improve the management of cats in New Zealand. If successful councils will lobby the Government for development of national legislation to help manage cats.
This is long overdue and would be a significant win for New Zealand’s native species whose populations are being devastated by predation from cats.
Cat management is currently a grey area falling in the cracks between district and regional councils. This is frustrating for community conservation groups whose efforts to help our native species are undermined by wandering cats. Better cat management in ecologically sensitive areas is desperately needed.
New Zealand has the highest rate of cat ownership in the world, we also have a huge number of wandering unowned cats. Responsibly owned cats have a place in our society but we currently have a problem with wandering cats.
Morgan Foundation supports responsible cat ownership, which includes microchipping cats, desexing, limiting number of cats per household and keeping cats inside as much as possible.
Around the country councils are increasingly getting requests to help manage cats. There is huge support for better legislation to manage cats and frustration from those having trouble with unowned cats. Last year Wellington City Council received overwhelmingly support for their animal bylaw to include tighter regulations on cats. There was huge support for cats to be microchipped, de-sexed and limits on the number of cats per household. Unfortunately due to legislative limitations WCC wasn’t able to act on all of these despite public support.
The Morgan Foundation has been trying to highlight the devastating impacts of wandering cats and hope that councils will vote to support the remit and put our native species ahead of their own political careers.