Recent events in Invercargill with the nuisance caused by “owned” cats wandering over neighbourhood properties, highlights the need for action from central government. In that city the council has introduced a bylaw to restrict to three, the number of cats a household can own. Even though the bylaw is a pretty weak way to deal with nuisance cat behaviour, the council is still powerless to fine the offending owner. It has to go to court to enforce it’s new bylaw.
To be clear, I am not against people owning cats, as long as they are responsible pet owners. That means microchipping your cat so it can be identified, and stopping it from wandering and causing nuisance. From my perspective I’m not interested if people even have 30 cats, as long as they look after them properly and don’t let them wander. One wandering cat is one too many.
I addressed a national meeting of council leaders last week – there was unanimous support for policies to deal properly with wandering domestic cats. Lack of ability is the problem. Councils urgently need the Local Government Act changed so councils can fine owners of chipped and registered cats that wander and euthanize the rest. Either that or we cut straight to the chase and create a Cat Control Act, like we have for dogs. This becomes the responsibility of Paula Bennett.
Meanwhile in Invercargill neighbours of the crazy cat people should humanely cage trap the cats that wander on to their properties and
take them to the SPCA in a box and then let the country watch as that dumb organisation returns them to offending cat owner
or take them in a box to the Mayor’s office & leave them
Indeed all the residents of Invercargill should do the same – this is the best way to expose how current legislation renders our local councils so lame when it comes to dealing with wandering cats.
Only such direct action will force the changes needed for local authorities to be able to do the right thing – return chipped & registered cats to owners and euthanize the rest. There is no local authority in NZ that I know of doing this – they all defer to the SPCA. But in many regions our SPCAs are a national disgrace – they release cats people hand over.
A second line of direct action the public should undertake is to stop all donations to the SPCA, which is simply a front these days for cats rights activists and is collecting money under false pretences. Until it rediscovers its moral compass – and publicly declares it supports legislation to stop any cat wandering – the SPCA remains an enemy of all conservationists.
Only by the public becoming active will this problem be solved – politicians are way too cowardly to lead the charge.
There are 1 million kittens born just in the Auckland region a year according to Lonely Miaow. How many of those do you really think the SPCA are dealing to? Most die of disease or starvation. In Auckland people should trap wandering cats, put them in a box and dump them at Paula Bennett’s house. That is a Westie solution.