Hills Shire Council and Hornsby Shire Council both want new regulations to keep cats confined to their owner’s property.
As does Orange City Council and Albury City Council.
And Liverpool City Council.
All five councils have lodged motions at the upcoming conference of local government calling for cat containment and the motions are being noted, not debated, as cat containment is already LGNSW policy.
But the laws on the management of cats, both urban and feral, are regulated by the Companion Animals Act 1998, a NSW State law which dictates what actions Councils can take.
“Unfortunately, there is no provision within the Act to restrict cats to indoors,” the Hills Shire Council said.
Local Government NSW, the association of NSW councils, says it continues to seek amendments to State Government regulations to enable councils to effectively manage the nuisance effect of cats on residents and wildlife, including limiting the roaming of cats beyond their owner’s property.
Here on the coast, the council-under-administration in June this year said it would develop a Central Coast Responsible Cat Ownership Policy by this time next year.
Council (when we had councillors) first started talking about cats in 2018 and decided to create a companion animal advisory committee.
The committee held its first meeting in October 2019 where it considered a “cat curfew”.
The committee, renamed a working group by the council-under-administration, hasn’t met since June 2021.
Why do councils want cats contained?
Hills Shire Times Council says cats are the second most popular pet with an estimated 3.3 million owned cats in Australia and estimates of another 700 000 unowned cats.
“Failure to responsibly manage cats results in the overlapping problems of cat welfare, impacts on humans, impact on other animals – predominately wildlife,” the council says.
“In some jurisdictions, cat containment requires cats to be contained to the owners’ property, or under the control of the owner (e.g., on a leash) when outside the property, in the same manner that is required for dogs. Unfortunately, this is not the case in NSW,” the Hills Council said.
Central Coast administrator Rik Hart will attend the LGNSW conference which runs from October 23-25.