Cats in the doghouse

Not so many cats: Government urged to put a limit on cat ownership

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A CLUSTER OF KITTIES: These three cats were from a litter abandoned at a shelter

A CLUSTER OF KITTIES: These three cats were from a litter abandoned at a shelter

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The fewer cats the better for a council near Sydney.

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CAT owners in NSW will be restricted in the number of cats they can own if a council in south-west Sydney has its way.

Wollondilly Shire Council is is lobbying the state government to limit the number of cats for non-breeders to create “an equal playing field between dogs and cats”.

Councillor Simon Landow from said owners should have no more than six cats unless they’re registered breeders.

He said under the law, council rangers or the RSPCA can pick up stray dogs off a leash, scan their microchips and fine their owners.

The same doesn’t apply to cats and their owners, he said, nor was there even a legal notion of a stray cat.

 “What my proposal seeks is to restrict the numbers of cats someone can have, and [introduce] compulsory desexing of cats if you’re not a registered breeder,” he said.

Meanwhile, a bill has been introduced to parliament seeking an $80-a-year permit for owners of female cats that were not desexed by four months of age.

This would be on top of the initial lifetime registration fee for a pet in NSW.

Owners who repeatedly fail to register their cat would be penalised. 

In introducing the Companion Animals and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018, Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said unscrupulous pet breeders and vendors were on notice.

 "What this bill does is it recognises people must take control of and have better management and wellbeing of their pets," Mr Blair said.

He said failure to desex pets led to unwanted litters and high euthanasia rates. NSW Cat Fanciers Association president Joanne Greentree told the ABC: “I think they’re penalising a majority for what a minority is doing wrong.”

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