News.com.au; KATIE ROBERTSON; PerthNow; November 02, 2011
CAT owners will now have to sterilise, microchip, and register their pets after legislation was passed in State Parliament today.
But they will have two years before having to comply with the new laws – the first in the state to deal with domestic cats.
Local Government Minister John Castrilli said the Cat Act would help reduce the number of unwanted cats euthanised each year in WA.
“The new Cat Act then gives local governments the power to deal with owners that are not responsible, including cat hoarders, and with cats that are not owned,” Mr Castrilli said.
“In essence, the legislation will make way for better management of the unwanted impacts of cats on the community and the natural environment, causing nuisance and damage to property.
“It also provides for the reunion of cats with their owners.”
“Ninety-three per cent of WA cat owners sterilise their cats and for these people the legislation will make little difference,” he said.
Cat owners be required from November 1, 2013, to comply with the new legislation, with a phase-in period starting on November 1, 2012.
The Conservation Council of WA has welcomed the new cat control legislation, saying feral cats are some of the most destructive introduced pests to native wildlife.
CCWA spokesperson John McCarten said any move by the Government to limit the number of cats escaping into the wild and breeding was welcomed.
“The vast majority of cat owners already act responsibly,” he said.
“This legislation will make sure the minority of owners who have resisted voluntary measures fo the right thing by their cats and our native animals.”
Mr McCarten said the CSIRO estimated there were about 100,000 feral cats in the Kimberley alone, each killing an average of 5-12 native vertebrates daily.