Herald Sun; Richard Noone, Amanda Pappas, From:The Daily Telegraph; September 08, 2012
PEOPLE should consider a vigilante-style approach to rounding up stray and semi-feral cats for compulsory desexing at shelters, a leading veterinarian said.
As pounds brace for the annual influx of unwanted pets ahead of the summer breeding season – typically from September to April – RSPCA spokesman Dr Norm Blackman said stray and semi-feral cats were the main source of kittens dumped at shelters, which led to higher euthanasia rates.
“Population control is very difficult and to be effective it will require substantial commitment and resources,” Dr Blackman said.
“People living in residential areas where there are community cats should consider taking responsibility by catching them and taking them to a shelter where they can be desexed and re-homed.
“That way they won’t become a source of more stray kittens next breeding season.”
Every year, thousands of cats are euthanised at shelters across NSW – a figure animal welfare groups said peaked in the months after Christmas when cute and cuddly presents became unwanted pets.
Last year, the RSPCA received almost 15,000 cats, of which 8800 were younger than six months old.
More than 60 per cent, or 9500, had to be euthanised.
“All cats and kittens adopted through the RSPCA come behaviour and health-checked, desexed, microchipped, vaccinated, wormed and flea-treated,” Dr Blackman said.
His comments followed renewed calls for compulsory desexing of cats. Animal Liberation spokeswoman Emma Hurst said that “remarkably” there was no mandatory requirement in NSW for councils or independent shelters to desex animals before they are rehomed. She said the cost was either seen as a burden to councils or a disincentive to people wanting a cheap pet.
“If you can’t afford desexing then you probably can’t afford to look after it at home,” Ms Hurst said. “There’s a certain responsibility and the expense of having it desexed might stop that sort of impulse buying.”
CatRescue NSW has campaigned for mandatory desexing since 2006. It said compulsory desexing as a condition of pet ownership could easily be introduced as a grandfather clause to the Companion Animals Act 1998.
If you wish to adopt any of these cats, call 02 9770 7555 or go to adoptapet.com.au for more options.