Vets recommend rounding up stray cats for desexing

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.”

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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.

Original here…

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1 Comment

Filed under Abandoned animals, Desexing

One response to “Vets recommend rounding up stray cats for desexing

  1. Last year, I was Senior Ranger at the Shire of Carnarvon WA. I was there when the town was rebuilding after the floods. Due to the aftermath, domestic cats that were made “homeless” turned feral and bred in plaque proportions.

    As there was no Cat Act or Regulations or even a local law, in force at the time, the shire loaned out traps as a public heath issue. In my first 6 weeks or so I shot over 80 cats trapped. Some kittens were rehabilitated but most were not. My day consisted of starting in the morning, checking emails and the duty phone, have a coffee then go out and collect a trap or 2 for destuction. Cats were brought into the town by transient backpackers who would dump them in the scrub when they got work or had to leave the country. Backpacker population had brought a similar impact on local towns as the FIFO population with social issues and community safety. This was with animal welfare as well as crime, antisocial behaviour and other associated issues.

    Feral cat issues are concidered a pest control issue, not an animal welfare one as such. Therefore buisiness’s are responsible for the control of pests and vermin as a health issue on thier properties. For individuals and private homes, it is a public health issue and state and local government often only provide advice and limited assist in this matter.

    In my previous role, in Newman WA, the feral cat population was not such a large issue as it was seasonal. however, the locals and the vet didnt think so. There was a public meeting organised and the shire did not offer traps anymore due to the backlash from a local long term business operator trapping domesticated felines and alledgely drowning them in his pool.

    Vigilante action, such as this and the behaviour of two certian Victorian female animal “activists” is not the answer. Innocent pets WILL be caught up in this because of neighbourhood disputes and destroyed purposely. There is no justification for breaking the law in any circumstance. There are serious community safety, social and legal ramifications from such an outlandish statement made by a so called “educated” expert in the field. To make a statement in the media such as this is not only uneducated, but childish and dangerous in our community.

    The State and Local governments as well as NGO’s should fund, plan and discharge a tactical operation utilising trained and equiped volunteers. Rather than using “vigilate type death squads” a more socially responsible and planned approach needs to be taken.

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