Tag Archives: Hornsby Council

Debate over feral cats

Hornsby Advocate, Julie Huffer, November 18, 2009

A local vet has warned native animals will be more at risk from feral cats after Hornsby Council’s decision to award its companion animal pound service to an operator in Carlton.

Last week councillors gave Sydney Dogs and Cats Home the green light to provide services to the shire for a trial period of six months.

But Dr Chris Meany, who ran the council’s companion animal service from Thornleigh Veterinary Hospital for 12 years, said the new arrangments would be uneconomical and would deter people from capturing feral cats.

“They are not going to want to trap them and take them all the way to Carlton,” he said. “The number of feral cats in the community is likely to increase.”

However, a Hornsby Council representative said the policy adopted on November 11 would not place native wildlife at risk.

Vets will be able to dispense with feral cats without holding them for the standard seven days. And residents who have trapped a cat which is causing damage to property or native wildlife can contact council to arrange collection.

The council spokesman said Thornleigh Veterinary Hospital did not apply to continue the service when expressions of interest were called.

“Given that no submissions were received from organisations or operators in Hornsby Shire, of the three submissions received, council has determined that Sydney Dogs and Cats Home will provide the best service to meet its needs. “

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Hornsby feral and stray pets face instant death

Hornsby Advocate, Julie Huffer, 11 November 2009

CATS and dogs that stray within Hornsby Shire will no longer be housed locally, but taken to a pound at Carlton under a plan recommended by council officers.

Under the suggested procedures, animals without identification, subject to multiple offences or seized after an attack will be transported to the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home near Kogarah.

The news comes after feral cats and wandering pet cats featured in a series of Advocate reports in July.

The stories were sparked by a letter from a Hornsby Heights resident to their neighbours, threatening to trap and kill cats that were found on the letter writer’s property.

Under the plan presented to the council meeting last night, cats identified by vets as feral would be destroyed without the usual requirement of impounding them for seven days.

The recommendations are in a report to council on the outcome of expressions of interest for a companion animal pound.

Council has for many years used Thornleigh Veterinary Hospital as its impounding facility, but the service did not tender when expressions of interest were called in August for a pound, approved holding facility and pick-up and delivery service.

Responses were received from Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, NSW Animal Rescue and Kempsey Park Partnership and council officers have recommended a three-month trial of the Cats and Dogs Home.

The report, by executive manager of environment Robert Stephens, recommends, wherever possible, taking advantage of opportunities for animals to be held at a local vet for a short time while waiting to be returned home by an officer or picked up by an agent.

And a number of local vets have indicated their are willing to take part in this scheme.

The report states feral cats are a continuing problem in Hornsby Shire and are extremely difficult to house and handle.

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