Vets worry over feral cat is­sue

Reg­is­tra­tion re­moval prob­lem­atic

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

THE re­moval of state and lo­cal govern­ment cat reg­is­tra­tion laws could am­plify feral cat prob­lems in the area.

Un­til this year, cat own­ers were re­quired to pay $100 to reg­is­ter their an­i­mals, fall­ing to $80 if the cat was mi­cro-chipped and $20 if it was mi­cro-chipped and de­sexed.

But changes to State Govern­ment leg­is­la­tion a year ago, which pre­vi­ously forced coun­cils to charge res­i­dents reg­is­tra­tion fees, has seen North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil re­move the charge in this year’s budget, al­though dogs must still be reg­is­tered in ur­ban ar­eas.

“De­sex­ing of cats is re­ally im­por­tant to stop feral cat prob­lems, so I def­i­nitely think there should be an in­cen­tive,” Monto vet Stacey Rae said.

“Lots of towns have more of a feral cat prob­lem then a feral dog prob­lem; it’s so much eas­ier for cats to go around yard to yard.”

Queens­land RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty said a few coun­cils in Queens­land had done away with cat reg­is­tra­tions af­ter the changes.

“We wish coun­cils weren’t putting it in the too-hard bas­ket, be­cause even though it is hard to po­lice cat reg­is­ters, these in­cen­tives are im­por­tant to get cats and dogs de­sexed and mi­cro-chipped,” he said.

The is­sue is caus­ing so many prob­lems the RSPCA has kick-started Oper­a­tion-Wanted, where vets of­fer 25% off de­sex­ing and mi­cro-chip­ping costs for cats and dogs.

But while North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil CEO Mark Pitt said there was a feral cat prob­lem in the North Bur­nett, he said link­ing that to reg­is­tra­tion was a sim­plis­tic ap­proach.

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