Cat num­bers a pet peeve

Eastern Reporter - - Opinion - Lau­ren Pilat May­lands MLA Lisa Baker with con­cerned res­i­dent An­gela Tully and her sons Hamish and Thomas.

MAY­LANDS res­i­dents are fed up with neigh­bours keep­ing an ex­ces­sive num­ber of cats, which cause a nui­sance, in­clud­ing defe­cat­ing on their roofs.

May­lands MLA Lisa Baker said it was es­ti­mated that more than 60 cats had lived at a Cale­do­nian Av­enue ad­dress, both­er­ing the neigh­bour­hood for more than a decade.

She said the home was one of two in May­lands where pet own­ers kept well in ex­cess of the per­mit­ted num­ber of cats.

With no limit on the num­ber a per­son can own un­der the State Gov­ern­ment Cat Act, the City of Bayswa­ter de­vel­oped its own lo­cal law to deal with the is­sue.

The Keep­ing and Con­trol of Cats Lo­cal Law came into ef­fect in Oc­to­ber 2014 with an amnesty pe­riod un­til the end of Fe­bru­ary 2015.

Since March 1 2015 res­i­dents with un­reg­is­tered cats risk a $250 fine.

Mayor Syl­van Al­bert said the Act gave rangers the author­ity to en­force the new laws but could not be ap­plied ret­ro­spec­tively.

“Un­der the Keep­ing and Con­trol of Cats Lo­cal Law res­i­dents are al­lowed to have a max­i­mum of three cats un­less ap­proved oth­er­wise,” he said.

“Un­der the new rules cat own­ers may ap­ply to the City for a per­mit to have more than three cats on a

Pic­ture: Mar­cus Whisson

sin­gle dwelling, to a max­i­mum of six or when they wish to have more than two cats on a mul­ti­ple dwelling.”

Ms Baker said since the law came into ef­fect, an in­creas­ing num­ber of kit­tens and young cats were living at the Cale­do­nian Av­enue home.

Cale­do­nian Av­enue prop­erty owner He­lene Fung said the num­ber of cats was es­pe­cially prob­lem­atic when they were in heat.

“They’re re­ally noisy and they leave a lot of cat drop­pings on the roof,” she said.

“The stench of cat urine and drop­pings in sum­mer is re­ally strong.”

Cr Al­bert ad­mit­ted there

had been “some” prop­er­ties where cats had been seen in ex­ces­sive num­bers but said there was no ev­i­dence that more than the pre­scribed num­ber were housed at any par­tic­u­lar premises.

“The City is car­ry­ing out ex­ten­sive trap­ping in the as­so­ci­ated ar­eas,” he said.

“The City takes nui­sance of cats very se­ri­ously.

“Since April 2014 the City has trapped 208 cats that have been found in a place with­out the con­sent of the owner. The de­mand for cat traps has re­duced, im­ply­ing that the new rules are re­sult­ing in lower num­bers of stray or tres­pass­ing cats.”

If res­i­dents have is­sues with cats tres­pass­ing on their pri­vate land with­out con­sent they should con­tact the City’s rangers and se­cu­rity ser­vices on 9272 0972.

The City re­ceived 374 Ac­tion Re­quests with re­gard to cats since April 2014.

The City of Bayswa­ter owns 24 cat traps that are placed onto pri­vate land fol­low­ing Ac­tion Re­quests.

Many cats have been trapped re­duc­ing the num­ber at some of the prop­er­ties com­plained about.

Com­plaints in­volved large num­bers of cats on one premises, re­sult­ing in health is­sues, cats fight­ing, cat nui­sance and cats defe­cat­ing on other peo­ple’s prop­er­ties.

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