Claws are out for new a cat by­law

Bush Telegraph - - Bush Telegraph Trades And Services Directory - BY CHRIS­TINE MCKAY

While Woodville Dis­tricts Vi­sions is pleased with the Tararua District Coun­cil’s new cat by­law, they want it to have more teeth.

“We’re ap­plaud­ing the coun­cil, but we’d en­cour­age them to also con­sider mi­crochip­ping, de­sex­ing and fur­ther reg­u­lat­ing do­mes­tic own­er­ship of cats in our towns,” WDV chair­woman Robin Win­ter said. She’d like to see a pro­gramme sim­i­lar to

Pu¯ kaha Mt Bruce to deal with un­wanted cats.

“Many wild and feral cats are trapped and eu­thanased on a reg­u­lar ba­sis at Pu¯ kaha Mt Bruce to pro­tect the wildlife,” she said. “This is just the same for the wild birds and lizards in our com­mu­nity. De­sex­ing such cats, which is the SPCA’s an­swer to the is­sue, doesn’t re­move the threat to our wildlife.”

The coun­cil has in­cluded con­trols for those who own more than three cats where com­plaints are re­ceived, or if they are of­fen­sive to a neigh­bour­ing prop­erty, a threat to pub­lic health,en­dan­ger neigh­bour­ing an­i­mals, or if they may be­come a nui­sance.

“The ma­jor is­sue is around the health of cats and if the size of a prop­erty is small for the num­ber of cats then they tend to mi­grate more than nor­mal,” Peter Wim­sett, coun­cil’s man­ager of strat­egy and district devel­op­ment, said. “Cats do wan­der and that doesn’t make them a nui­sance. But mi­crochip­ping would add a great deal of cost.”

In 2015, a trap­ping and culling pro­gramme was put in place by WDV af­ter an in­va­sion of strays. How­ever, within weeks a halt was called as vol­un­teers be­came the tar­get of abuse.

District coun­cil­lor Peter Johns, who lives in Woodville, in­sisted the coun­cil “stop muck­ing around” and bring in a by­law. Norse­wood cat lover Lyn McConchie said coun­cil’s by­law is fair, but be­lieves there should be a vari­ance for breed­ers or tem­po­rary res­cue shel­ters, if neigh­bours agree.

Mr Wim­sett said it had taken coun­cil two years to get its by­law in place.

“By­laws are dif­fi­cult to in­tro­duce for coun­cils try­ing to con­trol cats, as own­ers aren’t reg­is­tered. There’s also the def­i­ni­tion of stray cats which have no home and wandering cats who are just do­ing what cats do. Cats are im­por­tant to peo­ple and con­trol­ling stray and feral cats is the key.” There are also le­gal obli­ga­tions when trap­ping cats to find the le­gal owner.


Robin Win­ter, Woodville Dis­tricts Vi­sion chair­woman, is ask­ing Tararua district Coun­cil to strengthen its re­cently in­tro­duced cat by­law.

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