Council’s plan to cut cat population
Owners of frisky felines in Marlborough are being given a cut price deal to help keep their amorous pets under control in a bid to curb the region’s booming cat population.
The Marlborough District Council has pledged $7500 to fund a reduced-cost cat desexing and microchipping initiative.
The bargain buy is valid for two weeks and open to owners with a community service card.
It follows a move by the council to seek more powers to help encourage responsible pet owners. Concupiscent cats can be fixed for just $50, which is about $100 below the usual cost.
The service will only be available for the first two weeks of August and spaces are limited for the procedures which will be carried out at Springlands Veterinary Centre in Blenheim.
A council spokeswoman says the initiative will be run through Animal Control, with help from SPCA Marlborough.
Marlborough Mayor John Leggett and council chief executive Mark Wheeler were among 600 council officials at a Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) conference in Auckland last month.
Backed by council colleagues, the mayor voted in favour of a proposal by Dunedin City Council calling for LGNZ to lobby the government to implement the final version of the National Cat Management Strategy.
The remit passed by just 51 per cent and could see councils around the country band together to rein in roaming cats.
Council animal control subcommittee chairman Jamie Arbuckle says the issue is a ‘‘contentious one’’. ’’It is a controversial subject but no matter which side you talk to, both will agree that work needs to be done around desexing and education.
‘‘This is the one thing we can all work round, it’s not disputed by those for or against control.
‘‘Cat control is on our radar and we’re very much aware of the situation. It’s an issue we’ve already earmarked in our 10-year plan that will need more funding,’’ he says.
Councils across the country are tasked with trying to promote responsible cat ownership and reduce their environmental impact on wildlife but their powers are limited to destroying feral cats as pests.
New wildlife protection powers could include regulatory powers for cat control, including cat identification, cat desexing and responsible cat ownership.
Cat owners must hold a community services card and have photo identification to be eligible for the offer. For full terms and conditions and to see if you are eligible, please call SPCA Marlborough on 03 572 9156.
Educating cat owners about being responsible owners is part of keeping the feline population under control, says councillor Jamie Arbuckle, with his cat Bossa Nova.