Townsville Bulletin

Cats could be banned


PROPOSED changes to the Townsville City Council animal management local law could ban Magnetic Island locals from ever owning a cat in the future.

The council is in the process of updating its Local Law 2 Animal Management, which has not been changed for more than a decade.

The proposed changes were presented to the Community Health, Safety and Environmen­tal Sustainabi­lity Committee.

As part of this, the council is considerin­g an amendment that would stop residents on Magnetic Island owning cats in the future.

While the cats that currently live on the island would be able to remain, the potential changes would require the cats to be desexed to stem the wild cat population.

A person choosing to move to the island after the introducti­on of these proposed changes would not be able to own a cat.

Committee chairman Councillor Maurie Soars said changing the policy around cats on the world heritage-listed island was a “no-brainer”.

He said similar initiative­s had been put in place in other island communitie­s, including Fraser Island where the brumbies had been removed and domesticat­ed animals were banned.

The registrati­on of cats could also be introduced across the city.

The council report said several suggestion­s about cats on Magnetic Island had come from within the community.

“On the 4 July 2021, representa­tion was made to council to consider amending the local law in relation to cat management on Magnetic Island. Several of the proposed changes have been included in this draft for consultati­on,” the report said.

The changes could also make it easier for animal control officers to monitor barking dogs.

Currently, officers must be able to record dogs barking for a period of six minutes in an hour.

However, the proposal is for council officers to record the dogs barking 30 times in the space of an hour.

The council report said the review has been done to ensure that as Townsville grows, a balance can be struck between the positive benefits of owning an animal while maintainin­g community amenity.

The full council meeting in two weeks will vote on the proposal to amend the local law and to give council officers the ability to consult with the community on the proposed changes.

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