WCC are proposing some changes to the Animal Bylaw, which would encourage responsible cat ownership and help manage strays.
Cats kill wildlife, spread diseases and cause a general nuisance by soiling people’s gardens. At the moment there is no easy way to identify an owned cat from an unowned cat so it is almost impossible to manage strays near populated areas. The Council are suggesting microchipping of all owned cats to enable strays to be better managed.
This would mean in areas where stray cats were a nuisance, such as near sensitive wildlife areas, restaurants or playgrounds, stray and unowned cats could be controlled. Any owned microchipped cats could be returned to their owners and unowned cats rehomed or humanely euthanized.
Microchipping helps protect owned cats. After the Christchurch Earthquakes, approximately 85% of microchipped cats were returned to owners, compared with 15% of cats without microchips.
It seems that the message on microchipping is getting through to the public also. Several surveys indicate that the majority of people – including cat owners – accept that identifying their cat through a microchip should simply be part and parcel of owning a cat.
The problem of cat identification really came to a head with the recent kaka cam. Remember the live feed camera that was put inside the kaka nest late last year? The chicks became an internet hit and were dubbed the “kaka-dashians”. The trouble was that as the kaka fledge they spend 2 weeks on the ground in an area that was found to be frequently visited by cats. Without microchips it was impossible to tell who owned the cats, and therefore keep the kaka safe. In the end, the locals undertook a vigil to watch over their precious native birds.
The Council are also suggesting limiting the number cats to three per household (unless they are under 6 months or permission from the council is sought). Limiting the number of cats reduces the public health issues (toxoplasmosis) and nuisance factors such as predation of wildlife.
If you’d like to make a submission on the proposed changes you can use the full submission form at WCC.
For more details about the proposed Animal Bylaw changes read on the Council website.
We are also holding community meetings so you can come and have a chat to use about the proposed changes:
Monday 11th April, Karori Community Hall, 6 – 7pm View Facebook event
Tuesday 12th April, Aro Community, Centre 7 – 8pm View Facebook event
Wednesday 13th April, Park Kitchen, 6 PM – 7pm View Facebook event