Not kitten around: new cat laws for Bruny
Kingborough Council has become the first Tasmanian council to pass a cat control by-law to help combat the growing number of wild and un-owned cats on Bruny Island, south of Hobart.
The measures include compulsory de-sexing of pet cats before six months of age and a limit of two cats per household, unless a permit is granted.
Ten Lives Cat Centre Manager Noel Hunt says it's a great outcome for both cat owners and the environment.
"It's a great management plan because it's looking at it holistically. We've been involved in the consultation process since day dot."
"Dealing with education of the community to take more responsibility of their cats is very important and providing the by-laws that encourage that is also very important, but it's really been a process of education, consultation over a number of years to get to this point."
He says the number if cats on the island have skyrocketed in recent years.
"The importance of Bruny is it's big enough to be a really good test site, but small enough that's it's actually manageable. It was surprising the number of wild and un-owned cats and also the number of cats which were kept in hoarding situations where people were collecting too many cats on their property."
Mr Hunt says cats can have up to three litters a year.
"Kittens can have kittens and a queen can have two, three litters a year, so they are a very successful breeders and the most responsible thing owners can do is to de-sex their cats."
Bruny Island cat owners could face a fine of up to $600 for not abiding by the laws, which come into effect at the end of the year.