Many of our furry friends love to roam, but we need to keep them safe at home!
We need a plan to keep our roaming cat friends inside, for their own safety as well as the safety of local wildlife.
But we know it’s not as simple as just that. Cat enclosures and catios can be expensive and inaccessible, current rental laws allow landlords to deny someone the right to a rental if they have a pet, and many people are unaware of what responsible cat ownership even looks like.
We have listened to those concerned for the welfare of native wildlife being harmed or killed by domestic cats. And we’ve listened to those worried that cats will be needlessly killed if we introduce cat containment laws in isolation. What we need is a cat containment plan based on the evidence of what will be most effective at genuinely reducing the risk to native wildlife while maximising welfare outcomes for all animals involved.
That’s why we’re calling for a comprehensive and evidence-based statewide plan, funded by the NSW Government, that includes subsidised desexing and microchipping, the rollout of a responsible cat ownership education program, an end to kitten farms, increased funding for pounds and shelters, and urgent rental reforms to ensure we have more cat-friendly homes.
The ACT Government recently helped roll out a comprehensive cat containment plan, led by the ACT Greens. NSW must follow with a similar model of our own — a plan that takes immediate steps to provide greater protection for our wildlife coupled with a longer phased-in implementation plan that ensures cat containment will be effective, equitable and enduring.
To get this right, a cat containment scheme cannot be introduced in isolation. That’s why we need to package this reform with pet-friendly rental laws, an end to kitten farms and an overhaul of our broken pound system. We must also recognise the need to have a different approach for the 3 different groups of domestic cats in our neighbourhoods (fully owned, semi-owned and unowned) to most effectively protect our wildlife.
The NSW Government has been cost-shifting onto local councils for years, forcing them to foot the bill for enforcing animal welfare regulation that should rightfully be the responsibility of the State Government. We’ve got to change this. Our plan ensures that the NSW Government works in collaboration with councils but is wholly responsible for resourcing the implementation and enforcement of a consistent statewide plan.