Monash Council will introduce a night-time cat curfew with residents given three years to prepare for the changes.
The cat curfew is one of a number of measures in Council’s Domestic Animal Management (DAM) Plan, which was adopted at the 31 October 2017 Council meeting.
Mayor Rebecca Paterson said there were 4,378 registered cats in the City of Monash (as of 1 November 2017).
"Cats are great companions to many residents in Monash. However, they are also natural predators and if they are left to roam at night they can do enormous damage to native wildlife and be a nuisance to residents, and that is of concern to Council," Cr Paterson said.
"The cat curfew will be implemented in three years’ time (2020) to give the community time to adjust to the change. We will be also undertaking an education program to help the community better undertstand the benefits of keeping cats in at night."
"The cat curfew does not require cat owners to do anything complicated or expensive, simply ensure their cats are safely contained at night, preferably in their house or garage."
Animal welfare organisations and professional bodies like the RSPCA and the Australian Veterinary Association recommend that cats should be kept indoors as much as possible for their safety and wellbeing as the risk from from fights with other cats and animals, being injured by cars and contracting disease is lessened. Agriculture Victoria advises that cats who remain contained in your property can live up to three times longer than those who roam.
Other measures in the DAM Plan include:
- continued roll-out of dog poo disposal bins and bag dispensers in parks within budget constraints
- increasing awareness of the need to pick up after your dog by stencilling designs on footpaths in reserves as a reminder and distributing information flyers
- Investigating (by 2020) the feasibility of a dedicated fenced off-leash area for dogs.
For more information on the Domestic Animal Management Plan visit www.monash.vic.gov.au/animalplan
Media Contact: Emily Webb 0466 026 560 or email Emily.Webb@monash.vic.gov.au