The new laws, passed by councillors on Wednesday, will come into effect in April next year.
Bass Coast Mayor Jordan Crugnale said requiring newly registered cats to be desexed and all cats to be contained at night time would reduce the occurrences of nuisance, attacks on native fauna and unwanted cat litters.
“We all have a responsibility to do our bit to protect the habitat and the living native animals within it.”
According to the Australian Wildlife Conservatory, millions of native animals are killed each night, with around 20 million feral cats taking up to four animals each a night.
Cr Crugnale said the council worked closely with Phillip Island Nature Parks and Parks Victoria, which were implementing feral cat eradication programs on French Island and Phillip Island.
The council receives around 150 requests a year from people wanting to borrow a free cat trap to deal with a nuisance cat on their property and responds to around 80 complaints in relation to cats at large.
Under section 68A of the Domestic Animals Act 1994, councils must prepare a Domestic Animal Management Plan that includes programs, services and strategies to minimise the potential for dogs and cats to create a nuisance.
In developing the plan, the council consulted the community about issues regarding responsible pet ownership, and how these issues affect individuals and neighbourhoods.
The council will undertake a public education program to inform and educate the community about the introduction of the two new orders.
June 11, 2016
I’ve just been browsing the BCP and I’m a bit late on this one but would like to have my tuppence worth! I believe the sooner society stops blaming the cat and putting the responsibility where it belongs, with the owners, the sooner the problem will be resolved. It is natural for cats to hunt and if their humans allow them to do it, they will. I have three indoor cats and I’ve had a cat run for fifteen years, which I even brought down from Sydney when I relocated. The cats are safer, I know where they are (as opposed to being squashed on the road or getting into fights) and nature is safe ... except for the cheeking lizards who think they can dash through the run without being caught! Therefore, the humans need to be educated into understanding that they are the problem, not the cat.
Pamela Jacka, Wonthaggi
May 22, 2016
What a great development and long overdue to save our remaining indigenous birds and animals from roaming cats.
It’s about time council did something to curb this threat to native birds. Cats need to be domesticated in the absolute sense of the word: confined to the home. Native fauna has no effective defence against this western import.