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Cat lock-in plan for Causeway, Kingston Foreshore, Casey

By Charlotte Harper 1 December 2015 34

free roaming cat

The ACT Government has for the first time proposed extending its cat containment strategy into an established suburb of Canberra.

It proposes declaring two new cat containment areas in the territory, at Casey in Gungahlin and in the suburbs surrounding the Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature reserve including the Kingston Foreshore and The Causeway.

The Causeway was one of the city’s original housing developments in 1925, but current residents of its 67 or so mostly government houses are already facing uncertainty as the planned Eastlake redevelopment would see their suburb subsumed.

Cat containment laws are already in place in Bonner, Crace, Coombs, Denman Prospect, Forde, Lawson, Molonglo, Moncrieff, Throsby and Wright, with Jacka due to join them from 2017.

Minister for Territory and Municipal Services Shane Rattenbury has today invited the community to provide feedback on the new proposals, which once enforced would require cat owners to confine their pets to their premises, or those of a carer, at all times.

There would be a suitable lead time to provide residents with an opportunity to implement cat containment measures on their premises, he said. The community consultation period ends on February 12, 2016.

Mr Rattenbury said Jerrabomberra Wetlands was one of the most valuable wetland habitat areas in the ACT.

“It is of national and international importance serving as a refuge for migrating bird species and supporting a number of frog, reptile and mammal species.

“Casey’s close proximity to the Kinlyside Nature Reserve means that native wildlife is at risk of predation by roaming cats.

The minister and Greens MLA said that under the Domestic Animals Act 2000, a cat containment area can be declared where cats pose a serious threat to native wildlife.

“There are a number of ways cats can be contained whilst remaining happy and healthy, including keeping them indoors or providing a purpose built enclosure that will give shelter as well as access to the outdoors,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The benefits of cat containment are not only felt by our native wildlife. The risk of fights with other animals and traffic incidents are avoided, keeping cats safe, happy and healthy.”

Mr Rattenbury said the ACT Government is committed to engaging with the community and involving them in the decision making process wherever possible.

“Given that there are already people living in these areas, the commencement date for the cat containment declaration will be delayed to provide residents time to implement cat containment measures on their premises. A similar arrangement has been agreed to for Jacka in which the commencement date isn’t until 1 January 2017.

“Community feedback is now invited on the timeframe for commencing the declaration in both areas and the extent of the cat containment in areas adjacent to Jerrabomberra Wetlands,” Mr Rattenbury said.

There will be three drop-in information sessions to help give residents the chance to learn more about cat containment and provide their feedback on the plans.

Feedback can also be provided through an online survey on the Territory and Municipal Services website at www.tams.act.gov.au, or via a hardcopy survey available from Gungahlin or Kingston libraries.

Cat containment drop-in information sessions

Jerrabomberra Wetlands
• 6pm to 7pm, Tuesday 8 December 2015, The Causeway Community Hall
• 6pm to 8pm, Wednesday 9 December 2015, Eastlake Football Club in Kingston

Casey
• 6pm to 8pm, Tuesday 15 December 2015, Gungahlin Library (Conference Room 1)

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34 Responses to
Cat lock-in plan for Causeway, Kingston Foreshore, Casey
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crackerpants 12:40 pm 02 Dec 15

Nilrem said :

Nilrem said :

HenryBG said :

Maya123 said :

Nilrem said :

Madness. Inadequate controls on dangerous dogs and their feral owners, as evidenced by a steady stream of Canberra Times horror stories, and the Gummint is gunning for cats. Cats killing wildlife is a problem, but surely dogs attacking kids is a higher priority one?

Dogs also attack other animals.

Cats attack vastly more other animals than dogs do.

Except dogs do far more damage to humans. You can also mitigate cat damage. Our cat wears a bell, is kept in each night and is kept well fed at home. His external diet supplement appears to be just about completely rats, mice and rabbits. Haven’t seen him eat a bird for months. Looks like a community service to me.

I’m going to do something unprecedented. I’m going to change my mind. I support cat containment around the Wetlands. But I still think the dog control laws are too weakly enforced,

I agree – cat containment is warranted in certain areas, and where the majority of owners are unlikely to comply with responsible pet ownership. I also agree that dog control laws are VERY weakly enforced. The majority of dogs I see out for a walk in my suburb and surrounds are sans lead, frequently sans manners, and quite often sans owner. When owners are present, they just smile (except for the guy whose leashed dog lunged at me – even after I spotted trouble and gave them a wide berth) and seem completely oblivious to the absence of a lead. Dog owners in nature reserves (such as Cooleman Ridge, where dogs are not allowed at all) will usually hastily put a lead on their dog when I come into view. When two parties with unleashed dogs encountered each other unexpectedly on the western side of the ridge, I decided it was safest to keep going.

As for cats and dogs, all cats have a strong desire to hunt, whereas dogs are more variable – some have a strong prey drive, some have none.

Garfield said :

To the person who said TAMS can walk and chew gum at the same time, they can’t. Many dog owners are irresponsible and inconsiderate of their neighbours, allowing their dogs to roam free to scare and injure people while others completely fail to train, exercise and play with their dogs, leaving them bored and barking at all hours of the day and night. TAMS won’t even send rangers out to look for roaming dogs unless the complainant can identify the house they come from.

I agree. The last time I spoke to DAS they told me they only have 4 rangers for the whole of Canberra, and can’t take any action unless the address of the dog is known, which is rather problematic when the dogs are roaming. They would do their best to send an extra patrol around our suburb.

FrankReynolds 11:51 am 02 Dec 15

Nilrem said :

Madness. Inadequate controls on dangerous dogs and their feral owners, as evidenced by a steady stream of Canberra Times horror stories, and the Gummint is gunning for cats. Cats killing wildlife is a problem, but surely dogs attacking kids is a higher priority one?

I’m with you that dangerous dogs should be managed, there’s been a couple of horrendous stories recently, but this is a false equivalency. They are separate issues and should be managed as such.
It’s similar to something that was brought up a while back when cat containment was last discussed. The argument that cats should be ignored until other sources of impact are addressed is obstructive and would result in nothing ever changing.

jennybel75 10:38 am 02 Dec 15

I live in Casey and own two cats and, honestly, think this is a great idea. Our cats have always been indoor only, both due to the killing of wildlife issue and due to the fact that it results in much less chance of injury and vet bills for the animals. I believe that cat containment should be rolled out across the whole of the ACT over a period of time.

Garfield 10:08 am 02 Dec 15

I know a cat owner whose cat goes stir crazy if its not allowed outside. As a responsible cat owner they desexed and micro-chipped the cat, feed it every day, only allow it outside when they’re home and never allow it out at night, which is when studies show that kill rates sky rocket. It doesn’t go more than a few metres beyond the boundary of their property. This is not a problem cat, but once containment reaches their suburb, they will have to spend many thousands of dollars cat proofing their yard or inflict mental torture on the cat by keeping it inside.

Rather than punishing responsible cat owners and their cats by blanket laws, how about targeting problem cats and their owners? Require all cats to be desexed and registered and have the rangers set traps in threatened wildlife areas. Cats captured can be checked to ensure they are registered and desexed and owners fined if they have failed to comply with regulations. Unclaimed cats can go to the RSPCA to be rehomed and cats caught in threatened areas more than once can be subjected to containment orders where there’s a big fine if they’re caught again.

To the person who said TAMS can walk and chew gum at the same time, they can’t. Many dog owners are irresponsible and inconsiderate of their neighbours, allowing their dogs to roam free to scare and injure people while others completely fail to train, exercise and play with their dogs, leaving them bored and barking at all hours of the day and night. TAMS won’t even send rangers out to look for roaming dogs unless the complainant can identify the house they come from.

Nilrem 10:04 am 02 Dec 15

Nilrem said :

HenryBG said :

Maya123 said :

Nilrem said :

Madness. Inadequate controls on dangerous dogs and their feral owners, as evidenced by a steady stream of Canberra Times horror stories, and the Gummint is gunning for cats. Cats killing wildlife is a problem, but surely dogs attacking kids is a higher priority one?

Dogs also attack other animals.

Cats attack vastly more other animals than dogs do.

Except dogs do far more damage to humans. You can also mitigate cat damage. Our cat wears a bell, is kept in each night and is kept well fed at home. His external diet supplement appears to be just about completely rats, mice and rabbits. Haven’t seen him eat a bird for months. Looks like a community service to me.

I’m going to do something unprecedented. I’m going to change my mind. I support cat containment around the Wetlands. But I still think the dog control laws are too weakly enforced,

Alexandra Craig 9:48 am 02 Dec 15

I reckon this is great. I am for ACT-wide cat containment. Cats can live a very happy life indoors. As I’ve said before on various RiotACT threads, you can leash train a cat if you want to give him/her some outside time as well as investing in a cat enclosure or cat run if you have the funds/home to allow it.

Nilrem 9:33 am 02 Dec 15

HenryBG said :

Maya123 said :

Nilrem said :

Madness. Inadequate controls on dangerous dogs and their feral owners, as evidenced by a steady stream of Canberra Times horror stories, and the Gummint is gunning for cats. Cats killing wildlife is a problem, but surely dogs attacking kids is a higher priority one?

Dogs also attack other animals.

Cats attack vastly more other animals than dogs do.

Except dogs do far more damage to humans. You can also mitigate cat damage. Our cat wears a bell, is kept in each night and is kept well fed at home. His external diet supplement appears to be just about completely rats, mice and rabbits. Haven’t seen him eat a bird for months. Looks like a community service to me.

pajs 9:02 am 02 Dec 15

Sounds like a sensible idea, with decent notice. No real reason cats need to roam uncontained, day or night.

HenryBG 6:50 am 02 Dec 15

Maya123 said :

Nilrem said :

Madness. Inadequate controls on dangerous dogs and their feral owners, as evidenced by a steady stream of Canberra Times horror stories, and the Gummint is gunning for cats. Cats killing wildlife is a problem, but surely dogs attacking kids is a higher priority one?

Dogs also attack other animals.

Cats attack vastly more other animals than dogs do.

HenryBG 6:50 am 02 Dec 15

justin heywood said :

Nilrem said :

Madness. Inadequate controls on dangerous dogs and their feral owners, as evidenced by a steady stream of Canberra Times horror stories, and the Gummint is gunning for cats. Cats killing wildlife is a problem, but surely dogs attacking kids is a higher priority one?

There is strong evidence that cats do enormous damage to local wildlife and I fully support Rattenbury on this, but I do wonder why dogs aren’t included in the program as well.

Will we end up with a situation where rangers will be picking up stray cats but ignoring dogs?

Dog people tend to keep their dogs contained.
Cat people tend to allow their cats to roam free, killing wildlife.

It’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.

No_Nose 6:46 am 02 Dec 15

justin heywood said :

There is strong evidence that cats do enormous damage to local wildlife and I fully support Rattenbury on this, but I do wonder why dogs aren’t included in the program as well.

That would be because it is already illegal to allow your dog/horse/cow/ferret/penguin etc to wander off your property.

I’m always stunned by the arrogance of those cat owners who believe that they should not be subject to the same restrictions as other responsible pet owners.

Postalgeek 8:53 pm 01 Dec 15

Nilrem said :

Madness. Inadequate controls on dangerous dogs and their feral owners, as evidenced by a steady stream of Canberra Times horror stories, and the Gummint is gunning for cats. Cats killing wildlife is a problem, but surely dogs attacking kids is a higher priority one?

Strikes me as common sense rather than madness, given how close the wetlands are to those inner south suburbs. Barring designated exercise areas, dogs are expected to be on a leash in public areas. Dog owners can be held accountable for the actions of their pet, or even having them off-leash in public areas.
The same can’t be said of cat owners. Are there any valid reasons why Mr. Fluffykins shouldn’t be prevented from dining out in a native bird reserve? Keep in mind that shutting down the reasonable options may pave the way for other solutions; maybe cats should be allowed to roam, but the sanctuaries will be littered with Curiosity baits? 1080 is used in several Canberra reserves.

In regards to priorities, I’d say TAMS is fully capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time when it comes to controlling domestic animals.

miz 7:12 pm 01 Dec 15

Yes I thought that too. How many people end up in Emergency because of cats? And they keep the rodent numbers (and their germs) down.

Maya123 6:47 pm 01 Dec 15

Nilrem said :

Madness. Inadequate controls on dangerous dogs and their feral owners, as evidenced by a steady stream of Canberra Times horror stories, and the Gummint is gunning for cats. Cats killing wildlife is a problem, but surely dogs attacking kids is a higher priority one?

Dogs also attack other animals.

justin heywood 6:43 pm 01 Dec 15

Nilrem said :

Madness. Inadequate controls on dangerous dogs and their feral owners, as evidenced by a steady stream of Canberra Times horror stories, and the Gummint is gunning for cats. Cats killing wildlife is a problem, but surely dogs attacking kids is a higher priority one?

There is strong evidence that cats do enormous damage to local wildlife and I fully support Rattenbury on this, but I do wonder why dogs aren’t included in the program as well.

Will we end up with a situation where rangers will be picking up stray cats but ignoring dogs?

dustytrail 6:28 pm 01 Dec 15

We must just realise that not all of our fellow citizens are as responsible as we are.

I don’t particularly like cats. I haven’t had a dog for many, many years.

Some parents get a “kitten” or a “puppy” because the kids “want one”. Usually, the deal is … they need to feed and clean up after this “cute” little pet. However, that doesn’t happen.

A pet is for LIFE and I am getting too old to have one. However, I do disagree with The Government telling us what we should do about pets.

dungfungus 5:57 pm 01 Dec 15

Awaiting comment from cat lover JH.

Mysteryman 5:26 pm 01 Dec 15

Nilrem said :

Madness. Inadequate controls on dangerous dogs and their feral owners, as evidenced by a steady stream of Canberra Times horror stories, and the Gummint is gunning for cats. Cats killing wildlife is a problem, but surely dogs attacking kids is a higher priority one?

Madness is that cat owners think they can shirk responsibility and let their cats roam freely on other peoples’ property, killing wildlife, damaging gardens, and urinating anywhere they please.

My mistake, that’s not madness. It’s obnoxiousness and arrogance.

switch 5:24 pm 01 Dec 15

How’s cat containment going for the new suburbs? Any increases in native bird populations?

Nilrem 4:43 pm 01 Dec 15

Madness. Inadequate controls on dangerous dogs and their feral owners, as evidenced by a steady stream of Canberra Times horror stories, and the Gummint is gunning for cats. Cats killing wildlife is a problem, but surely dogs attacking kids is a higher priority one?

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