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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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Cat lock-in plan for Causeway, Kingston Foreshore, Casey
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Maya123 11:53 pm 06 Dec 15

No_Nose said :

Garfield said :

Just because there are irresponsible cat owners doesn’t mean that all cats and their owners should be punished.

How is it ‘punishment’ in any way to require the owner of an animal to keep that animal on their own property?

Once again I ask the question that never gets answered – Why do some cat owners think that they alone, amongst all pet owners, have a God given right for their animal to roam at will outside of their own property and that they are somehow being victimised if someone suggests otherwise?

What makes them so special?

I don’t think of the people who let their cats wander onto my property as “special”. As long as the cat is de-sexed I don’t see what harm they are doing. I have a more cared for garden too than many people, and yet I have never had a cat cause any problem. For anyone who has a sand pit that their child plays in there are worse problems than cat poo to be concerned about. How about flying fox poo, with all the risks that entails? I have regularly found that in my garden. Look up at night and see the bats flying overhead if you think that’s not a problem. Cover the sand pit when it’s not in use; that’s the solution. There’s more than cats out there.

No_Nose 4:35 pm 06 Dec 15

Garfield said :

Just because there are irresponsible cat owners doesn’t mean that all cats and their owners should be punished.

How is it ‘punishment’ in any way to require the owner of an animal to keep that animal on their own property?

Once again I ask the question that never gets answered – Why do some cat owners think that they alone, amongst all pet owners, have a God given right for their animal to roam at will outside of their own property and that they are somehow being victimised if someone suggests otherwise?

What makes them so special?

Garfield 1:21 pm 05 Dec 15

Claire said :

Other people’s dogs cannot get into my back yard, yet cats can. It was not very nice to find my two year old playing in his sand pit that has been turned into a cat’s toilet.

I’ve also never had dogs mating on my veranda all night. I have had cats do just that and the stink was dreadful. So a couple of days after coming out of hospital I had to wash a rather large veranda.

Just because there are irresponsible dog owners doesn’t mean that the laws are wrong and that we shouldn’t have laws to have cats kept on their owner’s property. I do not want cats in my yard.

There are already nuisance animal laws in place that you can use in these situations. Talk to the neighbours and if they won’t do anything report them for keeping undesexed cats and posing a health risk to your child. Just because there are irresponsible cat owners doesn’t mean that all cats and their owners should be punished.

Apologies if this is a duplicate post, but I can’t see the earlier one.

Claire 11:47 pm 04 Dec 15

Other people’s dogs cannot get into my back yard, yet cats can. It was not very nice to find my two year old playing in his sand pit that has been turned into a cat’s toilet.

I’ve also never had dogs mating on my veranda all night. I have had cats do just that and the stink was dreadful. So a couple of days after coming out of hospital I had to wash a rather large veranda.

Just because there are irresponsible dog owners doesn’t mean that the laws are wrong and that we shouldn’t have laws to have cats kept on their owner’s property. I do not want cats in my yard.

Maya123 5:42 pm 03 Dec 15

JC said :

Nilrem said :

I’m not sure about that analogy. We are talking about laws that both regulate domestic animals, with a disparity of treatment and penalties that is inconsistent with the potential danger to people.

Danger to people and other animals. Pretty certain when you include other animals cats are the far more dangerous animal, responsible for more deaths than dogs, and of course also the animal that is far harder to contain.

So chalk and cheese really and reflected in the laws.

PS I dislike both dogs and cats equally.

I knew someone who wouldn’t keep his dog in. It wasn’t doing any harm he stated. Well, the dog was shot (along with another dog) killing sheep.

JC 10:43 am 03 Dec 15

Nilrem said :

I’m not sure about that analogy. We are talking about laws that both regulate domestic animals, with a disparity of treatment and penalties that is inconsistent with the potential danger to people.

Danger to people and other animals. Pretty certain when you include other animals cats are the far more dangerous animal, responsible for more deaths than dogs, and of course also the animal that is far harder to contain.

So chalk and cheese really and reflected in the laws.

PS I dislike both dogs and cats equally.

crackerpants 9:23 am 03 Dec 15

Postalgeek said :

crackerpants said :

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.

The Point was that, as FrankReynolds stated, dog laws and cat laws are two separate issues. You may not be happy with the enforcement of dog laws, but that doesn’t provide a rational argument against cat laws. Why not argue that until road rules are properly enforced there’s no point having shipping law, or insolvency law, or family law…

Right. Agreed. They are two separate issues in planning/law/regulation.My point is that shared resources are and will be required to enforce both sets of laws and regulations, with those resources currently stretched beyond capacity in dealing with a single set of laws (those for dogs). I am not attempting to provide an argument against cat containment, because I don’t disagree with cat containment (more or less). But in the absence of adequate resourcing, I would rather see a focus on keeping children, adults, and pets safe from roaming and potentially dangerous dogs, rather than reducing the ability of rangers to respond to problem dogs by having to deal with cats as well.

Nilrem 5:47 am 03 Dec 15

Postalgeek said :

crackerpants said :

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.

The Point was that, as FrankReynolds stated, dog laws and cat laws are two separate issues. You may not be happy with the enforcement of dog laws, but that doesn’t provide a rational argument against cat laws. Why not argue that until road rules are properly enforced there’s no point having shipping law, or insolvency law, or family law…

I’m not sure about that analogy. We are talking about laws that both regulate domestic animals, with a disparity of treatment and penalties that is inconsistent with the potential danger to people.

No_Nose 10:52 pm 02 Dec 15

Surely it comes down to one simple basic concept:

Your pet should never leave the confines of your property unless it is under your direct supervision and control.

Why do some cat owners find that hard to understand?

Postalgeek 4:42 pm 02 Dec 15

crackerpants said :

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.

The Point was that, as FrankReynolds stated, dog laws and cat laws are two separate issues. You may not be happy with the enforcement of dog laws, but that doesn’t provide a rational argument against cat laws. Why not argue that until road rules are properly enforced there’s no point having shipping law, or insolvency law, or family law…

Garfield 2:52 pm 02 Dec 15

Alexandra Craig said :

Garfield said :

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.

If their suburb becomes cat containment it won’t be instant. They’ll have plenty of warning and time to slowly adjust their cat to an indoor lifestyle. It can be done with patience. It’s all about just keeping the kitty inside a tiny bit longer each day.

Desexing is already compulsory in the ACT, but not enforced sadly. I do some cat welfare stuff as a bit of a hobby and people not desexing their cats is the absolute bane of my existence. It’s highly frustrating that it’s not enforced.

Cat containment is on its way for all suburbs in the long run, so rather than avoiding the issue, how about answering the question as to why all cats and owners are getting hit with punitive blanket laws rather than only targeting problem animals and owners? According to the Canberra Times its a $1500 fine for not containing your cat, but if you let your dog roam and it gets picked up by rangers and you collect it from the pound it costs $89. If cats were people these laws would be getting challenged on the grounds of racial vilification.

Alexandra Craig 2:04 pm 02 Dec 15

Garfield said :

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.

If their suburb becomes cat containment it won’t be instant. They’ll have plenty of warning and time to slowly adjust their cat to an indoor lifestyle. It can be done with patience. It’s all about just keeping the kitty inside a tiny bit longer each day.

Desexing is already compulsory in the ACT, but not enforced sadly. I do some cat welfare stuff as a bit of a hobby and people not desexing their cats is the absolute bane of my existence. It’s highly frustrating that it’s not enforced.

Maya123 1:17 pm 02 Dec 15

It’s a shame that all cats will be punished, even those that don’t hunt. I have seen studies that suggest that not all (domestic) cats hunt, and from memory it’s one in three cats that hunt; which means two in three don’t. Most killing is done by feral cats. Even this following cat hater gives indicates that two out of three cats don’t hunt. http://theoatmeal.com/comics/cats_actually_kill

When looking for indications whether your cat might be a hunter, one suggestion I read was, does your cat play with toys and carry them as if they are prey? Having in the past owned several cats (not all at once) this was perhaps not a bad indicator. My last cat was not a hunter. (I’m not naive here; I have known other cats, one I am particularly thinking of, that were hunters, but my last cat was not. He would lie in the back garden and allow birds to hop near him and never attempt to grab them.) This cat never showed great interest in toys; even as a kitten. He showed interest in play fighting with other kittens though. He grew up a non-hunter, but a fighter. A big cat (6.7kls and not fat), he kept other cats out of the garden.
I have also read that where the kitten comes from could be an indicator of how much it will be a hunter. The biggest hunter I knew (a cat we had when I was a child), came from a dairy farm where the cats had to fend for themselves. So that kitten had witnessed other cats hunting.

Nilrem 12:48 pm 02 Dec 15

FrankReynolds 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?

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.

See my change of position on cat conatinment above. However, there is a prioritisation issue – and while the gummint seems all clued up on cat management, the dangerous dog issue is suffering neglect:

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/new-act-dog-attack-laws-worthless-family-of-toddler-scarred-by-attack-20150812-gixig4.html

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