Keep cats contained

The Speaker and Members of the House of Assembly in Parliament assembled.

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Name

The undersigned citizens of Tasmania wish to make the Members aware of the urgent need to amend the Cat Management Act to make it an offence for a cat to roam off the owner’s property and for there to be appropriate penalties.

The petitioners call on the Minister Primary Industries and Water, Guy Barnett to propose amendments to the Cat Management Act to:

  • make it an offence for the owner of a cat to let it roam off their property or be in a public place while not under effective control (e.g. being on a lead or in a crate);

  • provide a fine for owners of a cat found roaming or not under effective control that is similar to that applying to dogs and that harsher penalties apply for multiple, repeat or serious offences;

  • allows a council to appoint an appropriately trained officer to enforce these provisions but councils are not compelled to do so.

We note that it is an offence for an owned dog to roam off the owner’s property or to be in a public place while not under effective control and that the owners can face hefty penalties if the dog is caught. Cats need to be treated the same as dogs.

The state government will very shortly introduce a number of commendable amendments to the Cat Management Act but it is not proposing to act effectively on roaming cats. The reason given by the state government for not acting on roaming cats is it does not want to force all councils to police rules relating to roaming cats. But the legislation can be written to give councils discretion as to whether they enforce the new laws. We need stronger laws to provide a deterrent for the most irresponsible cat owners and to stop more wildlife being killed.

Authorised by Peter McGlone, Tasmanian Conservation Trust: 03 623552, peter@tct.org.au