Hi Lynne Spry, thanks for your questions. I’ll break them down for the benefit of other forum users who may not be aware or historical decisions and processes or Council’s ability to act under legislation.
Yes, it is mandatory under Logan’s existing local laws for all cats to be desexed (spayed/neutered) unless they are owned by an approved breeder. This law is not under review and will not change. I’m confident, based on your question that you would be aware of a cat’s capacity to breed multiple times a year with anywhere between 4 - 10 kittens in each litter. Kittens may be cute but unwanted litters result in stray cats which cause nuisance in the community and can sometimes result in unnecessary euthanasia. We also deal with high incidents of animal dumping, etc. This is why we have this law. Anyone found breeding illegally may receive a fine or be subject to further enforcement action.
Council conducts annual inspections of all approved breeders to ensure they are compliant with breeding protocols. We also have a dedicated team who conduct systematic inspections across all suburbs of the city to identify unregistered and entire cats. When we identify a non compliant cat, we educate the owner on their cat ownership responsibilities and seek compliance with the local laws. Residents experiencing a wandering cat issue can also request to borrow a humane cat trap free of charge from the Animal Management Centre.
Undoubtedly, many thousands of cats were abandoned or not collected by their owners across Australia during the last 12 months. National and local statistics are readily available on the internet. These statistics may shock some forum readers. Cat abandonment is a real issue which is why we are already developing a Cat Management Plan for our City as part of this local law review. As I’ve already commented (consistently) in my previous responses, responsible pet ownership and education are key. Cats in Logan (under the local law) must be contained within their property boundary. This doesn’t mean they can’t go outside, they’re just not allowed to leave their property boundary. Cats are also required to be registered, microchipped and desexed (as mentioned above).
Animal welfare is paramount. Unfortunately, Council has no authority over cruelty or welfare concerns (as legislated under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001). What I can tell you is our team are passionate about animals and are trained to report welfare/abuse issues to the appropriate authorities (RSPCA, Biosecurity Qld and the Police). It’s important to understand that there are State laws (Acts) that override Council’s local laws. We are required to abide by the State laws.
Thank you for raising ‘animal testing’ which was reported in the media over 5 years ago. Hopefully I can debunk community perception on this topic. No live animals from Council’s Animal Management Centre are sent to any department or facility for testing. All unclaimed animals are medically and behaviourally tested before being placed in our sales and reforming program. Sadly, some animals with untreatable illnesses or severe aggression may not be deemed suitable for the sales and rehoming program. Please consider that if these animal’s had been responsibly looked after they wouldn’t be in our care in the first place.
You may sight release fees as the reason owners don’t collect their pets. Our experience is that this is not the case, however this is the spin that owners would like to promote to the media. Cats and dogs impounded are vaccinated, fed and cared for. In some instances, animals can stay with us for up to 20 days before being released. This can be for various reasons including ensuring the animals enclosure is sufficient to keep them contained. Care costs are on-charged to the owners.
Fees and charges associated with all things animals have been highlighted during this review. We are considering feedback received which may include a review of fees and charges. Fees charged fund the services provided by the Animal Management Centre.
Lynne, did you know that we also work with a number of welfare and rescue groups? We’ve also had great success in training high drive and character trait specific animals to go on to become assistance and fire ant detection dogs. We publicise and share these good news stories in Council’s Our Logan magazine publication.
We also run a number of successful education programs and low cost community initiatives, for example, Mobile Microchipping for just $20, to encourage owners to be responsible and compliant.
I trust I have been able to answer your queries. Thanks again for sharing your questions.