East Gippsland Shire Council is urging residents to comply with Council’s cat containment rules to protect wildlife and reduce risk for cats. Cat owners are reminded their cat must remain on their premises, day and night, either inside or confined to the property.
Mayor Cr Mark Reeves highlighted the need to protect native wildlife from the dangers of roaming cats. He noted that 24-hour containment is mandated within Council’s Domestic Animal Management Plan 2021-25.
“Keeping cats contained reduces harm to our native animals and can also reduce the risk of cats straying, getting lost, injured or infected by diseases," Cr Reeves said.
Cats have had a known impact on the numbers of 27 native species and kill around a billion birds and animals nationally every year.
"The containment rule, which has been in place since 2002, also aims to minimise disturbance and nuisance to neighbours,” Cr Reeves said.
It is recommended that cat owners provide their pet with climbing spaces, safe toys, a scratching post, and safe and secure outdoor spaces such as escape-proof enclosures or specialised backyard fences.
Desexing, microchipping discount
Council encourages pet owners to have their cats spayed or neutered, and a limited-time discount program for desexing and microchipping is now available for residents facing financial or health stress. The program covers 80 per cent of the cost of basic desexing and microchipping of cats and dogs.
"We understand that the cost of desexing and microchipping can be a significant financial burden for some members of our community. This program is designed to help reduce unwanted pregnancies, fighting and roaming behaviour," Cr Reeves said.
Registration is mandatory from the age of three months and pet owners must apply for the discount program before booking their pets in for desexing. Council cannot provide a retrospective reimbursement. Any extras offered by veterinarians are optional extras at the owner's expense. For more information on this program, contact a Community Laws Officer on 5153 9500.
For cat containment and care tips, and to download a microchipping/desexing subsidy application form, visit www.eastgippsland.vic.gov.au/community/animals-and-pets.