Residents of a city in Western Australia could soon be forced to have their pet cats sterilised in a proposal aimed at eradicating the species off the streets all-together.
Phoebe Corke, a councillor City of Cockburn's West Ward, south of Perth, wants the local government to take serious action against cats destroying the native wildlife in the area, WA Today reports.
Albeit highly unlikely, under her proposal residents would be required to keep their felines in a “catio”, a dedicated enclosure that would keep them from roaming outside of their property.
She also wants to implement “effective” traps, to capture roaming domestic cats and unconfined feral cats.
In spruiking the harsh policies, Ms Corke said she wasn’t necessarily asking for them to be implemented.
“I'm asking for an investigation into measures for trying to deal with the issue we have of cats killing native wildlife,” she said, according to the publication.
“I'm not saying ban all cats, I'm saying let's look at whether there is a possibility that we need to ban cats in new developments or have mandatory catios, containments for them.”
There was a mixed reaction from residents, who expressed their opinions in comments to a post about the proposal on Facebook from ABC South West.
Some seemed to welcome the plan, claiming to already be abiding by the rules outlined by Ms Corke.
“Cats should be desexed and kept indoors. Mine is and is very happy,” one person said.
“Not sure it is necessary but the State should certainly ban cats from leaving private property. Cats must be contained, they are doing immeasurable damage to native wildlife (including birds),” another agreed.
The plan, if ever approved, would initially be rolled out in new developments in the Greenfield area before being implemented across the whole of the City of Cockburn.
Many have not taken lightly to the proposal, with one person suggesting a certain irony to banning cats over their environmental impact, all the while clearing native bushland for housing developments.
“I watch as humans destroy bird habits for buildings etc, and cars that hit birds and leave them to die...Everyone has a right to a companion, be it a dog a cat or a person. Who are you to tell us how we shall live. What’s next how many children we can have,” one person wrote in a comment.
“Stupid. We cannot have a dog, my wife has chronic illnesses and dementia, our cats give her so much pleasure which she would miss. They are both rescue cats and stay indoors,” another said.
“I am a cat person whose cats are house cats. I acknowledge the damage done by cats to the environment - however I feel this is an extreme reaction,” a third added.
Ms Corke described the animal as a “menace” and favoured an investigation into possible “measures of containment” be taken for people who own cats in new developments.
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