A Queensland motorist has alerted police and the RSPCA after witnessing a car travelling on a busy road with a cat in a carrier strapped to its roof racks.
The concerned onlooker snapped a photo of the vehicle in the Brisbane suburb of Windsor, and although the animal cannot be seen in the image, the witness claimed on social media site Reddit, "yes, there was a terrified looking cat inside".
Elaborating on the story, the woman said there appeared to be room inside the car for the carrier to be stowed, before assuring others online that authorities are following up on the incident after she provided them with images.
Driver's alleged act 'messed up'
The reaction online was scathing, with Reddit users chiding the driver for the seemingly "appalling" act.
"That's messed up from the owner, and that cat needs to be re-homed to a person or persons who will actually look after it a lot better than the current one," one commenter responded, with another agreeing, arguing "some people should not be allowed to own pets".
According to the RSPCA, it is regulation that cats travel in a secured carrier big enough for them to sit or lie down in comfortably, and never be put in the boot of a car.
While rules regarding transporting cats varies from state to state – and there are no specific regulations about roof racks – general Australia-wide laws state animals travelling in cars should be housed off in an appropriate area within the vehicle.
Photo divides opinion
While the majority of responders were troubled by the image, a handful of people suggested it was no different to a dog travelling in the tray of a ute. "If it's secured to the roof properly, I don't see the problem since you are legally allowed to drive with pets in your ute tray as long as they are properly restrained," one person pointed out.
"They're no more exposed than a horse in a float, and cats are transported in those type of carriers all the time. It's not subjected to excessive wind, and it can't see out anyway, so I don't see how it would be any more distressed than if it were in the back of a ute."
The original poster said she saw others taking photos of the incident and felt confident there would be multiple reports made about it. Yahoo News Australia has contacted the RSPCA for comment. The organisation could not immediately find evidence of reports being made over the incident.
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