Cat curfew flagged


Michaela Meade

Whittlesea’s feline residents could be subject to a cat curfew under a new plan being considered by council.

The council is seeking feedback on its draft Domestic Animal Management Plan 2021-25 (DAMP) which addresses a number of issues, including a cat curfew.

Compliance and environmental health manager Debbie Blandford said at this stage, “no decisions have been made” regarding a curfew for cats in the municipality, but that initial feedback from the community showed some interest in introducing one.

“During [initial] consultation, we actually received quite a bit of feedback about roaming cats trespassing onto others’ properties,” Ms Blandford said.

“At the moment, it’s very difficult for council to be able to help address those issues because we just don’t have the legal order or the cat curfew.

“We wanted to speak with our community about whether or not they would be in favour of introducing that curfew so that we can address those issues as they arise, a bit more easily than what we can now.”

Meanwhile, Hume councillor Jack Medcraft has called for a report on whether a cat curfew can be introduced in his municipality.

Speaking at a council meeting last night, Cr Medcraft said he wanted a curfew to be introduced to protect wildlife in the area.

“If you’re going to have a cat, you’ve got to be responsible, the same as a dog owner,” he said.

“If you’re going to have a cat, you keep the cat inside of a night time, you have it properly housed, and you don’t let it roam around.”

Whittlesea’s draft DAMP will be open for feedback until Thursday, September 30.