Shire of Denmark makes new cats law to tackle nuisance cats and encourage responsible pet ownership

Isabel VieiraAlbany Advertiser
The Shire of Denmark has introduced a new cats law.
Camera IconThe Shire of Denmark has introduced a new cats law. Credit: Supplied/RegionalHUB

The Shire of Denmark is cracking down on nuisance cats and encouraging responsible pet ownership after councillors voted to make a new local cats law.

The local law was supported unanimously at last week’s council meeting and an education campaign will now be launched to raise awareness and encourage responsible cat ownership.

The council put the draft cats local law out for public comment in June and received 45 submissions, most of which the shire said were in favour of the law.

The local cats law will now need to be approved by the State Government and gazetted.

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It aims to limit the number of cats per household to two cats under six months, outline the process of applying to keep more than the allowed number of cats and regulate nuisance cats.

Residents can apply to keep more than two cats at one premises, not including a cat management facility or veterinary clinic, which will require an application fee.

Owners can be fined for keeping more than two cats without council approval.

When determining an application for more cats, the shire will consider the physical suitability of the premises, the environmental sensitivity and the suitability of an enclosure in which cats will be kept.

The likelihood of the cat “causing a nuisance, inconvenience or annoyance to an occupier of adjoining land” and the likely effect on the amenity of the surrounding area will also be considered.

“It’s giving the shire the ability to deal with cats that are a nuisance or where owners aren’t being responsible with their cat ownership,” shire chief executive David Schober said after the meeting.

“Part of the process is to engage in a community campaign to get as many cats registered as possible and then to talk to owners about responsible cat ownership.

“If people aren’t being responsible, then the local government has the ability to be able to manage that now with the introduction of the local law.

“But most owners are responsible, so it’s just about education and getting them registered.”

There are 183 registered cats in the Shire of Denmark.

Ms Schober said the shire would hold a wide-scale education campaign about the new cats law and responsible pet ownership.

“We will commence the campaign in the next month and the first exchange will be meeting stakeholders, which will include local vets and welfare groups, and then we will be going to the broader community,” he said.

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