A proposal for what is in effect a cat leash law has been rejected by the Weymouth town committee and the council will probably take up the recommendation to reject the proposal at the next meeting. Under the proposal cat owners would be required to:
- Keep their cats leashed or under their control when outside the home and;
- clean up after their cats and;
- the animal control officer would be charged with the duty of picking up stray cats.
The committee decided against the proposal for the following reasons:
- Animal control receive very few complaints about stray cats - three complaints in three years.
- The town would have to be responsible for picked up stray cats for 30 days or more (presumably this would place a financial burden on the town that would be unacceptable).
- Collars attached to leashes can choke cats.
- The proposed ordinance was unworkable because the wording was imprecise.
- The proposed ordinance was probably unenforceable.
Leash laws are often discussed by local law makers and on the other side of the coin, how to deal with stray and feral cats are also often discussed. They are both addressing the major cat problem in the USA: unregulated cat breeding and irresponsible cat ownership leading to unwanted and stray cats causing a nuisance. TNR is becoming more popular for dealing with strays. Leash laws are hardly ever created (I know of none).
Weymouth is about 20 km south of Boston city center. The photo is by Finn Frode living in Denmark.