Wednesday 23 September 2020

Are cats allowed to roam free in NSW?

NSW is an acronym for New South Wales, Australia. At 23rd September 2020, under the provisions of the Companion Animal Act 1998 domestic cats within NSW are allowed to roam free (laws change). And they can't be picked up by rangers because they might be someone's pet. They can't assume that the cats are stray and unowned just because they are outside. However, rangers can seize cats in areas where they are prohibited. These are areas such as wildlife protection areas, commercial kitchens, restaurants or cafés.

Feral cat in Australia. Image in public domain

Also, cats can be seized by rangers if they have injured a person or another domestic animal. Against that information, there is a general trend in Australia to restrict the movement of domestic cats and to regulate cat ownership in the interests of native species because there is concern that many native species are endangered and heading towards extinction in the wild. Small mammals are the domestic cat's menu. One player in that scenario is the outside domestic cat and the continent's 2 million estimated feral cats. The authorities want to slaughter all of them.

It is sensible to ensure that inside/outside domestic cats are spayed and neutered, microchipped, wear a safety collar with ID and in Australia kept inside at night to protect wildlife. A brightly coloured collar can protect wildlife from domestic cat predation.

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