Thursday 1 July 2021

Residents of Knox City, Melbourne ordered to keep cats inside 24/7

KNOX CITY, MELBOURNE - NEWS AND COMMENT: This might be a world first but if not, it is one of the very few city councils to order that their citizens keep their domestic cat companions inside the home 24/7. And it seems that the order to do this will go on indefinitely unless somebody changes the ordinance or local law. The mayor of the city council disagrees with it as you can see in the Facebook post below.

Knox City
Knox City. Pic in public domain.

The reason is to protect wildlife and that is always the reason in Australia for confining cats. The authorities across the continent, to varying degrees, have become somewhat obsessed with protecting native species and I can understand that because humankind is destroying native species with global warming and other human activities. They have to do something about it and as they can't change themselves, they force change upon the cat.

Note: the embedded FB post below may stop working one day. If so, I am sorry.

Dear Residents, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to write to me and express your views in relation to the new...

Posted by Mayor Lisa Cooper - Knox City Council on Wednesday, June 30, 2021

I have read that the owl kills more wildlife than the cat! I'm not sure that that is true but it's a thought. The cat is cast as the culprit in the decimation of native wild species as the Australian authorities see it. But the feral cat does more damage than the domestic cat and you can't confine feral cats but you can shoot them, poison them and kill them in any way you want, which is exactly what happens in Australia according to the news media.

The 24/7 cat confinement in Knox City which is a suburb of Melbourne begins on October 1, 2021. It will no doubt result in some cat owners building enclosures in their backyards for their cats as a substitute which I think is a good idea. It is perhaps the beginning of the end of allowing cats to roam freely. There will probably come a time, in Australia initially, but in other countries eventually when the concept of 24/7 cat confinement becomes a norm in society.

The council rules state that cats can still go outside as long as they remain on the property of their owner. From October 1 there will be a transition period during which time owners will receive a warning if their cat is found in someone else's property. After the transition period cat owners will be fined AU$91 if their cat is found away from the property. Repeated breaches of the rule will result in a fine of more than AU$500.

The Mayor of Knox City would have preferred a compromise solution namely a 7 PM to 7 AM overnight cat curfew but it did not get the council vote. The mayor is disappointed and it is her who said that on her understanding owls are the biggest predators of wildlife and yet domestic cats are continually blamed.

Her argument is that as cats do most of their hunting at night a night-time curfew would do the job to protect animals. Although many non-cat owning residents of the suburb are happy with the 24/7 confinement order.

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