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City pound refuses to accept strays

Tuesday, 10th March, 2020

By Emily McInerney

A call to fund a desexing program for cats has been positively received, but local advocates are now worried it may be too late as stray cats aren’t being taken off the street.

Last year, Taylor Wheeler started a petition to help obtain funding for a desexing program.

Taylor met with Mayor Darriea Turley to talk about her concerns on the impacts cats are having on the city.

“We ended up getting about 260 signatures on the petition and lots of people emailed our template letter,” Taylor said.

“The petition only ran over the course of 12 days, so we were pretty happy with the response we had in such a short time.”

The response saw the draft Companion Animal Management Plan include actions to seek funding for desexing programs and other  initiatives. 

“I emailed the results to the mayor in November last year and she got back to me early this year stating she shared our concerns  and had since asked staff to ensure Council pilot a cat-desexing program this year,” Taylor said.

“She said they were going to ensure funding in the 20/21 budget, which would be endorsed before June 2020.”

Taylor said she and other like-minded advocates were happy to see some progress, but they are worried it might only be for one year. 

“We’re pretty happy with this although anxious to see the conditions of the desexing program, and if it will be repeated in the  following years. 

“There was a huge need for it before, but since the Council have announced they do not accept stray cats, as they are, by law, free   to roam (excluding feral cats); Broken Hill desperately needs a program like this. 

“Just a few weeks ago if you found a stray cat you could take it off the streets and into the pound, but now we’re unable to do so.  

“This includes pregnant cats that are wondering the street, into people’s yards, etc. 

“We’re hoping the desexing program will have enough financial support to make a dent on the population.” 

A Council spokesman confirmed that cats are allowed to wander.

“Under the provisions of the Companion Animal Act 1998, cats within NSW are considered to have no boundaries and are free to roam,” he said.

“Due to this we are unable to seize, or accept seized stray cats. Council can only take action regarding feral cats.”

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