Hornsby Shire cat trapping program
This week Cat Protection’s attention was drawn to the cat trapping program commenced in recent months by Hornsby Shire Council.
It has been suggested that we are involved with this program. Cat Protection is not involved with this program – nor are we involved with any other trapping programs.
You can always call our office (and please do) to verify whether any person or organisation claiming to represent Cat Protection actually does so.
In light of the concerns raised with us regarding the Hornsby Shire program, we have today written to Council. In particular, we have highlighted the definitional differences between domestic and feral cats; and the concerns of citizens that any wandering cats were being picked up in the program.
We’ve also drawn Council’s attention to the confusing advice on its website (information about where cats may and may not roam is not consolidated, or clear) and the need for improved communications and consultation about cats in general, and this program in particular.
Protection of wildlife, particularly in sensitive areas where urban development (and pets) intersect with the natural environment is complex and we do not suggest otherwise.
However, we do believe that there are many positive steps that can be taken by cat owners and community leaders such as councils.
The comprehensive resources we have developed under our Good Neighbour Project help cat owners to minimise their cat’s impact on the social and natural environment. These are freely available and include videos on cat care and welfare (including the benefits of desexing); factsheets including information on cat-proof fencing; introducing curfews; reducing wandering; keeping indoor cats happy and healthy; harness and lead training; a CPD-points accredited education package for veterinarians on early-age desexing; and also discounted desexing programs. We have videos with Auslan interpreters and cat welfare information factsheets translated into Simplified Chinese; Vietnamese; Hindi; and Arabic.
Cat Protection believes early-age desexing of cats and community education are the keys to both feline welfare and wildlife protection in built environments.
We have advised Hornsby Shire Council that they are free to make use of and share our Good Neighbour Project resources, as well offering to partner with them in a targeted discounted desexing program.