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Collie offers cat owners amnesty

Emily AceSouth Western Times

Owners of unregistered cats in Collie will have until October 31 to voluntarily register their feline in compliance with the Cat Act 2011 without receiving a fine as part of a council cat registration amnesty.

The Act requires all cats older than six months be microchipped, sterilised and registered with the council to reduce the number of unwanted cats in the community.

Collie shire president Wayne Sanford said the amnesty was a way for the council to ensure it complied with the legislation while promoting responsible pet ownership.

“In order to encourage people to not only register their cats, but to also have them microchipped we have an amnesty which allows people to come forward to register their cats and from that day forward be able administer the act in the proper sense,” he said.

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Outside of the amnesty, each unregistered cat will attract a $200 fine, while annual registration costs $20.

By registering all owned cats, lost cats can be reunited with their owners, while unowned cats can be captured and re-homed or humanely destroyed.

“Take advantage of the amnesty, have your cat registered and from then there are some safeguards in place for you if your cat goes missing or if there is conjecture about ownership,” Cr Sanford said.

“I am certain there can be a good outcome if people take up the opportunity.”

To further encourage owners, the council has partnered with the Collie Vet Service to offer a 15 per cent discount on all microchipping and sterilisation until August 31.

SAFE Bunbury president Patricia Perks said it was “critical” the public support the laws to reduce unwanted cat numbers.

“The shire offering an amnesty is such a great way to support local refuges and residents in the area who may be scared to take in their cats in case they get into trouble,” she said.

“It’s all about being responsible owners to make sure the animals are safe, the wildlife is safe and we don’t have over-breeding.

“The law is working but it is up to us as a community to embrace this law.”

To register your cat, visit the Collie Shire Council offices or call 9734 9000 for more information.

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