New rules for dealing with nuisance cats

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Bunbury City Council will vote on new guidelines for dealing with nuisance cats.
Camera IconBunbury City Council will vote on new guidelines for dealing with nuisance cats. Credit: Graphic / South Western Times

Stricter guidelines around the use of cat traps in Bunbury will help ensure residents are not using the contraptions for “vindictive” reasons.

Bunbury City Council’s new guidelines for dealing with nuisance cats outline procedures for rangers who deploy cat traps in response to complaints in the community.

Mayor Gary Brennan said he did not believe there was a problem with nuisance cats in the city and the guidelines were simply aimed at making sure those using traps were “acting properly”.

“It was prompted by concerns by one or two elected members that when our officers issue the cat traps there appeared to be a lack of guidelines on making sure when the cat traps are issued, they’re issued to people who are acting properly,” Mr Brennan said.

“There’s over 100 incidents each year where the cat traps are issued, I think, but I’m not aware of any nuisance.”

The new guidelines will also see public notices issued to inform residents a cat trap will be deployed, in neighbourhood areas in particular. In the past, rangers would use their discretion when issuing traps.

“If there was somebody who wanted to make use of a cat trap from a vindictive point of view, then they (rangers) would make a judgment on that,” Mr Brennan said.

“So what we’ve provided now is guidelines to assist and to also let people in the vicinity know there’s a cat trap in this area.”

Under the guidelines, residents wanting action on nuisance cats will need to complete a template letter to the owner and fill out an activity log detailing the animal’s description and what it was doing.

Rangers will then issue cat traps after assessing the complaint.

The guidelines also set out dealing with cats caught, with rangers taking them to an animal welfare centre to be checked for microchip and registration details.

Mr Brennan said about 20 per cent of cats taken to the city’s pound were collected by owners, while the rest were re-homed.

The council will vote in the new guidelines tonight.

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