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Cat curfew redefined as containment in Canberra

Date
Mr Rattenbury introduced a bill on Wednesday changing the word "curfew" to "cat containment" in the Domestic Animals Act 2000.

Mr Rattenbury introduced a bill on Wednesday changing the word "curfew" to "cat containment" in the Domestic Animals Act 2000.

The ACT government has put an end to the cat curfew in some Canberra suburbs - and replaced it with cat containment.

Minister for Territory and Municipal Services Shane Rattenbury said the change “aims to enhance community understanding and awareness of the objectives of the law and to more clearly communicate the obligation of those living within cat containment areas”.

Mr Rattenbury introduced a bill on Wednesday changing the word "curfew" to "cat containment" in the Domestic Animals Act 2000.

“While cats play a valuable role as companion animals, roaming cats can pose a serious threat to native flora and fauna in the area,” he said.

Residents who live in cat containment areas are still required to ensure their felines do not stray from their property at any time, a requirement that has led many Canberrans to rely on purpose-built enclosures.

Owners who let their cats roam free still face a penalty of $1400 and an official infringement notice from authorities.

In 2011, the ACT government conducted a survey of residents within cat containment areas and 65 per cent of residents supported the containment policy.

The survey found contained cats had fewer injuries and less chance of being killed by motor vehicles.

“Roaming or uncontained cats are four times more likely to suffer significant injures at least once a year, compared to those that are contained at all times,” Mr Rattenbury said.

Cat containment areas are new suburbs that have been selected due to their proximity to nature reserves. They are: Bonner, Crace, Coombs, Denman Prospect, Forde, Lawson, Molonglo, Wright and The Fair in North Watson.

11 comments

  • This is an interesting topic. I have cats and would prefer to keep them inside at night (specifically, I want them beside me in bed!), and am able to for perhaps 330 nights a year, but sometimes they just don't agree and they're too fast for me. When I get cats in the future, they'll be entirely indoor cats, but those I have now were already outdoor cats when I got them. They also don't catch animals (one's too old and one's just not up to the task) so I hope there'll be some give and take with this! So I am trying to be responsible, but it's hard to be 100% of the time.

    Commenter
    Belle
    Location
    Cat Territory
    Date and time
    May 09, 2014, 8:54AM
    • Sleeping with dirty, filthy, flea ridden cats?
      Typical cat owners think cats only hunt during the night, cats breed at night and hunt during the day as any Canberra home owner will attest to the local cat fights at night or the sight of a cat hunting during the day.
      Keep cats locked up at all times I say.
      Cat ownership should be banned and phased out in Australia!

      Commenter
      dusty
      Location
      cat free zone
      Date and time
      May 09, 2014, 3:24PM
    • It's great future cats will be indoor only :)! Most (but I get not all) even though they have been outdoor cats will adapt to indoor only it is almost entirely about the interest factor ohhhh and the box!

      I would actually love gov to spend some money in helping cat owners create a cat friendly house. Outrage I hear but there is so much money spent on dog parks etc could there not be a little bit spent on cat friendly homes. Unfortunately at the moment it is entirely in the private sector and frankly its more than an arm and leg but an entire body what most charge for cat runs, netting etc

      Still hear still some outrage, search for the benefits of animal ownership

      Commenter
      Marie
      Date and time
      May 11, 2014, 7:04AM
  • So our minister for Territory and Municipal Services Shane Rattenbury wants to change the name - just to make himself look a bit better (but absolutely no effect on the actual outcome). What a total waste of resources from the perspective of the ACT ratepayers. But then - at least it won't be as expensive as a number of ACT Labor's other debacles (with undoubtedly more to come).

    Commenter
    John
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    May 09, 2014, 10:49AM
    • Simon Corbell clearly said the change was to help cat owners understand their responsibilities. There needs to be a filter developed that strips out the comments of political hacks so that normal people can enjoy reading the comments sections again.

      Commenter
      Nick
      Date and time
      May 09, 2014, 11:51AM
    • May also need a filter to ensure you get your ministers right

      Commenter
      JC
      Date and time
      May 09, 2014, 8:55PM
    • Simon Corbell's statements and the truth aren't necessarily the same. Much of what this current local council do is politically motivated because they are desperate to get something right - anything. As such my comments are valid.

      Meanwhile Nick - you might like to consider such comments in relation to the anti-Abbott comments that frequent this site - including comments associating him, no matter how absurdly, with material for which he has no involvement whatsoever. Will you be even-handed in this?

      Commenter
      John
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      May 09, 2014, 9:04PM
  • Every time i see a cat story always think of a scene in the book of eli :)

    Commenter
    stoney
    Date and time
    May 09, 2014, 10:50AM
    • Speaking as a parent to a furry feline friend: good. High time cat containment rules were extended everywhere. Would you let a dog roam the streets?

      Commenter
      CBR
      Date and time
      May 09, 2014, 10:55AM
      • Obviously you don't live in Woden Valley, where 9 out of 10 dogs large and small roam the streets throughout the day free of such annoying constraints as leads and owners. And when you catch them after they chase your snoozing cat from your garden into your loungeroom most don't even have a collar, let alone a name tage or - heaven forbid - a registration tag.

        Commenter
        PatrickT
        Date and time
        May 09, 2014, 1:11PM

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