New WA Cat Laws Eagerly Anticipated

21 October 2014

New cat laws eagerly anticipated

Press Release issued: 12 September 2013 at 12:00am

With a deadline of only 8 weeks from now, WA’s premier cat welfare shelter Cat Haven is receiving more and more enquiries about the new West Australian Cat Laws that come into effect on November1. 

The new Cat Act means that it is compulsory for all domestic cats six months and older to be sterilised and microchipped, and registered with local governments. The owner of a registered cat must also ensure that when the cat is in a public place the cat is wearing its registration tag. 

“The new Cat Act requires owners to meet a new standard with respect to identification and management of their cats.  Although Cat Haven is offering extra services to help owners comply with the new law we are not the best place to come for information on the Cat Act.  Local councils are pivotal in terms of implementing the new Cat Act and residents should direct their questions accordingly.”  Cat Haven’s Marketing Officer, Chandra Woodley said. 

“We’re being asked questions on our Facebook page and receiving calls about things like: What if cats lose their collars? Do old or indoor cats have to be microchipped? Why is this law necessary? These are not answers that we can provide on behalf of councils; we can only direct people back to their local council or to the Cat Act itself.  Cat owners need to ensure they are aware and educated about the new laws and we can only offer some general advice and links on our website”. 

Cat Haven offers a subsidised sterilisation and microchipping program to help pensioners and low income earners comply with the new law. Sterilisation has the added benefit of lessening the chances of unwanted kittens and, eventually, strays. 

Cat Haven received over 8000 unwanted or lost cats last year with over 3000 having to be euthanized and only 116 lost cats being reclaimed by their owners. 

Ms Woodley said “We encourage people to microchip their cat. It’s a simple, painless procedure and it’s the best way to make sure your cat makes it home safely if it ever gets lost. Microchipping minimises any form of negative outcome for a cat and it is re-united with its owner sooner. Recently, we had a cat reported missing by its owner well over 8 months ago and the owner had given up hope. However, the cat was found and surrendered to Cat Haven, and due to a current registered microchip, the owners were happily re-united with their loved cat at last” 

General Manager Roz Robinson said Cat Haven had been lobbying for many years in support of compulsory sterilisation and microchipping. “In time, systematic sterilisation should see a reduction in the number of feral cats being born, so in turn should see a reduction in the number of feral cats being trapped ‘ She said the new laws would help organisations such as Cat Haven enormously. “Local governments will be responsible for managing cats as they are for dogs.   Until now, the majority of cat problems have been referred to community groups such as Cat Haven. Every year we see a huge number of unwanted kittens being surrendered to us and our sincere hope is that the laws will see a reduction in unwanted animals”.

 


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