KEEPING & CONTROL OF CATS LOCAL LAWS 2014
Q1. Why has the Shire of Dardanup introduced its Keeping and Control of Cats Local Law?
Prior to 2011, regulation of cats lay solely with local governments by local laws.
In 2011 the State Government introduced state‐wide legislation to regulate, amongst other things, the registration, sterilisation, and micro‐chipping of cats through the introduction of the Cat Act.
The responsibility for enforcing the Cat Act remains with local government.
The purpose of the Cat Act is to: “Introduce measures to: reduce the large number of stray cats being euthanised each year; encourage responsible cat ownership; and provide for better management of the unwanted impacts of cats on the community and environment”.
The Cat Act became operative on 1 November 2013.
There are a few areas of regulation not covered by the Cat Act, specifically those relating to confinement of cats and the regulation of cat management facilities.
The Keeping and Control of Cats Local Law adopted by the Shire of Dardanup provides the Shire the ability to regulate those areas of cat ownership not covered by the Cat Act.
The Shire of Dardanup receives a steady stream of complaints from residents about neighbourhood cats being on their property. Without a local law the ways of adequately resolving these issues and complaints are very limited.
Q2. Will I be automatically fined if my cat is on my front verge?
No. The new Local Laws do target cats in public places, and a front verge is considered a public place. However, the prescribed $250 fines will ONLY be imposed in instances where the cat is NOT considered to be under ‘effective control’.
There is recognition that ‘effective control’ is not a complete or exclusive definition. Therefore, in many instances where a cat is found to be in a public place (such as a front verge), the Shire Ranger in attendance will make an assessment based on their knowledge, experience and previous interactions with the cat owner as to whether a fine will be imposed. Imposition of a fine is a last resort, as Rangers would first undertake a process of educating pet owners and advising them of their responsibilities.
Q3. Will my cat only be allowed to go outside if it is in a cage or on a harness?
No. Under the proposed new local law, cats will still be allowed to go outside. They must however be contained to their owner’s property or when on public property under effective control.
Q4. I am a cat foster carer. Will I need to apply to become a ‘cat management facility’ and pay a fee?
If you do plan to keep more than four cats at a time then YES. You will need to apply to the Shire to operate a cat management facility and then apply for a cat management facility at your premises. Approval for a cat management facility requires an application fee of $200 and an annual licence renewal fee of $100.
Q5. What are the annual fees related to the keeping of cats?
- Cat Registration: One year – $20 with discounts available for pensions and for three year and lifetime registrations. For full details visit the Cat registration fees page.
- Application to keep more than 2 and up to 4 cats: $100
- Cat Management Facility (one-off) Application Fee: $200
- Annual renewal of cat management facility licence: $100