Cat curfew? Council says it's just not 'pawsible'
CAT curfews may not be the best course of action to help reduce the impact domestic cats have on wildlife according to Byron Shire Council.
Shannon Burt, director Sustainable Economy and Environment at the council, said cats need to have some sort of identification which could be a tag with the owner's name and telephone number, or a microchip.
"With respect to a cat curfew, there are a number of factors that a council needs to consider - resources, practicality, legality of a curfew," Ms Burt said.
"It is our preference that cat owners take responsibility for their cats at night having full knowledge of what they are up to out there in the neighbourhood range.
"Our efforts as a result focus on education, promotion and support of programs such as the RSPCA's Education Mobile Unit, de-sexing and responsible pet ownership," she said.
The council promotes responsible pet ownership, which includes cats and dogs, and asks cat owners to get their animals desexed, keep them in at night and to not let them roam during the day.
"Attaching a bell or something similar to their cat's collar to alert birds and animals of their presence is also advisable," council also advises cat owners.
A new book, Cats in Australia: Companion and Killer spelled out the damage done by our feline friends.
Feral cats out in the bush slaughter an alarming 740 animals per year while domestic cats kill about 75 animals annually.
Cats kill more than three million mammals, two million reptiles and one million birds every day and have been responsible for around 20 of our mammal extinctions over the last 200 years.
Mount Barker Council in South Australia announced recently it will be cracking down by passing laws restricting the number of cats allowed per property and enforcing an 8pm - 7am curfew on cats.