Don't Kill our Pets, Hornsby Council!
Earlier this year, the Animal Justice Party passed a law that would give every lost and homeless animal the chance to find a new home: the Ban on Convenience Killing in Pounds. This law was supported by Liberal, Labor and the Greens.
But on 10 August, Hornsby Shire Council passed two motions seeking to undo it.
Hornsby Council wants:
- To be able to kill any un-microchipped or homeless cat as soon as they are caught, without being required to hold onto them for a period
- To enforce mandatory 24/7 cat containment
Why is this dangerous?
The combination of these two motions is deadly: it means that any cat found outside – whether they’re lost, homeless or just roaming – is at risk of being killed immediately. Euthanasia rates will skyrocket. Hornsby Council already kills 72% of trapped cats!
But if my cat is microchipped they’ll be fine… right?
Microchips are the size of a grain of rice; they are difficult for even a trained vet to find, let alone a Council ranger! This means your cat will be at risk of being euthanised if a Hornsby Council ranger can’t immediately find their microchip.
But if my cat stays inside they’ll be fine… right?
In general, 41% of lost cats are indoor-only cats – meaning, these were cats with responsible owners just like you, whose cats had gotten out by mistake and had the misfortune to lose their way. Should that be a death sentence?
In Australia, 33% of cat and dog owners lose their pet at least once in a five-year period. Accidents happen. Don’t let your beloved companion animal pay the price.
Won’t this help wildlife though?
These motions are not evidence-based and they will not work. They will increase the number of cats in the area: low-level ad hoc culling of cats, as planned by Hornsby Shire Council, has been shown in the Australian context to actually increase the number of cats in the area (Lazenby 2014, Miller 2014).
Stray cats caught by Council officers are NOT “feral cats”. They are young domestic urban cats that happen to be homeless. Many of these cats are fed by caring people in our community who do not have the means to maintain 24/7 cat containment.
Finally, it doesn’t address the root of the problem facing wildlife in our shire, who are being displaced, injured and killed because of rampant development. We’d love to see Council stand up to that!
These motions would be a huge backward step for pets, homeless animals, carers and rescues. They would have a terrible impact on Hornsby’s cat-owning residents and those who currently work tirelessly to care for the homeless cats in our area.
Hornsby Shire Council plans to take these two motions to an upcoming Local Government conference, and lobby for these changes to be made state-wide.
We are calling on Hornsby Council to abandon these death sentence motions and instead, invest in targeted free desexing programs and education about the importance of cat containment.
Sign our petition calling on Hornsby council to adopt an evidence-based and humane approach to cat management!