Australia is a land of immigrants, and they/we have transformed the continent, for better or for worse. These immigrants include hundreds of plant and animal species that have been introduced, deliberately or otherwise, into our landscape.
All of these have resulted in changes to our environment, some relatively benign, some favourable, and unfortunately some with terrible consequences for our native fauna and flora.
Many of us live in Boolarra because of its natural beauty and rich environment, and this also entails a responsibility to contribute to its maintenance.
There is currently a significant issue in our area with depredations of native fauna by cats, both feral and domesticated.
“Feral cats threaten the survival of over 100 native species in Australia. They have caused the extinction of some ground-dwelling birds and small to medium-sized mammals. They are a major cause of decline for many land-based endangered animals such as the bilby, bandicoot, bettong and numbat. Many native animals are struggling to survive so reducing the number killed by this introduced predator will allow their populations to grow.
Feral cats can carry infectious diseases which can be transmitted to native animals, domestic livestock and humans.”
-Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.
Pets bring us great joy, but they also come with responsibilities, and there are laws relating to the keeping of pets. It is our obligation as members of the community to ensure that our domestic cats wear bells, and that they are kept indoors at night.
There are also reports that feral cats are breeding within the town area; this can only lead to the native birds and wildlife that we love being further decimated. The risks associated with a baiting program are too great within the town confines, so the best approach is trapping. Latrobe City have cat traps available (see below), and the bylaws officers will collect trapped animals.
Latrobe City Pet Owners responsibilities:
• Dogs must not be allowed to wander outside the owner’s premises. Your dog must be kept within an area which is securely fenced and be confined to the premises.
• Dogs and cats must be microchipped to be registered in Latrobe.
• Cats must be desexed to be registered in Latrobe (*Domestic Animal Act conditions and exemptions apply).
• Registration tags must be attached to your cat or dog’s collar.
• Dogs must be on a leash unless in a designated ‘Off Leash’ area.
• Under the provisions of the Domestic Animals Act 1994, Council resolved that a cat curfew will apply 9pm to 6am, seven days a week.
Phone 1300 367 700 to secure a place on the wait list. When a hire cage is available the pound keeper will contact you directly. A loan agreement form must be completed.
Community members may purchase/utilise commercially available cat traps to trap stray or feral cats and then call Animal Control staff, who will attend and impound cats. Please be aware that Prevention of Cruelty to Animal’s legislation applies to all cats that are trapped by members of the public.
Latrobe City webpage. https://www.latrobe.vic.gov.au/Home/Animals_and_Pets/Nuisance_Animals_and_Pests