They may be cute and fluffy, but cats are wreaking havoc on Australian wildlife and one Sydney council has had enough. Randwick Council in the city’s east has called for the much-loved pets to be banned from venturing outside in a bid to help protect the country’s flora and fauna.
City councillors voted to work towards the ban with plans to fine any cat owners whose pets are found defecating outside or harming other innocent animals, The Daily Telegraph reports.
The problem has become so bad that one particular councillor has suggested creating a “cat committee” to oversee the allocation of fines and ensure the felines are kept inside at all times.
While some were on board the idea, cat lovers were infuriated that a suggestion would even be made, claiming responsible pet owners should not be punished in such a way.
“My parents have a cat…and it goes in and out with a bell around the cat’s neck,” The Daily Telegraph reported councillor Harry Stavrinos said. “I can tell you my parents are responsible pet owners as are many other people. You can’t police keeping a cat indoors… how are we going to have rangers tracking down the movement of a cat?”
Sadly, statistics show cats are the cause of death for millions of birds each year across Australia with the average feral cat eating about two birds every five days.
A study published in journal Biological Conversation revealed a total of 377 million Australian birds are killed a year by the animal, with 61 million of those deaths blamed on pet cats.
The animals pose a serious threat to birds, with a separate study published in the same journal finding cats have killed more than 330 native bird species, which is half of all Australia’s resident bird species.
Aware of the growing issue throughout the country, Starts at 60 readers agreed a law should be enforced to keep cats indoors and away from wildlife.
“I think it’s a great idea. Protects the native fauna and flora. Protects the cats. They don’t get killed or injured by cars, dogs or other cats. They don’t pick up illnesses like cat flu etc. Cat enclosures still allow them access to the outdoors and rolling rails at the top of fences will keep them safe in their own yards,” one person said.
While another added: “We once lived in a cat free area and marvelled at all the birds, lizards etc. in our garden. Enter a family with two cats and they basically destroyed everything that moved. Cats would have to be one of the most useless, destructive animals on this planet.”