At the end of 2013 (despite having one of the lowest cat impound rates in Australia) WA passed the most draconian cat laws in the country, requiring all cats be desexed, microchipped and to wear a collar by law. Millions were spent on new cat impounding facilities and resources.
Since then WA has experienced five years of record cat impoundments. Year on year increases in cats being brought into pounds.
And without so much as a completed review of cat intakes and outcomes at council pounds since the WA Cat Act passed, the Department of Local Government has thrown out the idea of expanding the existing cat legislation in WA
"... Local governments, cat refuges and the community have told us that cats that wander and create a nuisance are an ongoing problem. Possible solutions are cat curfews and restricting cats to premises..."
Pause for paws Feedback on dog and cat laws in WA
We know that laws which are claimed to "target irresponsible owners" are nearly universally applied to unowned cats, who have no owners to help them comply. And that this drives up cat impoundments.
We know that councils in WA generally couldn't give two hoots about outcomes for cats, and that if it weren't for the (already completely overwhelmed) community rescue group volunteers the past five years would have been little more than a wholesale slaughter of tens of thousands of cats.
And yet, we're looking at INCREASING the powers of councils to seize, hold and kill cats? To protect cats?
Thank goodness we have the major cat welfare groups in the state speaking up for cats in the media, advocating to protect the lives of cats without owners who simply have no one to help them stay out of the pound.
".... Cat Haven chief executive Roz Robinson said the organisation had long supported owners keeping their feline companions indoors or in purpose-built outdoor enclosures at all times.
Ms Robinson said the Cat Haven also wanted the mandatory desexing age reduced from six to three months... and for every council to be forced to operate or outsource a cat management facility...."
Ok, so we don't. Cats are completely friendless in WA. To our major cat groups, free-roaming cats continue to be acceptable collateral damage in their quest to expand their facilities and increase their income. High cat intakes is still good business, keeping many individuals in lifetime employment.
Shame about all the dead cats.