Shane is planning expanded cat containment areas

40 per cent of people cuddle up to a pet on cold nights, according to new research.

SHANE Rattenbury is inviting the community to provide feedback on two new proposed cat containment areas in the ACT.

“The ACT Government proposes to declare the suburb of Casey in Gungahlin and land adjacent to Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve, including Kingston Foreshore and The Causeway, as cat containment areas,” Shane said.

“Jerrabomberra Wetlands is one of the most valuable wetland habitat areas in the ACT. It is of national and international importance serving as a refuge for migrating bird species and supporting a number of frog, reptile and mammal species. Casey’s close proximity to the Kinlyside Nature Reserve means that native wildlife is at risk of predation by roaming cats.

“Under the Domestic Animals Act 2000, an area can be declared a cat containment area where cats pose a serious threat to native wildlife.

“In cat containment areas, cats must be confined to their owners’ or carer’s premises at all times. There are a number of ways cats can be contained whilst remaining happy and healthy, including keeping them indoors or providing a purpose built enclosure that will give shelter as well as access to the outdoors.

“The benefits of cat containment are not only felt by our native wildlife. The risk of fights with other animals and traffic incidents are avoided, keeping cats safe, happy and healthy.

“Currently, there are 11 declared cat containment areas in the ACT including Forde, Crace, Lawson, Molonglo, Moncrieff and ‘The Fair’ at Watson.

Mr Rattenbury said the ACT Government is committed to engaging with the community and involving them in the decision making process wherever possible.

“Given that there are already people living in these areas, the commencement date for the cat containment declaration will be delayed to provide residents time to implement cat containment measures on their premises. A similar arrangement has been agreed to for Jacka in which the commencement date isn’t until 1 January 2017.

“Community feedback is now invited on the timeframe for commencing the declaration in both areas and the extent of the cat containment in areas adjacent to Jerrabomberra Wetlands,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Drop-in information sessions will be held to provide residents with the opportunity to learn more about the importance of cat containment, ask questions and provide their feedback. Residents in Casey and areas adjacent to Jerrabomberra Wetlands will be invited to these sessions.

“In addition to the drop-in sessions, feedback can also be provided through an online survey available from the Territory and Municipal Services website at www.tams.act.gov.au, or alternatively, people can pick up a hardcopy survey from Gungahlin or Kingston libraries.

“I encourage residents living within the proposed cat containment areas to provide their feedback before consultation closes on Friday 12 February 2016,” Mr Rattenbury concluded.

For more information about cat containment in the ACT, including frequently asked questions, visit tams.act.gov.au

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