Effective 1 July 2023, Hepburn Shire Council will implement a dusk to dawn cat curfew.
Cats will need to be confined to their owner’s property from 6.30pm (8.30pm during daylight saving) until 6.30 am.
The move to implement a curfew follows community feedback and is in line with the Domestic Animal Management Plan 2021 – 2025. The curfew is endorsed by the RSPCA and Cat Protection Society.
The aims of the curfew are to reduce unplanned breeding, to reduce fighting and related injuries to cats and to reduce killing and injury to wildlife.
Hepburn Shire mandates that all cats, over 3 months must be microchipped and registered. Registration costs $32, for a desexed cat.
The impact cats have on wildlife is significant. Both feral and domestic cats cause considerable harm to native wildlife.
Australia’s 2.1 million domestic cats are responsible for the death of 300 to 400 million reptiles, birds, frogs and mammals each year. Each domestic cat averages approximately 185 kills per year but pet owners seldom see any of these.
The feral cat population of Australia is even more destructive. The estimated feral cat population of 2 million kill approximately 2 billion reptiles, birds, frogs and mammals each year.
Council has indicated that the curfew will be regulated in line with the process that already applies to dogs including education of owners, issuing of warnings and compliance notices and issuing infringement notices.
Cat and Dog registrations are currently being sent to registered owners. A leaflet with the registration outlines suggestions and steps owners can take as part of the transition.
Owners of unregistered pets should contact Council to ensure compliance.