Knox City Council in Melbourne voted to introduce a 24-hour ‘cat curfew’.
From October 1, 2021, felines in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs will be banned from stepping outside their owners’ properties.
As Daily Mail reports, Knox City Council voted to introduce a restriction forcing cats to stay home 24 hours a day. The curfew aims to protect local wildlife such as birds, possums, and reptiles from cat predators.
The council’s website cautions:
“Cats can still go outside, as long as it remains on your property. Cat enclosures and cat-proof fencing are some ways to stop a cat from wandering outside your property.”
Knox City Council Mayor, Cr Lisa Cooper said:
“Much like the rules for dogs and other pets, cats won’t be allowed to roam freely from their owners’ property. When allowed to roam cats are at a much higher risk of illness and injury. Keeping cats within their owners’ property also protects wildlife and prevents them causing nuisance for neighbours and their pets.”
Owners will face fines if their cats are spotted on someone else’s property.
During the transition period, which will start on October 1, cat owners will receive a warning in case their pets are found on someone else’s property. After that period, they will be fined $91 if their felines are wandering around in the neighborhood and over $500 if they regularly break the rules.
Following the news of the new pet regulation, Charlotte Jensen, a local cat owner, told 7NEWS:
“Either we’d have to build another fence to section it off or we’d have to cover the whole backyard, which would be expensive. It’s just not fair on them. It’s like putting a tiger in the zoo. It’s just too small and they don’t have that freedom.”
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