Monash council will undertake further consultation on the introduction of a night time cat curfew.
Council had resolved to introduce the curfew as part of its Domestic Animal Management (DAM) Plan 2017-2021, based on feedback from the 2017 consultation on the plan. There was also support expressed for an education program outlining the benefits of keeping cats in at night.
The curfew was to be introduced in December 2020, giving cat owners three years since Council’s initial decision to plan for the new requirement to keep their cat inside at night. With the COVID-19 pandemic, an extension was considered by Council at the May 2020 Council meeting with the new introduction date proposed to be April 2021, to coincide with the annual registration process for pets.
Council has now determined to hold off on the introduction of the curfew until April 2021 and in the interim believes it is important to further consult with the community, including affected registered cat owners, inviting their feedback on the introduction of a cat curfew.
Mayor Stuart James said the consultation would begin shortly to seek the community’s feedback.
“There appears to be support for the introduction of a cat curfew in the community but given the survey on the DAM Plan was three years ago, Council has determined that we should further seek the views of the community, prior to Council considering further the making of an order that would introduce a cat curfew, ” Cr James said.
“Nuisance and feral cats are a threat to wildlife and native habitats in Monash and it’s important that birds and wildlife are protected.
“What we are seeking with the possible introduction of any curfew is simply for cats to be kept inside from sunset until sunrise. There is no requirement for people to do anything special other than keep their cat inside, whether that be in their house, garage or shed, until morning.”