Council has endorsed the new Domestic Animal Management Plan 2021-2025 (DAMP) at last night’s ordinary Council meeting.
The Plan which aims to promote responsible pet ownership and the welfare of cats and dogs in the community, has been shaped by resident feedback. The Plan will help balance the needs of pet owners as well as the community across the Southern Grampians.
Local Laws Team Leader Jason Barker said strong community input indicated how committed residents are to supporting responsible pet ownership in the region.
“We received over 80 feedback submissions regarding our draft Plan which was really encouraging to see the high engagement level of our community wanting to develop a plan that helps to protect not only the welfare of our animals, but also our region from nuisance dogs and cats,” said Mr Barker.
“The new DAMP will now include a proposed cat curfew trial from sunset to sunrise which will be introduced by the end of 2022. This will mean cats must be contained to an owner’s property during those designated hours which we hope will help to reduce negative impact on native animal populations and also decrease nuisance animals.
“Mandatory desexing is also something that we will be investigating to help with unplanned breeding and subsequently to reduce the number of unwanted and stray animals.”
“Thanks to everyone who provided feedback and contributed to our new Domestic Animal Management Plan,” concluded Mr Barker.
Some of the key initiatives Council will roll out as part of the DAMP over the next four years include:
- Enhancing the Shire’s communication and education strategy seeking compliance of responsible pet ownership.
- Conducting activities to increase rates of desexing and microchipping to improve reunion rates and reduce the number of unclaimed pets.
- Continuing to enhance the Shire’s animal management services and facilities.
- Raising community awareness about feral and semi-owned cat populations and improved compliance with confinement.
Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, every Victorian local government must prepare a plan outlining how it will manage dogs and cats within its municipal boundaries.
Copies are available online at https://www.sthgrampians.vic.gov.au/Page/Page.aspx?Page_Id=153 or from the Brown Street Customer Service Centre.