Inside the suburbs that have declared war on cats where wandering felines are killed almost instantly as owners are warned to keep their pets inside
- Local council sparked uproar after euthanising feral cats without waiting period
- Hornsby Shire euthanised cats deemed feral to protect native wildlife and flora
- New laws passed last year means council now required to wait two weeks
Cat owners have been warned to be mindful of their pet and not let them wander the streets with one council taking the drastic action of euthanising them.
Hornsby Shire, in Sydney’s northwest, has taken the hardline approach of killing cats that are deemed feral if they are not micro-chipped or rough in appearance.
Local councils are normally required to hold stray animals for a certain period of time before taking the drastic course of action.
Hornsby Shire has been now forced to wait at least two weeks before euthanising the pets due to the introduction of new laws last year.
Cat owners have been warned to be mindful of their pet and not let them wander the streets with one council taking the drastic action of euthanising them (stock image)
Hornsby Shire, in north-west Sydney, has taken the hardline approach of killing cats that are deemed feral if they are not micro-chipped or rough in appearance
Local cat owner Jenny Fisher said it was obvious the council had preferenced euthanising the animals sooner because it was cost effective.
‘Instead of stigmatising cats, we should be desexing, rehoming and rescuing them,’ she told Sydney Morning Herald.
‘Most cats found by council are indoor lost cats.’
Hornsby Shire council argued the hardline policies were initially brought in to protect wild flora and fauna in the area from feral animals.
‘Feral cats may well be damaging other domestic pets or taking lives of native fauna, which can be quite a significant issue. We need to deal with these issues in an appropriate way,’ Hornsby Shire general manager Steven Head explained.
In March 2022, the NSW government made amendments to the Companion Act of 1998 requiring councils to wait at least a fortnight.
Animal Justice Party Upper House MP Emma Hurst said cats were a ‘convenient scapegoat’ frequently used by politicians.
Hornsby Shire council had argued the hardline policies were initially brought in to protect wild flora and fauna in the area from feral animals (stock image)
Australian National University honorary professor in wildlife conservation Sarah Legge said both feral and domesticated cats killed 1.7billion native animals each year.
‘There isn’t any doubt at all that cats have had, and continue to have, enormous detrimental effects on our wildlife, especially our native mammals,’ she said.
A NSW Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service spokesman said pets should be kept indoors during the night.
He explained it was the busiest period for native animals to move around as the cover of darkness gave them protection from predators.
States across the country have enforced tough stay-at-home orders for pets.
The Australian Capital Territory requires pet owners to keep their cats indoors while councils in Victoria ask owners to keep them inside overnight.
Daily Mail Australia contacted Hornsby Shire for comment.