SHIRE of Northam rangers are educating residents about the state’s new cat legislation, which will require all cats to be microchipped, registered and sterilised by November next year, with the phase-in period beginning in November this year.
The new legislation was passed through parliament late last year in the hope that the new measures would decrease the number of abandoned, unwanted and feral cats in WA.
Shire of Northam senior ranger Craig Highlands said there were a number of abandoned cats in the shire and it was an issue that needed addressing.
“It is a very large problem, not only because of feral cats and the impact they have on our natural fauna, but also because of the large number of unwanted and abandoned animals,” he said.
“The health of these cats is concerning too, we see a lot of cats with feline AIDS and flu, which could be prevented by vaccinating the animals.”
Under the new legislation cats must be microchipped, registered and sterilised by the age of six months, or the owner could face a penalty of up to $5000.
Mr Highlands thinks while this might be a deterrent for some, education is the key.
“We are looking at trying to address the issue with early education, we’re informing people now with information days and public notices, the education program is in progress,” he said.