Feline Frontier

September 2019

I write on behalf of the Cat Protection Society of SA Inc regarding the story titled, "Authorities yet to finalise feline frontier." 

Clearly the Mt Barker Council staff and elected members have little expertise in cat management or they would not have placed 

their rate-payers and residents in such a precarious position.

To restrict a farmer to having two cats is unreasonable and this kind of thinking is rife throughout the whole By-Law.

In a Council district as widespread and diverse as Mt Barker, there is no way that the Cat-Law could be policed ... and even if it were,

it would not reduce cat numbers or problems.

The RSPCA refuses to provide trapping cages, stating that it has seen "horrendous conditions forced upon cats" and says the traps should nor be given to the public.

Scientific evidence now proves that trapping and removing cats increases their number as new cats move into the vacuum and breed. 

The only way to reduce cat numbers is by prevention of breeding and yet there is nothing in the By-Law to assist with desexing.

The Mitcham Council has failed miserably as, after nine years of imposed cat registration, only a fraction of its cats are registered and desexing has decreased with the breeding of kittens escalating.

Less than 10% of the estimated 250,000 cats in SA households are registered on Dog and Cat Online which is free.

The Mitcham Council only registered about 30% of its estimated cat numbers after nine years so how does Mt Barker Council expect to do any better?

The answer to long term cat control is to desex them now.

Kate Clayton

Cruel cat cages

September 2019

The RSPCA’s comments in “Support for cat curfews” clearly illustrates how cruel these cat-trapping cages are. No cages should ever be left in the hands of people who are trying to remove and get rid of cats.

I help to reduce the cat population by catching cats, desexing them and returning them to homes.

This is the only reason that cat traps can be justified. The cages have to be constantly watched, so I camp in my car with pillows and blankets.

As soon as the cat is caught, the cage is covered, except for an air space, and taken to a safe, quiet place for the vet to desex it. There is no way these cages can be provided to the general public. By allowing it, Marion Council, in this case, would be a threat to every cat in its district.

B.B. Foster

Humans top wild list

August 2019
Oh, how pretentious are we.
Let’s blame all the destruction of wild animals on cats and foxes. Too easy. How many thousands of hectares a day of land are we flattening for more houses and more people? And that doesn’t hurt wildlife?
It’s hidden under “loss of habitat” . How convenient. I think we humans top the list for endangering wildlife.
V. Veale

Misinformed

August 2019
John Read (Natural born killers) is incorrect. 1080 poison is banned in many countries because of the prolonged suffering of the baited animal. There are videos of these agonising deaths. John doesn’t mention secondary poisoning of the foraging raptors (hence the marked decline of wedge-tailed eagles in the Flinders Ranges). There is also toxic seepage from the cadavers into ground water. Without feral cats, rabbit populations will increase.
Humans are green, blue, brown-eyed “monsters” , destroying habitat with accompanying loss of species.
Alice Shore

Misinformed

August 2019

John Read (Natural born killers) is incorrect. 1080 poison is banned in many countries because of the prolonged suffering of the baited animal. There are videos of these agonising deaths. John doesn’t mention secondary poisoning of the foraging raptors (hence the marked decline of wedge-tailed eagles in the Flinders Ranges). There is also toxic seepage from the cadavers into ground water. Without feral cats, rabbit populations will increase.
Humans are green, blue, brown-eyed “monsters” , destroying habitat with accompanying loss of species.
Alice Shore

Carnivore cats

August 2019

Why would cats naturally eat meat and want to eat meat if they were made to be vegan?
Being a vegetarian is my choice.
But I have no right to force a carnivore to a life devoid of its natural food. Free-range cats will catch their own food so depriving them of meat is not the answer.
Confining cats to prevent this is cruel.
The Murdoch University can have an opinion but, as one who has studied cats and their diet for decades, I do not agree with its results.
I prefer to listen to the cats, who know they need fresh meat with some canned added, and make this clear.
The best way to address this conundrum is to prevent the breeding of cats by humane desexing.
G. Hannah

Wrong on cats

August 2019

The letter natural born killers contains numerous incorrect statements and is devoid of scientific proof to substantiate claims made.
1080 is a deadly poison which causes a slow, agonising death, and is banned in most countries including the US. For John Read to say “cats just go to sleep” is absurd.
Toxoplasmosis is not transferred to humans by the handling of cats. Human infection via cats is only through handling faeces that has been passed by the cat more than two days earlier and ingesting the organism. Simply wash hands.
Finally, the most important foundation for a successful cat management control program has to be based on the Vacuum Effect. Confinement, removal and killing of cats simply results in new cats recolonising and breeding to restore, usually increasing original numbers, achieving nothing constructive.
Christine Pierson, President, C.A.T.S. Cats Assistance To Sterilise Inc

Let cats roam

August 2019

Vegans, enough is enough (“ Cats can go vegan”).
What is the world coming to when free-range animals like cats are imprisoned behind closed doors, kept in solitary confinement in cages and deprived of their natural diet of meat? This is wrong – cats are obligate carnivores.
When will this cruelty end?
True animal-rights supporters don’t treat their cats this way.
If you can’t provide for the needs of cats don’t get them.
Su Tillet

Cats on patrol

August 2019
Well stated Su Tillett (“ Let cats roam”).
Depriving cats of their freedom and natural diet of meat is not the way for true animalrights supporters.
Furthermore, without cats patrolling, indisputable evidence shows rodents breed to excess.
Increases in rats and mice have already been reported, resulting in laying rat baits, which have killed native wildlife and poisoned the environment .
Christine Pierson

No vegan cats

August 2019

Yes, “Vegan pet food a danger, vets warn cat owners." As a vegetarian animal rights activist, I face this dilemma every day.
Cats are not omnivorous like humans, they are carnivorous and as such require fresh meat.
Confining cats in houses and enclosures and depriving them of their natural food is cruel and causes serious physiological and psychological harm.
Depriving free-range cats of meat simply encourages them to catch their own, so feeding fresh raw meat significantly decreases hunting (except rats and mice, their favourite prey)
Vegans should think carefully before getting cats. The best solution is to have as many cats desexed as possible.
Christine Pierson, President, Cats Assistance To Sterilise

Act on cat model

July 2019
Now we finally have a “working cat model” proven to reduce cat numbers and cat-related problems, why is it the State Government is not using this template for councils to follow? 
The partnership between Norwood, Payneham and St Peters Council and Cat Assistance To Sterilise is the only successful cat-management program in the state. 
Alice Shore

Cats here to stay

 July 2019
Australia will never be cat free unless climate change or a meteor wipes them out. 
So making statements like “Cats don’t belong” are a waste of valuable letter space. Trying to eradicate cats by killing, removing and confining them can be compared with the World War  Masses of our people were killed, captured and badly wounded and this was followed by a huge surge in our population, resulting in the Baby Boomers. 
The same scenario occurs when cats are killed, confined and badly wounded. The breeding rate increases, as scientific studies have proven. 
This happens because big cats are prevented from holding their large territories so multiple numbers of younger cats, more sexually active, recolonise the space which is left, and breed. So we have cat Baby Boomers. 
The only method which reduces cats to a minimum and controls numbers is humane sterilisation, which was acceptable and well supported by the wider community, until the state government cat legislation was imposed last year, leading to a huge decrease in desexing and a massive increase in cat numbers.

G Hannah

Cat laws no success 

July 2019
I fail to see the logic in “Fewer strays at shelters” and the inference that this is good and a success of the government cat legislation. 
This is just the opposite for cats, especially strays. It is obvious from the massive numbers of kittens born during the year, due to cat carers being prevented from desexing cats, that there are more cats. 
With councils such as Charles Sturt and Marion with two-cat limits charging a $50 and $35 fee respectively just to apply for a permit for a third cat (including a property inspection), how many people are going to rescue and adopt another cat and register it on Dog And Cat Online? Or take it to a shelter where they have to give a name and address? 
DACO has ruined the mass desexing program which made Adelaide our top cat-desexing and management capital. 
How many un-desexed cats are now being dumped instead of being taken to the shelters? 
This is not success. 
Carol Patricia James
 

Stop breeding

July 2019

Reading about the multimillion-dollar complex being built by the Animal Welfare League from donations and wills (“A brand new era for animal care takes off”), I wonder how much is going to be spent on helping the public desex cats, especially strays.

Desexing is one of the most important necessities to humanely reduce the numbers of cats being destroyed and cat related problems, and yet the AWL does not assist the public by doing this.

My heart goes out to those dedicated volunteers at Cats Assistance To Sterilise, who never ask or beg for money, and use their own personal properties as offices and cat convalescing homes, and have done so for over 30 years.

My furry felines are some of the 120,000 cats that CATS has assisted with desexing, and when I sent them a little donation as a “thank you”, they were just so grateful.

I’d rather the money was spent on stopping the cats from breeding so that they wouldn’t end up at shelters in the first place. Only relatively few cats will ever get the benefit of this five-star accommodation.

G Hannah

Don’t buy into animal cruelty

July 2019

Should animal cruelty be determined by the pain inflicted on an animal or by the species of the animal? Obviously it should be determined by the pain inflicted. But, unfortunately, this is not the case in our society.

In “Cat thrown out of car," we read that a man who threw a kitten from a car, killing it, was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals.

Yet, in the name of food, it is perfectly acceptable to drop baby chicks into mincing machines, burn out the horn buds of calves and cut off the tails and testicles of baby pigs with no pain relief.

If any of the above atrocities were inflicted on a “pet” animal, I’m sure the majority of us would be outraged.

But, because the victims of these abuses are viewed as “food” animals, we not only ignore it but we contribute to it. Every time we purchase animal products with our consumer dollars, we are saying, in effect, please use my money to continue inflicting this abuse on animals.

Is this fair?

Jenny Moxham

Working cat model

June 2019 

I live in Norwood, Payneham and St Peters Council where we have never had any cat laws. 
My council works in partnership with Cats Assistance To Sterilise and concentrates on desexing every cat they can find. 
The more desexed cats, the fewer un-desexed cats can infiltrate. So, cat numbers and problems have decreased to the minimum in many areas around me. The council stated, when preparing its latest animal-management plan, that “confinement is not considered to be a major issue throughout the City as the council does not experience significant problems with cats. No catrelated complaints were registered by Council during the 2016-17 financial year” . 
Reading “Council’s pet cat kill threat", I thought Gawler Council might like to contact either this council or CATS for some constructive free advice. 
We have masses of wildlife in our council and the stable ecosystem between the native animals and the cats has been a remarkable success. 
G. Hannah

Endearing felines 

June 2019
“Council's pet cat kill threat” shows the hatred that has been promoted by our governments, and now the councils, towards these little animals which have been so endearing to humans for so long. 
No animals deserve this kind of ill-conceived persecution and cruelty. 
The Gawler Council has taken an even further step than some other despicable local government bodies by planning to kill not only unidentified cats but also identified pet cats. 
It is long past time that this unsubstantiated mania to blame cats for the demise of native fauna is corrected. 
The demise is caused by our governments’ destruction of the environment through infill, mining, wood logging, coal mining and agriculture for meat production. 
The proposals by Gawler councillors are a disgrace and should be condemned. 
Janet Allan

Cat law crisis 

June 2019
“Pick up a purr-fect pet from the RSPCA  shows how terrible the situation, caused by the State Government cat legislation, has become. 
The RSPCA is giving away cats as they have 500 in care – the most in their memory. 
After 12 months of these cat laws, this year is the worst for three decades. 
Mass cat desexing has dropped to a trickle, with owners and carers refusing to desex and microchip if their names and details are registered on the government data base, DACO. 
Also, the RSPCA states “it costs them more than $1000 per cat to vaccinate microchip, desex, provide veterinary care and rehome.”
It is far more practical, efficient and cost effective for residents to adopt stray cats that come into their garden, feed and care for them and get them desexed through the Cats Assistance To Sterilise Scheme. 
Top vets donate their time to CATS for needy cats at $91-50 per female cat and $65 per male cat. 
With only 11,000 cats registered on DACO, last we checked, out of an estimated 250,000, according to the Dog and Cat Management Board, it is clear DACO has failed. 
Kate Clayton, Cat Protection Society SA president 

Kitten conundrum 

April 2019
From my research, it is obvious that “Microchipping, changes a real win for animal welfare” (The Advertiser, yesterday ) reflects exactly the opposite of what has happened for cats. 
All of the shelters are full, the cat and kitten foster carers are overloaded and people are complaining that they can’t even give their kittens away because there are so many that have been born since the new cat legislation. 
There is a warning on Gumtree regarding the dangers of illegal use of kittens for greyhound baiting and that this is still the case. 
Kittens are being dumped and left to die. 
Unless these laws are changed, SA will no longer be seen as the leading state in cat management as has been the case for decades, with Adelaide having the highest number of desexed cats in the country. 
How could it possibly be an advantage to make people microchip, desex and register on DACO (Dogs and Cats Online) when it prevents people from desexing? 
Carol Patricia James

Breeding disaster

March 2019

Why is it that our government has to wait until we are in a crisis mode and facing a catastrophe before it does anything about it? I am responding to the letters “Put off by online” and “We need a review.”  The cats are breeding everywhere, and the comparatively few arriving at the shelters are only a small sample.

The Dog and Cat Management Board “considers that it is too soon to draw any conclusions about the impacts” of the legislation, but the cat organisations working in the community with desexing already have the evidence and the figures to show that there are now more than 3000 more undesexed cats in the community because of these ill-conceived laws. These cats are now breeding, and in another six months there will be thousands more.

The RSPCA, which only receives a fraction of the overall cats, has said that it already has nearly double the number of felines than at this time last year. Requests for desexing have dropped to below half of what they have been for 30 years. This is a disaster in the making.

Why wait until it is too late before acting, Minister David Speirs?

 Janet Allan

Take felines offline

February 2019

It's good to see Health Minister Stephen Wade pronouncing “EPAS is dead”. Over one million people opted out of My-Health Record. This unsafe electronic processing system risked the lives of humans.

Now we want to see Environment and Water Minister David Speirs pronouncing “DACO is dead”.

DACO is Dog And Cat Online, and this government database is risking the lives of animals.

Already, we have seen the failure of EPAS, which is being scrapped and reviewed, so now that we have seen the failure of DACO, we want this scrapped and reviewed as well.

G. Hannah

Cat woes

February 2019

WHY is it that our government has to wait until we are in a crisis mode and facing a catastrophe before it does anything about it?

Cats are breeding everywhere, and the comparatively few arriving at the shelters are only a small sample.

The Dog and Cat Management Board “considers that it is too soon to draw any conclusions about the impacts” of the legislation, but the cat organisations working in the community with desexing already have the evidence and the figures to show that there are now over three thousand more undesexed cats in the community, because of these ill-conceived laws.

These cats are now breeding, and in another six months there will be thousands more of them.

The RSPCA, which only receives a fraction of the overall cats, has said that they already have nearly double the number of felines than at this time last year.

Requests for desexing have dropped to below half of what they have been for 30 years.   This is a disaster in the making.

Why wait until it is too late before acting, Minister David Speirs?

Janet Allan

We need a review

February 2019

I agree with “Cat laws” that this legislation has failed, and that we need to be asking the government to review and rewrite Dog And Cat Online immediately, before we are inundated with even more unwanted kittens.

Although I consider that all cats should be assisted with desexing (with the exception of sick or very elderly males), I am also very concerned that this force for desexing is dangerous for older animals, particularly male dogs, where is it actually arguable that old male dogs should be desexed at all.

Desexing obviously requires anaesthetic for the operation, which puts a strain on the kidneys, (a big strain for older animals).

The laws say that owners can apply for an exemption, but why should this be required when it costs big money for a consultation at a vet surgery?

This money should be much better spent for necessary veterinary treatment.

These decisions, however, should be left up to the owners and carers to decide, not a cruel and inadequate government that has virtually no consideration for animals, as we have seen by its promotion of duck hunting, horse racing, greyhound racing and allowing horrendous bow hunting and shotgun wounding.

G. Hannah

Put off by online

February 2019

Following on from the letter “Cat laws” (Messenger Community News, January 30), more needs to be said about the dangers of Dog And Cat Online (DACO).

More than one million people opted out of EPAS (My-Health Record), which has now been scrapped and is to be “fundamentally reconstructed” as it was dangerous and a risk to humans.

The same now needs to be done with DACO, which is risking the lives and welfare of animals.

Many animals, in particular cats, are timid and terrified of strangers, and would require sedation/anaesthetic to be able to insert the microchip.

These animals should not be subjected to this abuse, and anaesthetics should only be used for genuine reasons, not for microchipping.

Unless such animals are undergoing a necessary operation requiring anaesthetic, such as for desexing, then it is cruel and against civil liberties to force owners/carers to insert microchips in these timid creatures. Please remember to ask your vet for an exemption if you are pressed to risk your cat or dog under these circumstances.

Cats Assistance To Sterilise strongly opposes making microchipping compulsory, and considers it appalling that this is being forced on tiny three month-old kittens.

Microchipping should be a choice, not a law.

Christine Pierson

President, Cats Assistance To Sterilise

Law up to scratch? 

January 2019
Reading “Too many cats," we certainly agree with G. Hannah, that the new mandatory cat laws have prevented virtually thousands of cats from being desexed. 
Reports have been coming in from cat-sterilising institutions including the main notfor-profit cat-desexing organisation Cats Assistance to Sterilise Incorporated, informing us that since July 1, 2018 – when the new laws came into operation – that cat desexing requests are currently minimal compared with the figures for the previous 30 years. 
The kittens now arriving at the RSPCA are the direct result of these non-desexed cats that have bred – cats that before the new legislation would have been sterilised. 
This new mandatory cat desexing legislation is a disastrous failure and must be quickly remedied. 
Barbara Stoneman & Helen Wright, co-chairs , Cat Support Group of SA, Redwood Park 

Laws chipping away

December 2018

Regarding Christine Pierson’s letter “Dumped on by laws” (Messenger Community News, November 21), we also knew what would happen if microchipping and desexing were made compulsory.

We were one of the many organisations and individuals who sent submissions to former Labor Environment Minister Ian Hunter pleading with him not to introduce these counterproductive laws. Our information and advice, like that of our colleagues, was ignored and excluded.

The Cat Supporters Group of SA commissioned research from the eastern states regarding this use of force to try to make cat owners microchip cats, and the feedback was clear: it did not work, and led to an “unwanted population explosion of cats and kittens”.

Given that Cats Assistance To Sterilise organises more cat desexings for the public than anyone else in South Australia, its huge drop in requests for desexing referrals clearly illustrates the fact that this legislation has failed, and the results will quickly be devastating and tragic.

We now have a new government and a new Environment Minister, David Speirs, so we desperately need his assistance to change these regulations.

Mr Speirs needs to do this before SA loses its status as having the highest rate of desexed cats in the country and the best record for successful cat management.

Helen Wright and Barbara Stoneman

Co-Chairs, Cat Supporters Group of SA

Disaster in making

December 2018

Regarding the letter “Dumped on by laws” it was obvious what was going to happen with the desexing of cats, as we have already seen the disastrous effects of state-wide cat legislation in research papers from the other Australian states.

Queensland has already repealed its cat management laws citing that they were ineffective and costly for local government. In Victoria and NSW the forced microchipping has resulted in massive numbers of cats and kittens being destroyed and made it very difficult for rescue organisations to get cats desexed at all.

In SA it is even worse now, as we have mandatory desexing (no other state has this) and this requires having owners’/carers’ names and addresses and private details on the government Dog And Cat Online.

If Minister David Speirs doesn’t soon do something to rectify this disaster, there will soon be a million kittens and cats that will opt out of DACO.

The result will be thousands more cats and kittens destroyed at the shelters and suffering in the community. This is directly the opposite to what the Amendments to the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 were supposed to achieve.

We knew these amendments were a disaster in the making but former Labor Minister for Environment, Ian Hunter, ignored our submissions.

G.Hannah

 Breeding contempt

December 2018

Reading “Dumped on by laws”  I agree with the Cats Assistance To Sterilise re the huge drop in desexing of cats since July 1.

We were one of the many organisations that sent submissions to the former Labor Government, knowing that forcing people by law to microchip and desexed cats would be ignored by many and not end well. Unfortunately we were ignored.

After 22 weeks the proof is already emerging and, as Christine Pierson says, desexing through the CATS scheme has dropped to below half of what it has been for the last 30 years.

Given that CATS takes referrals from everywhere, including the Cat Protection Society of SA Inc, those receiving these calls would be in the best position to know what has happened in the community since July 1.

This legislation was a Labor Party blunder, so now it is up to the Liberals to correct it. What is Minister David Speirs planning to do about it?

Kate  Clayton  President, Cat Protection Society of SA

Dumped on by laws

November 2018 

Reading “Puppy love on council’s agenda” the appalling case of puppies being dumped in a box is exactly what Cats Assistance To Sterilise predicted would happen.

The evidence from other states - after legislation imposed after July 1 - clearly shows that dumping and cruelty follows such laws.

C.A.T.S. records prove that the number of requests for desexing of cats has fallen to below half the number of requests during the previous three decades.

Our estimates show that there would now be more than a thousand more undesexed cats and subsequent kittens out in the community because cats have not been desexed due to forcing owners to have their details on Dog And Cat Online.

Many people do not want their private details on government data bases, illustrated by over a million citizens who have opted out of the Federal Government’s MyHealth Record. 

Humans are allowed to opt out of being registered for MyHealth Record, so why not for DACO so we can get back to desexing the cats again en masse?

There are fines of $50,000 and jail terms of 4 years for dumping animals, but assistance with desexing is the main solution to reducing cruelty, not government force.

 Christine Pierson

Introducing cats

November 2018

Barrie Edwards' letter in the Advertiser Nov 7th,"Free the cats," highlights his desire to have no cats in Australia because they are an introduced species.

Extrapolating from this, John McArthur, in the first fleet in 1788, should not have introduced cattle and sheep, as our country has been ecologically devastated by intensive animal farming methods since. Yet, carnivores would disagree with this, Mr Edwards.

It is not the animals' fault that they were brought to our country. So many people would be very unhappy if the could not have a cat as a beautiful companion. But all cats must be desexed and the way to achieve that is through education not legislation. So many people do not want their details as public knowledge so will forgo sterilisation of free-ranging cats they feed, but don't own, because of it. This is a retrograde government step.

Diane Cornelius

Best wishes

October 2018

Peter Spalding's letter probably reflects the troubled feelings of many kind people who have rescued a cat.

I believe that those on rural properties will not have to confine their cats into small spaces as in backyards.

Hopefully, free cats will be able to go on with their important job of rodent and rabbit reduction.

Best wishes to all cat lovers who have saved, or are planning to rescue a cat.

Alice Shore 

No confinement

September 2018

M. Hicks is not correct that cat confinement would solve the problems.

Cat confinement may prevent some cats from coming on his property but they will be replaced by new cats because he does not have a cat of his own to hold his territory.

Cats on his aviary are far more likely to be coming for the mice, and possibly rats, that are feeding on his canaries’ spilt seed than being interested in the birds themselves.

Caged birds attract rodents and without cats to control them we would have even bigger problems with rats and mice.

Poison baits are now known as environmental hazards and cats are the safer option for rodent control.

New cats would also continue to use his vegetable garden for a toilet so it is imperative that his neighbours provide freshly dug earth and leaves, or an outside (undercover) litter box for their cats at home.

They also need to make sure that their cats are desexed to prevent tomcat spraying.

In addition, cats are only one predator. Birds of Prey kill more birds than cats do, stealing fledglings and eggs from nests and attacking birds in flight. They also kill and eat many native mammals and lizards. Does M. Hicks plan to confine all these predators as well as the cats?

Christine  Pierson

Cat containment

September 2018

Following on from the letter “Cat bylaw I have additional information for readers.

I am a former member of Norwood Payneham and St Peters Council which has concentrated on mass desexing and return of cats to their homes, to be well fed and managed, for 30 years. No cat confinement or cat bylaws were required.

Success of the partnership between this Council and C.A.T.S. Cats Assistance To Sterilise Inc has been so successful that Council’s Animal Management Plan 2018-2023 requires no cat confinement or bylaws due to the low number of complaints.

If NP&SP Council can do this why can’t Marion Council?

I note from the Marion Council minutes of 28 August that the cat confinement bylaw is nowhere near being passed; only that a draft bylaw be presented next January. The motion for this was not noted as being carried unanimously either, which means that not all current councils support this approach.

Given that this draft bylaw will not go to Council until January, this means that new councillors may, and probably will, vote against it.

Ratepayers and residents who will be badly affected, both financially and emotionally due to stress over threats to their beloved cats, should be very careful for whom they vote at the council elections in November.

Christine Pierson

President, C.A.T.S. Cats Assistance To Sterilise Inc

Cat bylaw

September 2018

I bet that the residents of Marion Council would wish that they have the 14 elected members of Onkaparinga Council when their rates rise and their hard-earned dollars are used to pay for the ill-conceived cat confinement bylaw.

This bylaw is going to cost them plenty, and Onkaparinga Council have just defeated theirs 14 votes to three.

No doubt the anti-cat people think that it will be the cat owners who will be paying for it, but no, all council constituents pay for bylaws.

Don’t completely lose heart, though, as the next round of council elections will soon be here, and you can vote for new councillors and ask for a rescission motion.

Cat confinement bylaws are old news. Only the last of the councils that haven’t done the research would even consider them. Nearly all other South Australian councils had already been through this debate, and abandoned the idea as being useless.

G. Hannah

Marijka Ryan

September 2018

I read with delight that Councillor Marijka Ryan is to stand for Mayor of Campbelltown Council “Mayoral gloves come off.”

What a wonderful successor to retiring Mayor Simon Brewer who has also been such a kind and considerate leader for all, humans and animals.

We need Mayors who are sensitive to the community, considerate to their constituents.

Who show respect to colleagues and are firm with those in the council who do not show concern for all creatures great and small.

With Marijka Ryan we have all we could ask for, and I wish her every success at the coming elections, as she has proved her commitment to not only the humans in her Council but all the animals as well.

Christine Pierson

President, Cats Assistance To Sterilise

Cat laws

September 2018

MARION Council is making a serious mistake if it considers that cat confinement is going to save native wildlife.

In my capacity as an animal supporter involved in numerous animal welfare organisations, through research and detailed studies, I consider my information to be valid.

Confining owned cats, which are generally desexed and well fed, and removing resident cats, many of which are also desexed and well fed, creates a vacuum and an imbalance.

This imbalance results in an explosion of rodents, and subsequently an influx of new cats, generally un-desexed, which breed to excessive numbers.

This imbalance causes a critical situation for native species, as the constant flow of new cats into the vacuum created is far more likely to result in danger to native fauna.

If councils are really serious about protecting native wildlife, they should be concentrating on desexing, to maintain a stable environment of resident well-fed, desexed, patrolling cats.

In addition to the fact that these cats prevent un-desexed intruder cats from encroaching upon their territory, they also control the rats and mice and deter snakes.

The hundreds of thousands of dollars to introduce and attempt to manage a costly cat confinement bylaw would be far better spent on assisting residents with desexing.

Elected members should research the success of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters Council, which has successfully reduced its cat-related numbers and problems, stating that it does not require cat confinement.

This council has concentrated on mass subsidised desexing for 30 years.

Christine Pierson, President, Cats Assistance to Sterilize

Cat Voice

August 2028

I write in response to last week's letter to the Editor from Christean Vint, titled "Cat control," asking why cat lovers are given a voice in the Courier.

I consider it was only fair to give readers an opportunity to oppose the heavily biased anti-cat letters, that we also published and to thank the newspaper for doing this.

All the articles were unacceptably one-sided with almost all given predominant input from the anti-cat brigade in the Hills.

Obviously  the cat owning  and cat supporting residents in the area couldn't make their case heard as they knew they would be targetted by cat haters. 

This is not fair but is happening everywhere and is why the surveys always come out in favour of anti-cat respondents who have nothing to lose. I am very pleased to see that those writers have the scientific knowledge to illustrate the pitfalls of demonizing cats, can be heard through these pages.

G. Hannah

Don’t blame cats

August 2018

In response to “Natural predators” ask the question “Why would we want cats to “suppress their predatory instincts”?

Does Mr Laznicka ever research what happens when cats are taken out of the ecosystem?

This has been tried and has caused disaster because the other introduced animals such as rats,  mice, rabbits and introduced birds have bred to massive numbers and have proved a far greater threat to native wildlife than ever the cats have.

Cats are now part of the Australian ecosystem.

Furthermore, making unsubstantiated statements based on opinions cannot be taken seriously.

There is no scientific evidence to prove that cats have been responsible for any Australian native extinctions, so where does Mr Laznicka get his information? From emotional hearsay?

In 3O years of extensive research and detailed studies I have never seen a cat ever attack a magpie. Indeed it would be an unfortunate cat that did.

The writer then asks the question “What have we done to Australia?”

I can answer that. We have bulldozed the lizards and ground dwellers, felled the trees with fledglings in their nests, taken away the homes of the birds and the possums, covered the grass with brick paving, polluted the environment with poisons and encouraged infill on every spare piece of real estate.

And not one cat has been responsible for any of this.

The demise of the native birds and fauna in West Lakes is due to human infiltration and development, not cats, so let’s deal in facts and not fiction.

Christine Pierson

President, C.A.T.S. Cats Assistance To Sterilise Inc

Pointless bylaw

August 2018

We are two respondents who replied to calls from the Adelaide Hills Council for information re a cat confinement bylaw.

Apparently we were ignored according to the article in “The Courier” August 1 “Cat confinement will be Hills law in 2022”

One has to question the ability of these councillors who have chosen to follow a path that almost all other councils in SA have avoided as being impractical, unenforceable and costly to all their ratepayers.

Indeed, hardly any of the 68 SA councils have taken on this pointless cat bylaw and all who have done the research realise it would be a huge mistake: increasing problems not solving them.

There is nothing new about cat confinement bylaws. They have been discussed by a long list of councils over many years and all discarded because they could see that they could not work.

Residents of the affected council area do have an option to change this mistake before they suffer from rate increases and impossible restrictions: council elections will be open very shortly and a new council can move for a Rescission Motion to reverse this unwise council decision.

Please remember to vote and get the representation you really want - all the current council members have imposed this unworkable and expensive bylaw upon its people.

Barbara Stoneman and Helen Wright
Co-Chairs, Cat Supporters Group of SA

Don’t confine

August 2018

If Mr Paul McInerney wants to stop “pesky pets”  from using his front garden for a toilet and leaving muddy paw prints, he will not achieve this by cat confinement to owners’ properties.

If his neighbours’ cats are confined, then new cats will simply fill the vacuum created, and he will have a recurrence of the same problem.

If the writer is serious about reducing this annoyance, he needs to do three things.

1. Make sure that his neighbours provide cat “toilets” at their own home with freshly-dug earth and clean leaves, or an outside undercover litter tray. (We wouldn’t build a house without a toilet, so why would we have a cat and not provide an outside toilet for the cat?)

2. Make sure that the cats in the area are all desexed to encourage them to stay home, and at least not spray or fight over mates or breed unwanted kittens.

3. Letterbox the area with leaflets politely asking people to do these things.

 Christine Pierson

Festival Centre into darkness

July 2018

A rat has plunged the Adelaide Festival Centre into darkness after chewing through an electrical cable. This is just a small sample of what is to come if pet cats are confined and free-living cats are removed and killed.

Cats are the best and safest rat controllers known to man and without them working behind the scenes, protecting us from rat plagues, we would be overrun with rodents.

Scientific studies prove that these are the facts and ill-informed politicians and councillors who are trying to undermine the balance between these species are leading us to disaster. (as they frequently do)

Knee-jerk reactions to distribute rat baits threaten our whole environment especially the native wildlife, but all animals, (and children) are at risk.

Already we have seen articles Messenger articles of birds being killed with rat bait, children threatened and pets dying after this ridiculous “good cats play at home” propaganda.

Good cats protect us from all kinds of dangers but they can’t do this while they are confined or being persecuted and killed.

Letters “Not working” and “Cat Insight” show that cat confinement is not working, either here or interstate.

The human species is a danger to itself when it meddles with nature. Think again!

Christine Pierson President, Cats Assistance To Sterilise

Cat curfew

July 2018

Ii is a costly mistake if “Cat curfew wins a tick” (Hills Valley Weekly Messenger, July 18). This cat confinement bylaw will achieve nothing regarding cat controls, and indeed, nothing has changed in the 20 years since it was discussed by Mitcham Council.

There is no scientific evidence to support it, and most councils have already discarded cat confinement as being pointless. It would just be another failure, like the counterproductive cat registration bylaw that Mitcham forced on its residents. After all these years, well under a third of the estimated cats in Mitcham are registered, and the income does not cover the costs, so ratepayers pay the deficit.

Compared with the other necessities that the council should be providing but aren’t, then I say let us get the priorities right.

Maybe rates should be capped if councillors are going to waste hard-earned dollars on such folly. There needs to be someone to put this in the right perspective.

Thank goodness we have a sound voice in Cr Nathan Prior, who said that “the council should explore other methods of controlling cats before introducing a bylaw”. Indeed, we should explore the one other method that does work, and that is humanely desexing every cat that can be caught and returning it to hold its territory, where it is fed and cared for, to keep out new un-desexed cats and prevent breeding.

This method is the only one that has proved to be successful, and is being used by several councils with excellent results. My council is one of them. Check the Animal Management Plan for Norwood, Payneham and St Peters Council, which clearly states that the council “does not have a significant problem with cats”.

G Hannah

Election time

July 2018

Goodness me. Council elections must be coming up. The members of Local Government are out seeking publicity.

And what better way than to pick on the poor much maligned moggies?

Just mention a cat law in the council chamber and you are sure to score the next edition of the Messenger and maybe even The Advertiser.

It happens just before every council election.

One councillor at Marion even got himself on Channel 9 News, but what a gaffe.

He promoted killing cats if they escaped the curfew.

The silent majority of cat owners and supporters vote anonymously, and they far outweigh the vocal minority of cat haters, so wishing beloved pets dead is not the way to win votes.

I note (a councillor in the south has) asked for a report on the “pros and cons” of a bylaw for cat prisons.

It will, however, cost ratepayers’ hard earned dollars, as time is money and researching bylaws usually involves consultant’s and lawyer’s fees and, as we all know, these don’t come cheap. We pay dearly for them in our rates.

G Hannah

Cat Laws

July 2018

There needs to be a response to “Control cats” as perceptions and assumptions are not fact.

Firstly, seeing dead birds in the open, including shrikes, is almost certainly the result of attacks by other birds.

The Adelaide Museum has confirmed that people are mistaking bird attacks on other birds as attacks from cats.

Secondly, evidence shows that birds, including shrikes, fly away as danger approaches and generally it is only the weak and sick that the cats catch..

Keeping bird baths out of reach of cats is also recommended.

Lastly, the shrike is an aggressive bird and a killer and eats small mammals, lizards, frogs, birds’ eggs and the young, comparable with the contents found in the stomach of cats, in the so called studies of cat predation.

I am not criticising animals and birds for what they do, that is not their fault. I am putting the whole picture into perspective.

If we are going to confine cats then we should also be confining all Birds of Prey, but obviously I don’t recommend either. It would be a better idea to confine all the human duck hunters who massacre and wound native birds during the “open season” and imprison politicians and councillors who promote bird culls.

Human beings know better but many still kill animals.

G. Hannah

Cat debate

July 2018

The comments by most Marion councillors in the article “Keeping cats under control” showed a huge lack of understanding regarding successful cat management.

In fact, the only sensible comment was by Cr Jason Veliskou, who stated that cat registration “would simply add an extra level of bureaucracy”, which is correct.

Ratepayers, generally, have no idea that these cat bylaws cost them plenty.

Introducing and administering a cat bylaw by a council costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, after paying for consultants’ fees, lawyers’ fees and extra staff time to research and put together the reports, plus cat police trying to enforce unenforceable tasks, and not including the risk of litigation by cat owners who have had their cats injured in trapping cages.

Residents are already struggling to pay the ever-increasing rates.

The council should run a survey to ask constituents’ preferences between a few nuisances from a cat or paying higher rates. That would put this issue into perspective.

Curfews and advocating the killing of cats is not going to save native wildlife.

Creating a vacuum by removing cats simply results in new cats, usually un-desexed, which breed to restore numbers.

During the void created, rat and mice populations explode, causing rodent plagues.

In addition, this imbalance creates a dangerous situation for the native fauna.

The knee-jerk reaction of distributing rat baits endangers everything: the native fauna, pets, and all creatures including children and the environment - a no-win situation. Cats are a much safer means of rodent control.

Before councillors make decisions on issues that affect the lives of their constituents, they should do the necessary research, and not make counterproductive statements that undermine successful cat management.

 Christine Pierson

Cat laws

July 2018

A young cat was rescued after being zipped up in a sports bag and left at a small park on Atkell Avenue in Campbelltown.

The RSPCA has labelled the dumping as “cruel, deeply concerning and unnecessary." Anyone who witnessed this illegal behaviour needs to contact the RSPCA.

Dumping a cat and causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal is against the law, and penalties for this crime incur fines of up to $50,000 or four years in jail.

At the council elections later this year, let us remember to vote for councillors who show compassion to all of their constituents, human and animal.

Christine Pierson

Cats Assistance to Sterilise

Great Faith

June 2018

In his letter Philip Miller shows great faith in the proposed cat confinement laws.

It is not the introduced cat that is responsible for loss of our wildlife but the introduced European with  his love of land clearing, tree destruction, development and unsustainable living.

Moreover, aren't all species created from "dust" equally if one takes notice of the Holy Scriptures?

Rodents and snakes will flourish.

Alice Shore

Cat law opposition

June 2018

Well, here we go again. Council elections are due this year, so no doubt Cr Tidd thinks that getting his name in the papers by calling for a cat law (“Claws are out at council over cats”, is going to get him votes. How wrong can he be!

Cr Leombruno is also wrong. The vocal minority of cat haters will be out in force when there is an anonymous survey on cats; it is standard practice. However, when they are required to give their names and addresses, this minority decreases rapidly.

During the debate over cat cages to be hired out to catch and kill cats, not one letter in the NorthEastern Weekly Messenger supported cages, and yet the letters against hiring the cages ran for over two months every week.

Cr Ryan was correct when she said that “Cr Tidd is hellbent on eliminating cats” and that it was a “very poor solution” to a problem that did not exist.

Resident Sue Willis is also correct when she says that Cr Tidd’s idea “may not be truly representative of the rate-paying population and community attitudes." I wonder if the ratepayers are aware that these surveys and cat bylaws are not cheap. I am a former Norwood, Payneham and St Peters councillor, and believe me, the ratepayers pay for this. Cr Tidd is not likely to win votes if he causes an increase in the council rates.

 Christine Pierson. President, Cats Assistance To Sterilise

Serious message  

June 2018

Although I got a chuckle out of the cartoon in the with the 2 cats chatting about the ridiculous idea of having them permanently confined, there is a serious side to this argument.

What the government plans under the Threat Abatement Plan for Feral Cats is to shut up all owned cats so they can kill the rest; (please read this plan which has been kept pretty quiet)

One of the main ways of trying to eradicate the cats depends on 1080; a poison so dangerous to all living things that it has been banned in most overseas countries including the USA.

Apart from the scientifically proved fact that cats cannot be eradicated in open Australia because of the vacuum effect, this massacre destabilises the balance between the animals and ensures overpopulation of introduced species including rodents and rabbits; this is not desirable for native fauna.

After the rats, mice and rabbits over- breed, new undesexed cats infiltrate and breed excessive numbers of kittens, similar to the baby boom after the second World War. During the imbalance, however, as well as the native animals, we humans will also be plagued with rats and mice which create an influx of snakes; mice being snakes favourite food.

Baiting is an environmental disaster and endangers everything, pets, native fauna, all animals, the environment and us.

In actual fact, the cats on the fence in the cartoon have more brains than the politicians who planned this confinement and massive slaughter, and much of it is against advice from scientists.

Christine Pierson

President, C.A.T.S. Cats Assistance To Sterilise Inc

Respect animal equality

June 2018

In response to Phil Miller's letter (May 16th) against "cat lovers", I would like to point out that as one such person who loves cats, whenever any of Adelaide councils plan a bird cull, because residents are irritated by their numbers, I – and my cat loving friends - are on the forefront of the protest, often being the ones to launch the anti cull campaign. That is because we respect animal equality.

The real problem is that this equality does not exist in the minds of all so called animal lovers and “favouritism” is what leads to this debate. If this favouritism were in human terms we would call it “Racism” and our community no longer tolerates this. In the world of animal advocacy it is known as "Specieism" We should all take a long hard look at our attitudes and make sure that we are not standing up for an animal AT THE EXPENCE OF ANOTHER as this is not a noble thing. It ignores the suffering of the vilified animal and there is no end to the suffering of cats at human hands, confinement being merely one of the persecutions we level at these creatures.

Further, It is easy to throw words such as “ignorance’ around when on the losing side of an argument - insults seem to be the last desperate line of attack. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones, but take a closer look at their own morality.

Lisa Roberts

Concerned about poisons

June 2018

I was surprised and pleased to receive snail mail from people who read our letter “Cat laws” in (Messenger Community News 9 May) and were concerned about the poisons being spread by the Port Adelaide Enfield Council to control so called “pests”.

One stated “I agree it is environmentally better with your approach than laying baits all around the place”. (Using desexed, fed and managed cats to control rodents)

And “It is worse still that they, through their contractors, poison mosquitos, wasps and bees with pyrethrum. It is a contact insecticide; the cats touch it, groom themselves, ingest the poison which affects their nervous system, then they die”.

I consider that this information is vital to readers as I also have information that pyrethrum is poisonous to cats. In fact an article in the Sunday Mail 25/6/2017 states that “Exelpet Fleaban contains pyrethrum” and the owners had “made the decision to pull the products from shelves on Friday after the Sunday Mail made enquiries”; after cats died.

Fish eat mosquitos and bees can be rehomed to pollinate our food crops and, as I have stressed, cats should be protected as they control the rats and mice.

Let us stop persecuting our animals and poisoning our earth any further or we won’t have a living planet at all.

Christine Pierson, President, C.A.T.S. Cats Assistance To Sterilise Inc

The Courier 2 May 2018 published

Missed the point

May 2018

Allan Clifford appears to have missed the point in “Animal Welfare”, The Courier April 25. C.A.T.S. stands for Cats Assistance To Sterilise so the aims of our organisation are to humanely reduce cat numbers through prevention of breeding.

C.A.T.S. has already met its goal and continues to meet it through its low priced desexing scheme. The previous desexing of well over 100,000 cats has already prevented millions of unwanted kittens.

While the so called anti-cat brigade does nothing constructive and just promotes or engages in killing, C.A.T.S. has been actually doing something positive. Killing does not reduce cat numbers as new cats simply fill the vacuum. Desex and return to home has, however, proved to reduce cat numbers to the minimum required to hold the territory and control the rodents; also introduced species.

Unlike Mr Clifford, who contributes to animal death by eating them, we of the C.A.T.S. committee are vegetarians and all-round animal supporters. Yes, cats do need meat but we encourage carers not to buy kangaroo, because it involves a particularly high level of cruelty and suffering. We also oppose buying dry cat food which is detrimental to cats.

But, as cats are carnivorous animals, they don’t have a choice as we do. Humans are much healthier on a plant based diet and don’t need to kill for our food.

Duck hunting cannot be justified, even if it were for food, as the cruelty rate of wounded birds outweighs even those killed and, like kangaroo hunting, splits family groups and leaves the young without parents.

All killing involves cruelty but at least humans don’t have to engage in it as we should know better.

Christine Pierson

President – C.A.T.S. Cats Assistance To Sterilise Inc

The case for cats

May 2018

ALTHOUGH everyone is entitled to an opinion, it is more interesting and constructive when writers research chosen subjects before putting pen to paper and sending.

I refer to “Control your cats.” There is no evidence to support the ill-conceived perception that bells on cats assist birds or wildlife. Studies have been conducted for years, and it has been proved that bells are pointless.

Cat bells don’t help wildlife because when cats stalk prey, they don’t ring the bell. Bells are detrimental to the safety of cats, so they should never be used. Ringing bells make it easy for dogs and other predators to locate the wearer.

The cat’s acute hearing of approaching danger, such as cars, is also restricted by bells. Bells also require a collar, which is another danger, and many cats have paid the price with serious injuries and death from these devices.

Regarding cat registration, this has been discussed by numerous councils for decades, and only about half a dozen of all of the South Australian councils have introduced this failed bylaw.

Indeed, the RSPCA states that “although some councils have introduced mandatory registration, there are no reports of its successful implementation”.

Lastly, confining neighbours’ cats will not result in a cat-free zone, as new cats will simply fill the vacuum.

The answer to the cat droppings on the lawn is to educate all neighbours with cats to provide freshly turned earth and leaves or covered litter trays as cat “toilets”.

Cat owners must provide outside toilets for their cats as this is one of the main complaints that councils receive about cats, so please do the right thing.

Christine Pierson, President, Cats Assistance To Sterilise

Wary of cat changes

Reading “Council readies for cat fight” CoastCIty28/3/2018, much research is required.

The idea that controlling cats is going to save wildlife is flawed. Confining cats so that these natural rodent hunters cannot do their job of controlling mice and rats, causes a severe imbalance.

One such imbalance is the massive rise of snake numbers. Any competent farmer will tell you that snakes love to eat rodents, particularly mice, and so the more mice the more snakes.

Humans have a very bad habit of trying to interfere with nature and when they do, disasters result.

Using baits to kill rodents is not only a cruel and unethical method of trying to reduce rodent numbers but baiting is an environmental danger as there are no safe poisons. Native wildlife is killed by baits, either directly from eating the baits or from eating the baited mice. Baits are therefore far more dangerous than any cats and also pollute the environment.Much better to have cats patrolling than six food brown snakes slithering from the conservation parks or venomous baby browns squeezing through the gaps under the doors.

When cats were eradicated inside the fenced Warrawong Sanctuary the relevant Council was alarmed about the explosion of snakes. And when they trapped the cats around the Salisbury wetlands there were so many snakes that Council had to close the reserve and employ snake catchers.

Cats have protected us through the ages so leave them to do their job and it may save your life, the life of your pet and the wildlife.

Just concentrate on having cats desexed, feeding them well and having stable numbers.

Christine Pierson

President – C.A.T.S. Cats Assistance To Sterilise Inc

Follow the leader

May 2018

Why would Marion Council want to follow the failed cat registration bylaw that Mitcham Council introduced years ago? Less than a third of Mitcham Council’s cats are registered and income doesn’t cover expenses so the ratepayers foot the bill.

Why not follow in the footsteps of Norwood Payneham and St Peters Council.

Reading the Animal Management Plan for this Council it states that “The Council has a partnership with Cats Assistance To Sterilise (C.A.T.S)” and “confinement is not considered to be a major issue throughout the City, as the Council does not experience significant problems with cats.”

This council concentrate on mass desexing of its cats

.Not only does C.A.T.S give free advice based on 30 years experience, they are more than happy to widen out their services to other councils.

Lisa Roberts.

Cat Laws

May 2018

It is distressing to see that cat and rat control in the Port Adelaide/Enfield Council district has reduced to the level that cats are now being poisoned. (“Owners devastated by mysterious cat deaths.”)

What is this Council doing about apprehending these perpetrators or is it their own reckless rat poisoning program that is killing these poor little cats?

The absolute stupidity of a council to distribute rat baits, when the best and safest controllers of rats are free-living desexed cats that are fed and managed, is beyond belief.

Poisoning cats carries a fine of up to $50,000 and a jail term of 4 years and just recently one criminal got 7 months jail for cruelty to dogs.

No poisons are safe and apart from the cruelty of poisoning any animal this is an environmental disaster as the native wildlife are likely to eat either the baits or the baited rodents.

A whole family of tawny frogmouths was wiped out from eating baited mice.

I am very concerned with the attitude of this Council since some of the leading staff changed several years ago and it is time that they stopped persecuting people who care for free-living cats.

C.A.T.S. considers that all cats have equal rights and need to be treated with respect and consideration; not just the cats that are owned and microchipped.

For anyone who needs help with low priced desexing for any cat (owned or one you feed) we are happy to help you. (except pedigree cats or from breeders) Our voluntary organisation has a web site onwww.catassist.org.au

Christine Pierson,

President C.A.T.S. Cats Assistance To Sterilise Inc

 

C.A.T.S.runs a successful reduced desexing scheme

April 2018

As a cat lover, I read the article about cats by Lyndon Vonow with interest and would like to let readers know C.A.T.S.runs a successful reduced desexing scheme. C.A.T.S. (Cats Assistance to Sterilise) has a website and an Adelaide 'phone number.

I would also like to express my sadness at the expansion of Thomas Foods. For years, the World Health Organisation has been telling us to go vegetarian. If only Thomas Foods would expand into plant-based burgers.

Alice Shore