September 12th 2008
TCC plans return of cat management on Magnetic
Townsville City Council is planning to retrial the micro-chipping of cats on Magnetic Island with an expanded version of the program which followed the Catscan survey held on the Island in the 1990s.
The revised program, which picks up on the Catscan name from the original survey, is expected to be a comprehensive management program that includes permits and micro-chipping for all cats over the age of five months, and the euthanaising of stray cats.
Council's Community Health and Safety Committee yesterday backed a report recommending Catscan. According to Chair, Councillor Dale Last, the funding would be dependent on approval to be included in a $320,000 State Government (state-wide) pilot program aimed at reducing the number of unwanted pets.
Cr Last said the Catscan trial could have spin-offs for the management of cats on the mainland.
The former Council first introduced a micro-chipping program for all cats on the island as part of Local Law 10.1 in the late 1990s but later abandoned the initiative.
Although at a very early stage in the process, Cr Last is keen to put the program back into action but with an expanded range of strategies. Cr Last described the previous program as, "extremely successful in managing numbers and keeping track of cats."
"This new State Government pilot program has provided the perfect opportunity to run an expanded Catscan trial and look at what we can do as part of a broader cat management strategy.
"Stray cats are an enormous problem in the community, especially in the urban environment.
"Magnetic Island's isolation from the mainland means Catscan can work, and we can see the program being of major assistance to other councils with enclosed communities."
According to TCC the program will be expanded, this time around, to look at a range of new strategies including: Trap-Neuter-Release - Investigating incentives and discounts for desexing cats on the island; work with special interest groups and vets to developing an education and media program to promote responsible cat ownership; survey of island residents on the effectiveness of the Catscan program.
Cr Last said the Council would liaise closely with Island residents on the introduction of Catscan.
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