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CATastrophe Averted?

Cats are beguiling creatures. Is it any wonder that they are as popular as dogs as domesticated pets? They can be cute and cuddly and a purring cat sat on your lap beats pharmaceutical tranquillisers hands down. What’s not to love?

Unfortunately though, despite the best efforts of well-meaning cat-owners, some domesticated cats can cause problems for neighbours and wildlife alike with their nocturnal antics. Often, their owners are oblivious to the havoc being wreaked by their favourite felines.

Ipswich City Council receives numerous complaints about nuisance behaviours such as fighting and soiling. Apart from that, the devastating effect on native wildlife where cats roam free is incalculable. It’s a worrying and growing local issue. Some suburbs in the City of Ipswich have cat impoundment rates twice the national average. That’s a statistic we’re not proud of and would prefer to see it disappear from the record books.

That’s the bad news.

Nevertheless, I am pleased to announce my support for some potential good news about this vexatious issue.

The Australian Pet Welfare Foundation is proposing to offer residents in selected Ipswich suburbs, access to FREE desexing, microchipping, vaccination and parasite control for the cats they are caring for. In addition the APWF would be providing residents with information about responsible cat caring behaviours such as containment and vaccinations.

They point out that “The benefits to the Ipswich City Council include: (1) significantly reduce numbers of cats surrendered to shelters and council pounds; (2) opportunity to greatly reduce the cost of the next RSPCA contract to house and re-home stray cats; (3) less euthanasia of healthy cats and kittens; (4) less stress on animal shelter staff and council animal management officers from killing healthy animals; and (5) reduced numbers of urban stray cats, leading to fewer calls to council that require action and resources to resolve.”

I agree with their opinion that “This project has the potential to gain national and international exposure for the City of Ipswich as a leader in humane and effective stray cat management.”

Anything that enhances our Ipswich lifestyles gets my endorsement. This program is valued at $750,000 over 4 years and the best part is, it will come at NO COST to Council i.e. the Ipswich ratepayers. What’s not to love about THAT?

What a coup it would be for our city! It has already been proven to be a resounding success in the city of Banyule, Victoria (population 130,000). APWF ran a pilot programme which resulted in a 71% decrease in impoundment and 60% decrease in euthanasia in just two years. Imagine what could be achieved with a four year project for Ipswich!

Every pet cat deserves a safe home where it is loved, cared for and kept free from hazards. If I am elected to Council on 28th March, 2020, you have my assurance that I will enthusiastically endorse this beneficial proposal.

Let’s do what we can to help our residents, their pets and their neighbours to live better in our beautiful Ipswich area.



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