Home' The Canberra Times : Chronicle 13.9 Contents THE CHRONICLE, Tuesday, September 13 2011 - 11
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Push to expand
Pet cats in
have to be
at all times.
SUPPORT is growing for the ACT
Government's cat curfew program to be
rolled out to all suburbs adjoining nature
Environment and Sustainable Develop-
ment Minister Simon Corbell last week
said new suburbs Crace, Coombs, Wright,
Lawson and North Watson would fall
under cat curfew regulations, to protect
In these suburbs, cats must be contain-
ed on the owners' properties at all times.
The new cat curfew areas adjoin
significant conservation areas that contain
critical habitats for several threatened
species including lizards, insects and bird
species that are susceptible to cat pre-
dation. These include the nationally
vulnerable pink-tailed worm lizard and
striped legless lizard, the perunga grass-
hopper, which is considered vulnerable
within the ACT, and the Canberra raspy
cricket, which is confined to the Canberra
Several threatened and declining
woodland birds, including the whitewin-
ged triller, varied sitella and diamond
firetail also feed and nest in neighbouring
Conservation Council ACT Region
executive director John Hibberd said his
organisation commended the Govern-
ment's decision and both native wildlife
and domestic cats benefitted from the
''Domestic cats are an enormous
danger to native wildlife if they are left to
roam around,'' he said. ''We often get
reports of people finding injured wildlife
as the result of being attacked by a cat.
''Research carried out in Queensland
has shown one cat can kill up to 32 native
fauna in a year.
''And a recent Government survey
showed that 89 per cent of residents in
Forde and Bonner support the cat contain-
ment rules as they know where their cats
are and they aren't getting into fights.''
Mr Hibberd said his organisation
supported the expansion of the cat
containment and curfew program.
''As well as new suburbs being
developed, we would like to see the
program taken to areas that are close to
nature reserves such as Ainslie, Hackett,
Turner and O'Connor,'' he said.
''It is clear there is public support for
cat containment throughout Canberra,
and it is clear that the Government can
now move quickly in declaring further
areas for cat containment.''
This view is supported by the ACT
Greens, who believe the Government
should develop a clear domestic animal
policy, rather than simply making suburb
by suburb announcements.
''What the Greens want is a clear
policy so that land and home buyers know
what they are buying. It is far easier to
integrate a cat containment area into a
house and garden when it is being built
and much harder to retrofit,'' animal
welfare spokeswoman Caroline Le
Couteur said. ''The Government has just
announced a cat containment policy for
Crace, Wright, Coombs, and North Wat-
son. It is disappointing that land in all
these suburbs have already been sold
without people clearly knowing that it
would be a cat containment area.
''The Greens policy is that new outer
residential areas should be compulsory
cat containment areas and there should be
retro-fitting in areas where properties
adjoin nature reserves. Making this
Government policy would give people
clarity and certainty.''
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