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Council bans cats from going outside as ‘roaming cats will be thing of the past’

A local council has bizarrely decided to ban cats from outdoor spaces unless they are on a lead, insisting that 'roaming cats will be a thing of the past'.

The new rules planned by the council in Freemantle, Western Australia, prohibit loose cats from all areas owned by the council including bushland and roads.

The proposals were tabled by Councillor Adin Lang, who argued that they would protect the wildlife that takes refuge in the area's many grass verges.

He also said the move would reduce the risk of cats being run over.

The proposals have now been approved following a vote this week from the council's members.

Councillor Lang told local news outlet Perth Now: "In the 1970s dogs would roam our streets and I expect roaming cats will also become a thing of the past.

"While we have prohibited areas in our natural bushland, cats are still entering.

"At a minimum our bushland areas need a prohibited area buffer. Many of our native verge gardens which also act as a wildlife refuge also need protection from cats."

Speaking to Western Australia Today, he added: "This is about protecting our wildlife and it's also about helping to keep people's cats safe from cat fights or getting hit by cars."

Western Australia Today also reported that Councillor Lang was convinced to make the change following a presentation made by Tom Hatton, chairman of the WA Feral Cat Working Group chairman.

In it, Hatton laid out the arguments for why cat owners should keep their pets confined to the home.

Hatton said: "There are two good reasons to keep your cat at home.

"The pressure that domestic cats that are allowed to roam put on urban wildlife and, secondly, the science that says that domestic cats that are not allowed to roam live much longer and are much healthier.

"Urban cats kill 30 times more wildlife than adult cats out in the bush."

Council officials are now poised to draft the proposed rule changes.

They will then decide whether to allow public feedback on the issue for at least six weeks.

The proposal that was passed this week read: "An amended Cat Management Local Law would focus on expanding cat prohibited areas beyond our natural bushland areas, to include other refuges for wildlife such as verge gardens, median strips, and street trees.

"Other City managed assets like roads would also be included as prohibited areas to help protect the safety of individual cats who are at risk of being struck by vehicles."

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