City council of Australia is forcing owners to keep their cats at home 24 hours a day.
The controversial move has come from Knox City Council, in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs which will come into force on October 1. It will be illegal for owners to allow cats to leave their property during all hours of the day and night.
The 24-hour curfew will require owners to confine their feline to their house, shed, or garage, with cat-proof fencing recommended for owners wanting to keep their cat in their yard. Cats will also be debarred from trespassing on other people’s property, with wandering cats to be picked up by wardens.
The failure to comply with the curfew could result in fines or court action. Council can issue a $91 fine for a first-time offence and fines of up to $545 for continuous breaches. The order follows a trial from the council last year, which saw cats placed under a sunset to sunrise curfew.
The council recommended the curfew this week as part of its Domestic Animal Management Plan to address the issue of feral and nuisance cats.
The council said the trial was supported by almost 90 per cent of respondents, more than half of which were cat owners. Knox City Council Mayor Lisa Cooper said the new curfew was designed to protect both cats and local wildlife.
There are more than 6,500 cats registered in the Knox Council area.