Move to keep lid on cats

By Lin Ferguson

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The claws are out for cats in Rangitikei.

A proposed bylaw will outlaw having more than three cats per household.

The proposal limiting the number of cats will be discussed by Rangitikei councillors at a meeting tomorrow. .

The draft bylaw stipulates that no person shall keep more than three cats that are over three months of age within any household unit in any urban area - unless given written permission by the district council.

Council officers say the issue of keeping of cats has become increasingly politicised nationally and public feedback was needed in Rangitikei.

The proposal follows a report on possible changes to animal control bylaws which said discussion should cover issues including whether any nuisance was directly related to cats, such as excessive noise or odour.

Rangitikei council policy analyst Emily Rogers said it wasn't unusual for people to have more than three cats.

Earlier this year, New Zealand economist Gareth Morgan launched a campaign to eradicate domestic cats, and - according to national media - he is still receiving hate mail.

Dr Morgan set up a website in January called Cats To Go, where he calls cats the animal sadists and natural-born killers that destroy native wildlife.

SPCA chief executive Bob Kerridge called Dr Morgan's scheme "hare-brained" and offensive.

The draft bylaw will be released for public consultation from Monday, July 29, and oral submissions will be held on September 12 with adoption of any bylaw scheduled for October 3.

The three cats maximum ruling does not apply to veterinary clinics, the SPCA shelter or registered breeders. Boarding or breeding establishments for more than 15 cats already require resource consent under the district plan.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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