Posted May 06, 2018 06:10:36 In a bid to prevent cats from becoming a public health threat, the Victorian Government is introducing a law to ban cats from certain urban areas.
The new laws will make it illegal to keep cats in enclosed spaces in any public building, including apartments, townhouses and other enclosed dwellings.
Victorian Agriculture Minister Peter Collier said the new legislation was designed to ensure that people are aware of the risks of keeping cats in their homes.
He said the Government was working closely with the Victorian Council of Animal Protection (VCAAP) to implement the new laws, which will come into effect from August 1, 2018.
Mr Collier told ABC Radio Melbourne the VCAAP would also have to monitor the conditions of cats in its facilities.
“We want people to take care of the cats in the premises, but it’s also important to know that we have these measures in place, and we’re working very closely with local councils to get that across,” he said.
“If they’ve got issues with their landlord or tenant, we want them to take it to a council.”
Victorian Agriculture Commissioner Nick McLean said he was confident the legislation would prevent cats becoming a threat to the state’s environment.
“It’s a very important step, we have a duty to the public and to the environment to do everything we can to prevent the spread of exotic cats,” he told AM.
“As far as we can see, the situation is under control, and the public can be confident in that.”
‘I’m hoping to be one of the first’ Mr Collie said he would not have been able to keep his cat, Dolly, in his apartment if he had known he was going to be caught up in the legislation.
Dolly was taken to a local veterinary clinic in December after her owner complained of a sore throat.
She was later sent to the Royal Veterinary College of Victoria’s Central Veterinary Clinic for further treatment, which Ms McLean described as “very intensive”.
Ms Mclean said it took a while to get to the point where Dolly could breathe on her own.
“I’m very confident that she is one of those rare cats that will be able to thrive in that environment,” she said.