Peter Lyons, vet and co-owner of Herriot House Veterinary Surgery
Peter Lyons, vet and co-owner of Herriot House Veterinary Surgery Bev Lacey

Registration not needed: Stray city cats causing problems

RESPONSIBLE cat ownership has gone to the dogs in Toowoomba.

Since Toowoomba Regional Council discontinued cat registration in July 2014 because of changes to Queensland's Animal Management Act, the number of stray cats that are not desexed or microchipped roaming the city has risen, according to Peter Lyons, vet and co-owner of Herriot House Veterinary Surgery.

"It's a problem," Mr Lyons said.

Mr Lyons believes there were fewer "half domesticated" cats in Toowoomba when registration was required.

"Council officers can't police it now," he said.

The problem has become so acute, some cat lovers in Toowoomba have personally paid for stray cats to be desexed and to receive other vet care.

From Mr Lyons' perspective, "the stricter (the council) can be with the number of pets in Toowoomba, the better.

"I'd be happy to see cats registered and council given more authority to regulate the number of animals.

"And more money for council from registration for trapping unwanted cats - the ones that roam," Mr Lyons said, adding the topic was a "contentious issue" for Toowoomba residents.

The influx in stray cat numbers in the city translated to more animals being brought to Mr Lyons' practice for treatment.

"We see pet cats that have been beaten up by the street cats or run over cats that wander the streets," he said.

Although registration is no longer legislated for cats, "micro-chipping cats and dogs is mandatory and provides an additional safeguard in the event a valued family pet goes missing," said Toowoomba Regional Council environmental health portfolio leader Cr Joe Ramia.

To find out more about responsible pet ownership, including registration and micro-chipping, visit www.tr.qld.gov.au/dogrego

            Timeline and facts

  • The Queensland Government's Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008 took effect from July 1, 2009.
  • Cats were required to be registered in Toowoomba City from 2001.  The State Government changed the legislation in September 2013 to make cat registration non compulsory.
  • Toowoomba Regional Council discontinued cat registration from July 1, 2014.
  • Microchipping of a cat and a dog is compulsory as legislated under the Act.

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