Fremantle Council has voted to strengthen its cat management law and ban cats from all property owned and managed by the City of Fremantle.
The City’s Cat Management Local Law, which came into effect in June 2020, designated 12 areas within the City of Fremantle as cat prohibited areas, including parks, beaches, river reserves and golf courses.
The owner of a registered cat captured in one of the cat prohibited areas is subject to a $200 fine.
Last night the council voted to expand the cat prohibited areas to cover all property owned and managed by the City, including roads, verges, footpaths and car parks.
For the purpose of transporting or exercising cats, the council also voted to give notice of its intention to make a determination to allow cats to be brought onto City of Fremantle property when they are securely tethered or confined to a suitable secure carrier.
Fremantle Councillor Adin Lang, who championed the tougher cat laws, said the move was an important step towards protecting our native wildlife.
“Since we first introduced this reform the community has been saying more needs to be done, and I’m proud of our council for responding to the extent of our powers,” Cr Lang said.
“The debate has now moved past why we’re doing this. It’s now focused on how we can make this more uniform across Australia.
“Cats have contributed to the extinction of 27 Australian native mammals, two of nine bird extinctions, three reptile extinctions and continue to threaten 124 more species.
“The first museum collection of a Bilby was on the Swan Coastal Plain. They are only in some parts of the deserts now, and a major reason is cat predation.
“It’s also important to note that cats are important companion animals, so this isn’t about banning cats – it’s about keeping them on your property. Pet cats kept indoors live on average 13 years, compared to three years for roaming cats, and have lower rates of injury and disease.”
The amendment to the Cat Management Local Law also includes provisions to deal with nuisance cats.
The definition of nuisance includes cats that create ‘an unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of a person of his or her ownership or occupation of land’ and ‘interference which causes material damage to land or other property’.
Of the 114 submissions received during the public consultation period 64 per cent were in favour of the expanded cat law.
The change is now required to be published in the State Government Gazette, and will come into force 14 days after gazettal.
It will also be referred to the WA Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation, which has the ability to amend or disallow the amendment.