Council considers implementation of 24-hour cat containment curfew

Published on 30 May 2024


Swan Hill Rural City Council is a considering the implementation of a 24-hour cat containment order, which would require all cats within the municipality to be confined to their owner's property unless appropriately restrained in a cat carrier or on a leash.  

Council’s Mayor, Cr Stuart King said the proposal followed extensive community consultation aimed at addressing cat-related nuisance issues and promoting responsible pet ownership.

Cr Stuart King emphasised the importance of community feedback in shaping this potential policy. 

"Through significant community consultation, we have gathered vital feedback from our residents regarding cat management within our municipality.

"It is clear that addressing cat nuisance issues such as confinement and overpopulation, as well as promoting cat desexing, are key priorities for our community."

“An initial consultation process, conducted during the development of the 2021-25 Domestic Animal Management Plan (DAMP), yielded overwhelming support for measures to address cat-related concerns. 

“Subsequent consultation conducted from Monday, 4 December 2023, to Wednesday, 31 January 2024, resulted in 352 survey responses received, reflecting a significant level of community engagement. 

“The results demonstrated strong support for the implementation of a cat curfew, with 82% of respondents in favor. When considering the specific nature of the curfew, there was a closer divide between a 24-hour curfew and a dusk-to-dawn curfew, with 52% supporting a 24-hour curfew in both urban and rural areas, compared to 32% for a partial curfew,” Cr King said.

Cr King highlighted the importance of considering community preferences in shaping the final policy. 

"It is crucial that we take into account the preferences of our residents as we move forward with potential measures to address cat management. 

"Feedback received will inform our decision-making process as we work to create a safer and more harmonious environment for both residents and their pets," he stated.

Council will review feedback and assess the feasibility and implications of implementing a 24-hour cat containment order, ensuring that the needs and concerns of the community are carefully considered. 

To find out more please click here.

Further updates will be provided as the Council progresses towards a decision. Submissions are open until Wednesday, 22 May 2024


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