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Catastrophic Campbelltown Council Cat Bylaw Quashed

Cat Bylaw Quashed by Connie

 South Australia’s Legislative Council’s Hon Connie Bonaros MLC of SA BEST has disallowed the proposed Campbelltown Council cat bylaw.

“This Motion was successful and the Council has been sent away with its tail between its legs” said Ms Christine Pierson, the President of C.A.T.S. Cats Assistance To Sterilise Inc. 

So too has a similar proposed cat bylaw by the Town of Gawler.

“This, now quashed, proposed City of Campbelltown cat bylaw was totally and utterly unjustified, extreme in its requirements, unrealistic in its objectives, unsupported by the science of cat behaviour and had detrimental consequences to both the cats, and the owners and carers, with its application!” 

“The draft cat bylaw was dumped because it included, demands for horrendous cruelty of tethering cats by a fixed collar and chain to a post, plus the following massive grievance list against inadequate consultation and overbearing and intimidating demands… “, she added.

“most residents and ratepayers did not know about the proposed cat bylaw and it was done during the time that they were excluded from the public gallery because of the COVID19  

  • absolute minimum of notification; questionable that even the minimum was carried out during the full stated public consultation period
  • little – chance of constituents finding out about the public consultation as most people were trying to stay at home and still many do not have access to the internet and did not know about it in any case
  •  that it undermines a 30-year, long-term Community/Council C.A.T.S. Cat Management Program as set out in Council’s Animal Management Plan, unanimously supported by previous City of Campbelltown elected members, which has been extremely successful in reducing the cat numbers and cat related problems by, desexing over 5,000 cats and controlling unowned cats, also strongly supported by the wider community
  •  no demonstrated need for the bylaw as complaints about cats are minimal, and the few pockets where the cats are coming from the Adelaide Hills Council are already being addressed by residents
  • minimal substantiated evidence to prove that cats have been a significant threat to wildlife as sightings stated of feathers in the open are obviously attacked by Birds of Prey (stated by the Adelaide Museum) and almost never can complainants prove that cats were responsible for attacks on wildlife when asked to substantiate their claims
  • no evidence has been provided that the bylaw would or could save native wildlife in any case, and the mass desexing of both owned and unowned cats and keeping these cats well fed are the best way to minimise such threats, as removal results in new undesexed, hungry cats infiltrating and breeding to excess
  •  no clear indication of the aims and goals of the proposed cat bylaw as required under the Dog and Cat Management Act
  • no details provided of the methods to be used to achieve any assumed goals of the Cat Bylaw as stated as a requirement in the Dog and Cat Management Act
  •  no evidence provided that the assumed goals could realistically or would ever be achieved
  • no details of the costs of the fines were provided in the information to residents
  •  no details of the fees to be charged for registration of cats or if the fees were going to be charged
  • against the wishes of the community who have made it clear that the proposed cat bylaw is not wanted by the majority (62% of respondents to the public consultation opposed the cat bylaw and 83% of respondents opposed the Cat Bylaw in the previous “Roaming Cats Survey” on which the Cat Bylaw was based)
  •  Council has withheld information of residents’ rights to complain under their democratic right and constituents were not told that they could complain to the Legislative Review Committee and the State Ombudsman about their grievances , when they asked elected members and Council staff whom can they contact with their grievances
  • lack of support from Ward Councillors and inadequate representation
  •  the cat bylaw would cause extreme emotional and financial hardship for those cat owners who cannot comply with the requirements of the bylaw
  •  extreme stress and difficulties for the many, especially the elderly, infirmed and disabled ratepayers regarding caring for and managing confined cats
  • impossible for shift workers to comply with the requirements of the by-law
  • almost impossible, even for pet cats to be retrained into the specific, restrictive and unnatural requirements of the bylaw and impossible for most cats to be fully confined, particularly those not accustomed to being kept inside
  •  Vets are now confirming that cats are becoming obese and their health is being affected by confinement
  •  cats are becoming depressed and anxious and Vets are having to prescribe anti-depression drugs which is not acceptable
  •  anxiety caused by confinement is causing aggression and big increases in attacks on owners by confine cats; hospital records prove this
  •  cats are not like dogs and cannot be managed like dogs
  •  cats cannot be adequately exercised on leashes ; leashes are not recommended by the RSPCA
  •  the RSPCA has stated that cat trapping cages should not be provided to the general public
  •  the unintended consequences of unowned cat numbers increasing rapidly resulting from the confinement of owned, desexed cats being prevented from maintaining their territories; the “Vacuum Effect a scientifically proved phenomenon of nature as noted in the current Campbelltown Council Animal Management Plan as “The management of domestic and feral cats cannot be considered in isolation due to the territorial nature of cats. Even if Council was to be effective in confining pet cats, ‘unprotected spaces’ would be subject to visitation from feral cats.”
  • confinement and removal of desexed cats resulting in an influx of new undesexed cats, less likely to be well fed, constitutes a far greater threat to native wildlife
  •  concerns expressed by residents in adjoining councils that their cats may visit neighbours who live across the boundary and get caught in the traps and injured or killed. Campbelltown Council provides these trapping cages without any supervision as to what happens to the trapped cats
  • the by-law defies the science of cat behaviour and is a recipe for an environmental and economic disaster,” Ms Pierson confirmed.

“C.A.T.S. Cats Assistance To Sterilise Inc, Campbelltown Cat Management and Welfare Group, Cat Protection Society of SA Inc, Cat Support Group of SA, Campbelltown Council constituents. Animals Australia, Animal Justice Party and other organisations and individuals combined to concentrate for the last 12 months on finding sufficient evidence to support having this proposed cat bylaw quashed.”

“Our heartfelt thanks to Connie Bonaros for her courageous stand to right the wrongs that were threatening upon the constituents and cats of Campbelltown Council.”

“The City of Campbelltown already has a highly successful mass desexing and good cat management Plan which has been strongly supported by the previous Campbelltown Councils (until mainly new councillors and a new Mayor were elected) which has resulted in an excellent example of amicably managing cats and reducing cat numbers and cat related problems on a large and wide-scale basis, with many thousands of cats being desexed through the Low Priced C.A.T.S. Cats Assistance To Sterilise Desexing Scheme.” 


As stated – “This, now quashed, proposed City of Campbelltown cat bylaw was totally and utterly unjustified, extreme in its requirements, unrealistic in its objectives, unsupported by the science of cat behaviour and had detrimental consequences to both the cats, and the owners and carers, with its application!” 

Media Release

C.A.T.S. Cats Assistance To Sterilise Inc

PO Box 160 Kensington Park SA 5068

For further information please contact:
Christine Pierson at animalsassistant@outlook .com
– C.A.T.S. Cats Assistance To Sterilise Inc
– Cat Behaviourist and Cat Consultant
– Former Councillor Norwood Payneham and St Peters Council
– Former member State Government Cat Consultative Committee to the Dog and Cat Management Board
– Former TAFE instructor in Cat Management to Council staff and the public
– Former teacher Dip KTC
– Recipient of State Government Award for C.A.T.S. for “Service to Councils