Council is asking for feedback on a draft Domestic Animal Management Plan (DAMP) 2021-25 developed after community consultation earlier this year.
The draft Plan was developed using more than 3000 pieces of feedback gathered through online surveys and at pop-up consultation sessions held around the municipality earlier this year.
Chair Administrator Lydia Wilson said the purpose of the Plan is to set out how we create a harmonious environment between pets, people, other animals and our environment.
“We value pets and the role they play in our community and this Plan is how we balance the wellbeing and management of pets with the needs of the community as a whole.”
There are currently 18, 321 dogs and 6,798 cats registered in the City of Whittlesea.
“The draft Plan outlines how Council will oversee the management of cats and dogs from handling nuisance complaints, controlling overpopulation, supervising ownership of restricted dog breeds and monitoring domestic animal businesses and sets out the responsibilities of pet owners including animal registration and microchipping and making sure their animal is properly contained.
“During the consultation for the DAMP we received a great deal of feedback asking for action on roaming pet cats and stray cats because of the harm they cause to wildlife and the nuisance they create for neighbours,” Ms Wilson said.
“The draft DAMP includes the introduction of mandatory desexing of new cats registered with Council from 2022. It also recommends undertaking further community consultation in relation to the issue of a cat curfew within the municipality, looking at the experience of other councils.”
Evidence from neighbouring councils shows that desexing cats has a positive impact on their behaviour and reduces the stray cat population within the community.
Council will work with local vet clinics to educate owners about the benefits of desexing their cats and develop a discounted pet desexing program for concession card holders.
We will also be partnering with the City of Darebin and Moreland City Council to promote the importance of dog socialisation and training and we’ll continue our education campaign to encourage dog owners to pick up after their pets and keep them on leashes in public places.
“I encourage you to view the draft Plan and let us know your thoughts,” Ms Wilson said.
Visit engage.whittlesea.vic.gov.au between 8 September and 30 September to find out more or have your say on the City of Whittlesea’s draft Domestic Animal Management Plan 2021-25.
Victorian councils are required to update their Domestic Animal Management Plan every four years to reflect changes in community priorities and best practice in animal management.