The investigation of mandatory cat de-sexing, a dusk-to-dawn cat curfew and an on-leash dog policy are some of the key focus areas of Mitchell Shire Council’s draft Domestic Animal Management Plan 2017-2021.
The plan, a legislated document all Victorian Councils are required to produce every four years, is now out for public feedback.
Following a community survey and stakeholder consultation late last year, the draft plan outlines three key focus areas for council in the next four years:
●Investigation of mandatory de-sexing of cats and a dusk to dawn cat curfew;
●Investigation of introducing on-leash areas across the shire and community consultation for possible fenced dog off-leash areas; and
●Improvements to council’s pound facilities to cater for growth.
A range of other focus areas are also identified in the plan including:
●Increasing the number of animals that are registered and microchipped;
●Reducing dogs wandering at large;
●Increasing rehoming and adoptions from the pound; and
●Developing a 10-point guide for new pet owners.
To help rollout the plan once it is finalised, council is looking to form a Domestic Animal Management Plan Consultative Committee.
Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson encouraged a diverse range of community members to express interest in joining the committee.
‘‘This new committee will meet in the four-year course of the plan and will be made up of a range of key stakeholders including vets, representatives from animal welfare groups and the wider community,’’ Cr Sanderson said.
‘‘We’re keen to see a wide range of people join the committee and you don’t even necessarily have to be a pet owner.
‘‘The Domestic Animal Management Plan effects our entire community and we’re looking for people with a range of views and experiences to be represented.’’