Cat curfew supported

Wildlife carer Jean Quick with a rescued joey and wombat supports a proposed cat curfew and dog-leash order in the South Gippsland shire. photograph michelle slater

Wildlife carer Jean Quick with a rescued joey and wombat supports a proposed cat curfew and dog-leash order in the South Gippsland shire. photograph michelle slater

South Gippsland Shire will survey the community about a possible cat curfew and dog-leash order.

South Gippsland is considering the curfew to keep domestic cats locked up at night. It would also consider providing off-leash areas for dogs.

The new bylaws would bring South Gippsland into line with neighbouring council areas that already have cat curfews and dog-leash orders in place.

Boolarra wildlife carer Jean Quick lives on the cusp of both South Gippsland and Latrobe council areas and takes in injured native animals from across the region.

Ms Quick supports the proposal to rein in wandering cats and dogs, and described cats as being "dynamite" against ring-tail possums and sugar gliders.

She said cats were night hunters and were particularly lethal against native wildlife.

Ms Quick said it was vital these small marsupials were treated as soon as possible after being attacked but they were often not found until the next morning when it is too late.

"Last week, I had a sugar glider brought in to me, it didn't even last the night. People tell me they found the cat with the animal in its mouth," Ms Quick said.

"I fully agree with the shire. When someone brings me an animal that a cat has caught, I roll my eyes. I like cats – it's the owners who are the problem."

Ms Quick said dogs were also natural hunters that needed to be contained and said she had seen the impact of unrestrained dogs on native animals.

South Gippsland mayor Lorraine Brunt said she looked forward to seeing what the community had to say about the issue.

The call for potential dog and cat restraints came out of community submissions as part of council's Domestic Animal Management Plan.

"I understand the community will have different views on the issue and I look forward to seeing the results from the community survey," Cr Brunt said.

Survey results will be available at the end of the year.

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