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An Australia town has introduced a 2 cat per household limit after the country announced a plan to cull millions of cats by 2020

Susanna Heller , Business Insider US
 Sep 06, 2019, 05:22 PM
In Mount Barker, there will be a limit of two cats per property.
iStock
  • Australia has a cat problem - both feral and domesticated, apparently.
  • One town is doing its part by limiting every household to two cats, max. A cat curfew has also been instated.
  • The ban will be enforced in Mount Barker, which is 32 kilometres from Adelaide.
  • The town's mayor, Ann Ferguson, told The Guardian she means no ill will and is a "cat lover".
  • Australian authorities hope to cull two million feral cats by 2020 because they are considered an invasive species.
  • For more stories, go to the Business Insider SA homepage

Australia has a cat problem, but one town is doing its part by limiting every household to two cats, max. A cat curfew has also been instated.

The new rules will be enforced in (ironically) Mount Barker, which is 32 kilometres from Adelaide. Per the new rules, the local council is looking to crack down on "nuisance" behaviour from cats.

The plan has four stages:

  • Limit cats to two per property to prevent "animal hoarding." Households that already have more than two cats will be exempt.
  • Register all cats (and dogs) with the town council.
  • Address "nuisance" behaviour, which the town defines as many things, chiefly when a cat "unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of a person, including but not limited to a cat(s) displaying aggressive nature or creating unpleasant noise or odor."
  • Finally, there will also be a curfew in place between 8 pm and 7 am. The aim of the curfew is to reduce "nuisance" behaviour and help protect the cats.

These rules have not yet been implemented, but will be pending a trial period instated by the town's council.

And while this sounds remarkably anti-cat - and rather difficult to enforce (have you ever tried to get a cat to do ... anything?), the town's mayor, Ann Ferguson, told The Guardian that she means no ill will and is a "cat lover."

"There are more people out there who love cats and tolerate cats," she said. "Cat haters exist but they are few and far between."

Ferguson said the decision to change the policies surrounding felines came after a series of unfortunate incidents that came from "cats roaming the streets."

"Cats defecating on people's lawns, cats spraying on people's front doors and cats fighting in the garden and also killing wildlife," she explained.

Mount Barker officials say these new policies are widely supported and cite a survey conducted between March and April 2019 with 576 respondents. The town government found that 76% supported cat registration, 68% supported a two cat per house cap, 71% supported a cat curfew, and 73% supported the council addressing cat "nuisance" behaviour when it occurs.

Mount Barker isn't the only town in Australia to take matters into its own hands when it comes to cats. Paul Stevenson, the head of the RSPCA in South Australia, told The Guardian that solutions have been "piecemeal" and "less than ideal."

There are between two and six million feral cats living in Australia, and authorities hope to cull two million cats by 2020 because the species is considered invasive to the region and is killing off indigenous animals.

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