News & Press: NZVA media release

NZVA in support of Local Government New Zealand push for cat management legislation

Monday, 24 July 2017  
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Today, local councils will vote on a proposal that seeks to facilitate improved management of all cats in New Zealand through relevant, useful legislation.

The NZVA encourages and supports the development of national legislation that would promote responsible cat ownership and improve the lives and welfare of all cats. Such legislation should enable local councils to regulate and enforce responsible cat management at a local level whilst working inside a national mandate.

The NZVA believes responsible cat ownership includes:

  • Microchipping and registration of that microchip on the New Zealand Companion Animal Register.
  • Appropriate, whole-of-life health care including vaccination and parasite control, and desexing.
  • Management of cats in communities and ecologically sensitive areas, where there is vulnerable native wildlife.

Cats are sentient beings, meaning they experience both positive and negative emotions and feelings. While there are many benefits to owning a cat, it is important that owners ensure that their cat’s life-long health and welfare needs are met.

The NZVA recognises that cats have both positive and negative impacts on local communities, and managing the negative impacts such as straying, spraying, fighting, defecating and predation is part of responsible cat ownership. A registered microchip will allow for swift contact and reunification of any lost and injured cats enabling a much greater rate of repatriation than the current 2-3% of cats taken in by welfare and rescue organisations.

The NZVA is heartened by the support local councils have given to this process. It is critical that other local authorities also show their support in order to progress the conversation regarding cat management, and implement the changes required that will allow for better welfare of cats in New Zealand.

For more information please contact NZVA Senior Communications Advisor Emily McKewen at emily.mckewen@vets.org.nz.