Murray Bridge council hopes to solve stray cat problem

Not all of Murray Bridge's cats are as domesticated as Filly, a stray Cr Karen Eckermann took under her wing.
Not all of Murray Bridge's cats are as domesticated as Filly, a stray Cr Karen Eckermann took under her wing.

COUNCILLOR Karen Eckermann is on a mission to solve Murray Bridge's stray cat problem - for the animals' own good.

At her request, the council has agreed to hold a cat management workshop in the near future so councillors can consider the issue.

Proposed changes to South Australia's Cat and Dog Management Act, including mandatory microchipping and desexing of household pets, will be among the items up for discussion.

Rather than focusing on the unsightly appearance of gangs of strays or their impact on wildlife, though, Cr Eckermann said she had the cats' welfare at heart.

"When I first came to Murray Bridge I couldn't believe how many stray cats we had hanging around," she said.

"The streets are no home for any cat.

"It's cruel to leave them to fend for themselves."

She said she had personally euthanised nine and re-homed another five, but hoped the council might eventually step in to help in that regard.

"All I'm really concerned about is the council providing residents with some central point where they can report stray cats that are problematic and ask for assistance in catching and perhaps euthanising them," she said.

"Council also needs to take on a more educational role."

However, she said introducing compulsory cat registration would be too expensive to be practical.

The push for a solution to Murray Bridge's cat problem is not new - a group of residents most recently petitioned the council for a cat management plan last August.

According to a 2009 council estimate, about a quarter of Murray Bridge households have at least one feline resident.

- Details: To have your say on the State Government's proposed changes to dog and cat management, visit yoursay.sa.gov.au and click on "current engagements".

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