Stray cat strike planned for Murray Bridge

Cats deserve better: Councillor Karen Eckermann's cat Filly has suggested all Murray Bridge's feral felines be rounded up in one great sweep.
Cats deserve better: Councillor Karen Eckermann's cat Filly has suggested all Murray Bridge's feral felines be rounded up in one great sweep.

STRAY cats, watch out: the Murray Bridge council is planning a city-wide sweep to round up every last feral feline.

Cats found on the street without a collar or microchip will be trapped and humanely euthanised during a blitz due to take place within months.

The idea has been a project of Councillor Karen Eckermann's since her election a year ago.

"A cat living on the street is constantly distressed, fighting and having kittens," she said at the council's meeting on Monday night.

"It's not much of a life.

"It's not okay for cats to be wandering around unsupervised."

Cr Theo Weinmann warned there would be significant backlash if any domestic cats were caught up in the sweep, and Cr Tyson Matthews raised the point that cat owners would need to be notified ahead of time.

Chief executive officer Michael Sedgman noted both comments, but said the council was acting within its rights.

"Provided we work with the RSPCA and an organisation such as the Animal Welfare League, recognising this is a one-off, we're within our legislative obligations," he said.

"Most family pets would be collared in some way if they're not microchipped."

Cr Airlie Keen worried that the council would take action without considering the cost.

"On a personal level I don't write out blank cheques, and I don't think ratepayers would ask us to write out blank cheques with their money," she said.

But Mr Sedgman assured her the round-up could be done within the council's current budget.

The council had already held a cat management workshop, at which councillors were briefed on recent legislative changes and possible anti-stray cat strategies, at Cr Eckermann's request.

A report following up on that workshop will likely be presented at the council's November meeting, even though a remedy has already been chosen.

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