You’ve heard of government overreach, such as confiscating your guns. But in Australia, they now want to take your cats.
And, no, I’m not kidding.
If you weren’t aware, Australia has a bit of a cat problem – as in feral cats. As a result, the government has decided to crack down on all cat activities.
In some areas, local government has taken to enforcing a “cat curfew,” during which time cats are not allowed to leave their owner’s property alone. In other areas, cats are simply not allowed to free range whatsoever, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
According to cat protection CEO Kristina Vesk, “These (restrictions) are put in place to keep our wildlife safe and protect our cats from road accidents, infectious diseases, and injury from other animals.”
Naturally, a great deal of Australia’s cat owners and their feline pets aren’t happy about the situation.
Braden Anderson told the Journal that his 11-year-old cat Willow longs to go outside. So “She sits at the door, and she is clearly annoyed.” Anderson says she’s constantly meowing to be let out. But if she is allowed to do so, at least on her own, he could be fined over $1,000.
Greater Shepparton’s city website actually says that “It is an offense for a cat to be outside the owner’s premises at any time of the day or night.”
And if your feline is found out of your sight or off your property without you, “Council Officers can seize your cat, issue a notice to stop your cat trespassing, or issue infringement notices if (your) cat wanders off your property.”
Basically, your cat can be arrested for just being a cat.
Now, I am not a cat owner due to my husband being allergic, but I know fairly well that cats, in particular, are a bit difficult to corral. It’s not like they listen really well or follow commands like those of the other common four-legged pet variety.
While you can teach a cat to use a litter box or even go on the toilet, getting it to come when called, sit, or stay is pretty much impossible. It’s infuriating to me, to be honest. But that same “I don’t care” attitude and “I do what I want” outlook on life is exactly why so many of us love cats.
Unfortunately, for those living in Australia, it’s also getting them in trouble.
Thankfully, the Greater Shepparton website also provides a rather extensive list of ways to “confine your cat.” These include ideas like putting them on a leash, taking them for walks with harnesses, “cat-proofing” the backyard, or just keeping them indoors at all times.
And for those like cat owner Alison Clifton of Adelaide, she’s been forced to do just that. She told the Journal that now she has to take her cat on a walk four times a day on a leash despite receiving rather strange looks from neighbors just so that he’ll eat.
Now, as I mentioned before, the control freak in me won’t allow me to like cats all that much. However, even I can see this as what it is: governmental overreach.
I mean, instead of focusing on rising crime rates, dealing with immigration issues, or just getting road conditions fixed up, this government is literally spending its time and money fining and arresting cats.
Of course, this isn’t the first time the Australian government has stepped in rather dramatically.
In the late 1990s, a mass shooting occurred in Port Arthur. As a result, the government passed a massively restrictive gun control law known as the National Firearms Agreement. Essentially, it took some 650,000 guns out of the hands of citizens through a buy-back program.
And in 2020, they went even further. You now have to either register or surrender even toy gel blasters that fire water-filled pellets.
Now, they’re coming for your cats. And pet owners across the country are outraged.