The proposed changes made to Western Australia’s pet laws could see cats being permanently banned from going outdoors and barking dogs being seized by rangers.
The unprecedented increase in the number of complaints related to dog barking as well as feral and stray cats has forced the state government to review current legislation.
Each week, around 25 people are treated for bites in Perth hospitals.
The WA Rangers Association (WARA) have called for action against barking dogs as well as stricter penalties against dog owners whose dogs attack.
The changes proposed to the current Cat Act include a total ban on the felines from stepping outdoors or a partial ban from going outside at night.
Owners whose dogs attack people will be fined up to $10,000 or will be sentenced to up to one year of jail time for grave incidents.
The penalties reviews said the current punishments weren’t severe enough ‘to make some people comply with their responsibilities of owning a dog’.
‘Greater enforcement powers to authorized officers and further amendments to dog barking offenses are also required,’ Dene Lawrence, WARA president, told PerthNow.
Rangers have called for a more robust system to keep a check on pets after the dogs who have attacked someone are taken to their new home or foster care.
Roz Robinson, Cat Haven chief executive, said keeping the cats inside the home is a good decision.
‘For their health, it’s much better. They live a longer and happier life,’ Robinson told 9News.
Among the other new laws, one would allow greyhounds to go muzzle free. As per the current law, greyhounds must wear a muzzle, no matter if they’ve raced before or not.
The muzzles stop greyhounds from getting adopted, said Toni Donelly from Greyhound Adoptions WA.
‘Some people don’t like friends and neighbors seeing them with the muzzled dog. It can be an impediment,’ Donelly said.