Cat curfew introduced in Hepburn Shire
Published on 17 May 2023
At last night’s meeting, Hepburn Shire Council endorsed the introduction of a dusk to dawn cat curfew enforceable from 1 July 2023. From that date cats must be securely confined to the owner’s property between sunset and sunrise.
Mayor, Cr Brian Hood, said a cat curfew is a key action in Council’s Domestic Animal Management Plan, which was informed by community feedback.
“Throughout the community consultation there was strong support for a cat curfew, with 90% of the 450 respondents in support of a curfew,” said Cr Hood.
“We know our community loves their pets. The curfew will help to reduce the risks associated with allowing cats to roam outdoors between dusk and dawn. Keeping cats indoors at night will reduce the chance of them breeding, fighting, becoming injured or killing wildlife.”
“Organisations including the RSPCA and the Cat Protection Society of Victoria are supportive of curfews and many Victorian councils have already introduced these types of curfew measures,” he said.
From 1 July 2023 enforcement activities will commence, in line with the process already applied to wandering dogs. This will include:
- Education for cat owners of their responsible pet ownership requirements
- Issuing Warnings and Notices to Comply where appropriate
- Issuing Infringement Notices to offenders where appropriate (The infringement amount will be 1 Penalty Unit for first offence and 3 Penalty Units for second or subsequent offences. A penalty unit is currently $184.92).
“Ensuring cats are registered with Council and contained within an owner’s property at all times is not just responsible, but a requirement under the Domestic Animal Act. The dusk until dawn curfew is a good further step as we move towards the 24-hour containment of cats by 2025.”
All cats over three months of age must be microchipped and registered. If a cat is found wandering during curfew hours and it is not registered, owners will be required to register it before it is released.
“Registration is free for up to 12 months and will help you be reunited with your furry friend should it go missing,” he said.
For more information on the curfew visit https://www.hepburn.vic.gov.au/cats.