The Greens will introduce a motion today in the Upper House calling on the State Government to fund free desexing programs for cats to reduce shelter intake, overpopulation and strain on shelter workers and volunteers. The Greens’ move comes after a group of 15 SA animal rescue groups collected over 11,000 signatures urging the Government to include free desexing programs in the Dog and Cat Management Act, which is currently under review. The petition will be tabled in the House of Assembly today. Under the current system, councils manage unowned cats by sending them to shelters, which results in large intakes and poor welfare outcomes for cats. Earlier this year the RSPCA branch at Lonsdale was forced to close its doors to new intakes as the shelter exceeded maximum capacity. Free desexing services have proven successful in other parts of Australia, such as in Banyule Council in Victoria which saw a 60% reduction in intake to its pound after implementing such a program.
Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:
“The response to this petition demonstrates that there is huge support in the community for funding free cat desexing. The Government must listen and act.”
“Uncontrolled breeding of cats threatens native wildlife and causing and leads to unwanted litters being abandoned. Free community desexing programs are an effective and lasting solution that will significantly reduce the number of homeless and unwanted cats in South Australia.”
“The current cost of desexing may run up to hundreds of dollars, which can be prohibitively expensive for many cat owners, especially in the current cost of living crisis. Removing the cost barrier to desexing a pet cat will mean that more owners prepared to take on responsibility for their cats and lead to better outcomes for the community.”