Compulsory microchipping and desexing of pet cats after Lower Hutt council vote

Hutt City Council has voted to introduce a new Keeping of Cats section under its Control of Animals Bylaw, which also makes it compulsory for cats over 12 weeks of age to be on the New Zealand Companion Animal Register.

Last year, RNZ reported that Parliament’s environment select committee was recommending the government create a nationwide cat management framework, which would see almost all cats be registered, desexed and microchipped. The move was backed by the New Zealand Veterinary Association.

Councillor Andy Mitchell said the so-called “chipping and snipping” rules would help cut the huge number of unwanted cats surrendered to animal welfare groups, and make it easier to reunite lost pets with their owners.

“Having fewer feral and unwanted cats will also help protect our wildlife. There are currently more than 19,000 cats registered on the New Zealand Companion Animal Register with a Lower Hutt address, but there are many more unregistered and feral cats out there,” he said.

Mitchell conceded there was a cost involved in microchipping and desexing cats, but said council staff would work with organisations such as SPCA to organise and promote low-cost chipping and snipping events.

Public submissions on the new measures last year demonstrated 92 percent supported them overall.

Cats could be exempted from desexing if registered with a nationally recognised cat breeding organisation or if a vet had determined it would be harmful to its health.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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