Wellington City Council has published a webpage which addresses some of our questions.
We encourage visitors to our site to view what the Council has shared.
We'll now study the Councils position and update our site with the information provided by the Council in their response.
We thank WCC for making the effort to clarify their position.
Regarding Animal Bylaw Review 2016, Subsection Cats
A few questions for you
How does the Council plan to enforce the following proposed restrictions on Cats and the citizens who keep Cats?
Aside from the two restrictions mentioned below, are there any other restrictions the Council plans to whip out from under the metaphorical table in the final week of public consultation?
* 'Limit The Number Of Cats Per Household To Three Cats'
Do you intend to send your agents to every household in the city and 'shake down' the residents until they 'come clean' and disclose the number of Cats they keep?
Or are you going to rely on civilian informants to do that work for you?
What do you expect citizens to do if they presently keep more than three cats?
Do you expect citizens to decide which three Cats they will keep and then euthenase the others?
We understand that where domestic animals are creating a public nuisance or health risk there is already extant legislation in place (Health Act 1956) that can be invoked which has successfully been utilised to prosecute individuals who keep too many Cats, i.e. Invercargill City Council vs Averil Gardiner in January 2015.
So we do wonder why this section of the new bylaw is required at all.
* 'Compulsory Identification By Microchip, Collar, Tattoo'
How do you expect to determine which Cats have a microchip and which Cats do not have a microchip?
Will you send your agents to every household with a microchip reading device and demand citizens present their Cats for scanning?
Our view is utilisation of microchips for the purposes of enforcement amounts to abuse of the technology.
Do you plan to engage in trapping Cats?
Or will you outsource such work to the eco-brownshirts of Gareth Morgan's Halo Campaign or other similar eco-extremist organisations?
If you do plan to engage in trapping Cats do you intend issuing infringement notices and financial penalties to the 'owners' of those Cats captured which do have identification?
If you do plan to engage in trapping Cats, what will you do to those Cats you capture that do not have identification?
Do you plan to execute Cats that do not have identification?
If so, by what methods do you plan to execute Cats that do not have identification?
It is with great displeasure we note the Council has even considered the idea of disfiguring our Cats with identification tattoos.
Those of us who know our history are well aware of the other regime that used identification tattoos on those who were deemed to be problematical and therefore disposable.
Given the past history of usage of tattooing for identification purposes we request the immediate resignation of those Council staff members who came up with the idea of using tattoos for identification purposes.
Good Government is not just about making calls on development of infrastructure and juggling the contents of the collective purse.
The famous Maori proverb sums it up succinctly.
He aha te mea nui o te ao He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, it is the people, it is the people
Good Government is about directing the collective consciousness so that the community functions together as one, so that as a community we are at least heading in the direction of being the best community we can be.
An individual leader or a collective of leadership has a responsibility to get everyone in agreement and working together. Well thought out policy will achieve that. Poorly thought out or selfish policy is going to divide the community.
We feel the proposed restrictions on Cats amount to poorly thought out and selfish policy which serves a minority of the population, therefore it amounts to poor Government.
There are a lot of citizens who are upset out here in the community, from the fearful through to the tearful and the downright incensed, and the orchestrated libelous propaganda campaign against the Cats by complicit factions within the mainstream media is not helping one bit.
We are asking citizens to participate in the forthcoming public consultation process and to keep any protest activity reasonable and within the law.
However, when the National Cat Management Strategy Group comes out of it's closet and goes public (our understanding is May 2016) and Local Government NZ begins issuing directives to Councils throughout New Zealand to impose restrictions on Cats and the citizens who keep Cats, it stands to divide the nation.
Our preference is that citizens on our side of the fence be the voice of reason and the battle be fought by due political process. So let's have some answers to our questions so that we are all well informed prior to engaging in the process of public consultation with the Council.
Feline Rights New Zealand
We sent this message on 24 March 2016 to two email addresses at the Council which were supplied to us by staff at the WCC call center. We received a prompt reply on 24 March 2016 from the Council staff member entasked with fielding questions from the public on the Animal Bylaw Review.
The first response offered us the opportunity to meet with Council staff in person. This we declined and requested formal replies to our questions in writing along with a waver allowing us to publish their response online.
In the second reply from the Council they promised to provide written answers to our questions by Friday 1st April 2016. They also reaffirmed their wish to meet in person, going so far as to offer three different dates next week they could receive a delegation.
They have failed to provide written answers to our questions by the time they promised they would. Those of us who have Cats as members of our family feel our family members are in in immediate danger. We have right to an official response so that we are clear on what we are up against. Therefore we will persist in encouraging the Council to answer our questions in writing.
What we did get on 1 April 2016 is a single paragraph response from Councillor Iona Pannet sent to the secretary's private email address. Seems she had hit the reply button to a message sent some 4 months ago to the Council on the matter of dog policy.
We note that there was no confidentiality clause in the Councillor's email, therefore we publish it in full online.
"Thanks for your ongoing concern with this issue. Keen to catch up. Think it would be helpful to clarify a few things to assure you that proposed measures are there to help cat owners. I'm a big animal lover and want to see animals treated humanely and with the respect they deserve."
Councillor Pannet, we may begin the process of clarification with written answers for the questions we have already shared.