TORONTO CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO LET CATS ROAM THE STREETS – AT LEAST FOR NOW

Source: Toronto Star (Extract)
Posted: July 20, 2022

City council rejected a proposal Wednesday to cur-tail the freedom of domestic cats. 

Instead of enacting an anti-roaming bylaw backed by a city committee earlier this month to keep pets indoors, council voted to amend the motion and grant an exception to domestic cats and pigeons.

Coun. Shelley Carroll (Ward 17, Don Valley North) initially moved the motion to both to protect cats from danger and to protect wildlife from cats.

Carroll, who cited an Environment Canada study that found cats killed upward of 200 million birds annually, was supported by environmentalists, including the director of the Toronto Wildlife Centre.

Mayor John Tory opposed the motion, telling reporters earlier this month he didn’t think the motion, if made into law, would be enforceable.

At Wednesday’s council meeting, council carried an amended version of Carroll’s motion, which will allow cats to be unleashed on the street, but also calls for continuing work on increasing the rate of licences and micro-chipping of domestic cats.

Carroll said Wednesday that chipping and licensing cats is paramount to keeping them off the streets.

“Every GTA municipality around us has an anti-roaming bylaw,” she said. “They have it because they’ve been more successful than us (with pet licences). Only four per cent of (Toronto) cats are licenced. That’s what makes it possible to have an anti-roaming bylaw, because you can pick them up and get them back to their owners with a warning, not end up with a shelter full of cats.”

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