There are two news stories, side by side, from different parts of the globe, one in Australia, the other America. In fact there is a third and that concerns America too.
The Australian one discusses the obligatory spaying and neutering of domestic cats and their registration. The debate on regulating cat ownership in Australia is gradually becoming focused, I sense. There is a greater awareness for the need to stop the killing of cats – far more cats are killed in shelters than dogs – and to protect the wildlife from predation by cats. The Aussies though have distorted views on wildlife predation by cats in my opinion. But they want to do something about irresponsible cat caretaking.
In the USA one story concerns a women who had 150 cats in her home (in 2004) and neighbors complained about the smell of urine leaking out of the place in a current problem (2011)! Sixty of the cats were deliberately killed. The judge ordered her to keep no more than three cats and to deodorize her home. I think a good cleaning would have been the better order.
The other USA story concerns shelters managed by Humane Society of Naples and Collier County Domestic Animal Services. They are inundated with kittens and cats at this time (June 2011). It is the breeding season. Elisa has commented on this.
Is it time to consider introducing laws to make it obligatory to spay and neuter and register domestic cats in the USA?
Upside: Better cat caretaking. Less sick and ill cats badly cared for. Less feral cats in the long term. Gradual removal of the feral cat problem.
Downside: How do you do this? Can it be enforced? Is there a will to do it? Will people resist on the basis that it takes away basic freedoms to choose?
What do you think?