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Even cats now have a curfew, pet owners outraged

Cat parents can now face charges and fines as the council in Australia introduced a 24-hour cat curfew.

In a statement of Mayor Lisa Cooper, "when allowed to roam, cats are at a much higher risk of illness and injury."

By nature, cats love to roam but starting this October, cats will be subject to a "24-hour cat curfew" in the City of Knox, Australia. Cat owners who fail to keep their pets at home 24/7 will face hefty charges.

The outraged residents expressed their concerns over the new legislation that requires them to keep their pets on their premises at all times. They said the new law endorsed by an animal advocacy group would certainly "tear away the basic freedom" of their pets.

"Keeping cats within their owners' property also protects wildlife and prevents them causing nuisance for neighbors and their pets," according to Mayor Cooper

On the other hand, the council stated that wandering cats may be picked up and fines will be imposed to its owners. They will be charged $91 for the first offense, which will become $545 for the second or subsequent offenses. 

"To think that I could get charged $500 just because my cat has run across the street is a bit ... it's stressful," resident Madeline White said.

Some residents are calling for an online petition in Change.org stating that the Knox Council has to be more considerate of the well-being and fundamental rights of older cats that will be affected by the 24-hour lockdown. As of writing, the petition has already gained 2446 signatures.

Local environmentalists have also supported the legislation.

"Obviously, the loss of birds and small mammals and lizards by cats is a problem and it would be great to see if it has an effect," Knox Environment Society President Richard Faragher said.

The council's decision is in line with the Domestic Animal Management Plan 2017-2021, wherein it was supported by 85% of surveyed people.

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