Saanich could be joining Victoria in putting cats on leashes while in public places after council asked staff for a report into the issue (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Saanich could join Victoria on cat leashing laws

Council asked staff to study the issue following a report from Coun. Karen Harper

Saanich might be joining other communities with bylaws aimed at controlling cats.

Following a report from Coun. Karen Harper, Saanich staff will review bylaws from other municipalities relating to feline control, and report back on various issues, including enforcement.

Harper stressed that this motion does not aim to change existing bylaws, but getting more information instead that could lead to changes in the future. A feline control bylaw could be part and parcel of measures to protect bio-diversity, she said.

RELATED: Group wants Saanich to lick roaming cat problem

Coun. Nathalie Chambers welcomed this initiative, but also lowered expectations. It might not be easy to get cats on leashes, she said.

Coun. Susan Brice struck a similiar note, in raising questions about whether staff could enforce any future bylaw in signalling that she would oppose any bylaw requiring the leashing of cats. Public awareness and education would be more effective, she said.

RELATED: Leash your cat or face a $150 fine in Victoria

Victoria, for example, requires owners of cats to keep them in their direct control when they — the cats, that is — are in a public setting. This means cats must be either in a kennel or on a leash.

Victoria also bans cats from trespassing on private property without an occupier’s permission, but since cats don’t care for people’s opinions most of the time that means outdoor cats also require leashes.

Victoria passed the bylaw in part to reduce harm that cats can cause to other animals including birds.

READ MORE: Victoria Natural History Society asks district to keep cats under control

The issue appeared on Saanich’s radar following correspondence from Victoria Natural History Society and input from residents, who have organized themselves as Citizens for Responsible Cat Ownership, with several members appearing before council Monday.

While Harper acknowledged them, she said that she has been following this issue for some time, quoting Robert Frost.

“Good fences make good neighbours,” she said.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Non-profit alleges Island Health not interested in holding people accountable for racist acts

Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour writes open letter to racism investigator

Editorial: Not helping the homeless costs money in the long run

Study determined that homeless people with mental illness generate high costs for society

Khalsa Aid Canada helps Port Alberni family after house fire

Family of four has been staying at Redford Motel since July 25

Greater Victoria Point-in-Time count finds more than 1,500 people homeless

Capital Regional District says count should be treated as an underestimate

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Non-venomous ball python missing in Vic West

Snake was reported missing to Victoria police Tuesday morning

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Racism in B.C. healthcare: Deadline for First Nations survey coming up on Aug. 6

Survey comes after hospital staff allegedly played a blood alcohol guessing game

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Multiple Victoria officers injured as long weekend calls lead to violence

Police deploy pepper spray, energy weapon while arresting suspect

Most Read