M.D. acts on stray cat control

Lakeside Leader

It took quite a lot of wrangling, but M.D. of Lesser Slave River council has finally approved a new bylaw that specifically addresses cat control.

Domestic Animal Control Bylaw 2020-16 covers more than cats, but the gist of it is in the following paragraph from Peace Officer Paul Mulholland’s written report for M.D. council, presented on Aug. 12.

“To deal with nuisance cats and to establish ownership of said animals, the municipality will need to trap, house, feed and handle these animals for the first 72 hours, and at (that) time, be prepared to destroy them as Alberta SPCA Peace Officers have advised that the cat claim rate is historically very low.”

All of that costs money. Mulholland’s estimate was around $7,000 for cages, live traps, equipment and training.

Councillor Darcie Acton wanted to be sure that the bylaw would result in the problems in Canyon Creek (previously reported) being solved.

“I believe so,” said Mulholland. “If you have a problem, we now have a solution.”

A question arose about how much of the peace officer’s time catching and handling cats (or other animals) might take.

Council’s decision on that was to play it by ear and see how it develops. CAO Allan Winarski suggested the extra work might not amount to all that much.

“I’ve been here 17 years and this is the first cat flare-up we’ve had,” he said.

Council approved a motion to spend “up to $10,000” on the project.

Why $10,000 when $7,000 was the estimate?

“We do have to be able to pay for euthanasia,” said Acton.

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