New pet plan

The City of Melbourne is implementing an amended Domestic Animal Management Plan for 2017-2021, which aims to create more dog off-leash parks and stricter cat management and pet waste collection.

At the October 17 Future Melbourne Committee meeting, councillors unanimously endorsed the new plan, saying it would create a more harmonious environment for pets.

Community feedback on the management plan shows a strong demand for more dog off-leash areas within walking distance of dog owners.

“The plan finds a balance between managing the pets from a nuisance perspective and making sure that we encourage and maintain the positive outcomes that pet ownership in our city provides,” Cr Cathy Oke said.

“In particular I know that there’s reference to reviewing the opportunity for dog off-leash areas and acknowledging these are important areas for the community to connect,” she said.

The plan also acknowledges the demand for the council to provide dog poo bag dispensers in all parks.

A council officer said the City of Melbourne was investing $80,000 a year on disposable dog poo bags around parks but the council would try to provide a more sustainable option for owners to pick after their dog by 2019.

The council will also introduce proactive cat trapping programs to reduce the number of stray cats and responding to complaints about trespassing cats.

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