A new council bylaw limiting residential households to 3 cats, is now in force in the Rangitikei District of New Zealand. As reported by TVNZ’s One News, the restriction was proposed after the district council received complaints about noise and odor. But the new bylaw has some cat lovers upset. Owner of 4 cats, William Partridge said, "To make a statutory number I don't think is necessary, quite honestly." Rangitikei council member, Michael Hodder explained, “This is a case of dealing with nuisances. We haven’t instituted a reign of cat inspectors. It’s not like your dog registration.” Mayor Chalky Leary assured Rangitikei residents that the council simply wants the authority to act and said, “We’re not going to count people’s cats. We don’t care how many cats they’ve got. So long as the cats are happy, the neighbors are happy and everybody else is happy.”
One News spoke to a cat lover, breeder Merve Zohs, who agrees with the new rule said, “So much breeding is going on there and they're running loose and people are not bothering to fix the bloody things up, getting them you know neutered and spayed, so you're going to get more problems. It will be like the rabbits.” But even those happy with the law admit that it may not provide the change they would like to see. The Gareth Morgan Foundation has called for a ban of all cats inside the suburb of Karori to protect New Zealand’s native species. Foundation researcher, Jeff Simmons said, "That's why, ultimately, you need to move towards a system of registering, chipping and neutering all cats so that you can actually enforce these things.”
Registered cat shelters and welfare centers, like the ASPCA, are exempt from the new regulation which also outlaws pigs, beehives, and roosters from urban homes and restricts households from keeping any more than 12 chickens.
More information: TVNZ One News