Cats could end up being banned from going outside under radical new laws which are being looked into by authorities and officials in Western Australia. It is also reported that dogs could be seized for barking too loudly if the new laws are approved.
The state government is reviewing its current legislation given the increase in the number of stray and feral cats while complaints about dogs barking have also seen a spike.
Around 25 people are reportedly taken to Perth hospitals for bites every week, as reported by local media outlets. The WA Rangers Association (WARA) is looking to silence loud barking dogs and also enforce stricter penalties for owners of dogs that attack other people.
The changes proposed to the Cat Act could result in cats being banned from going outside at night or being allowed to step outdoors at all.
Owners of dogs who attack people or animals will be handed a max fine of $10,000 (£5,400) or could also be jailed for one year for more serious incidents under the present law.
However, a review of penalties discovered that they weren't high enough "to make some people comply with their responsibilities of owning a dog."
The WARA president Dene Lawrence shared with Perth Now, "Greater enforcement powers to authorized officers and further amendments to dog barking offenses are also required."
Rangers are demanding a proper system to check for the history of pets after dogs which have previously attacked were taken to a foster care or were re-homed.
Cat Haven chief executive Roz Robinson shared that they were in favor of cats being completely contained at home. He told 9News, "For their health, it's much better. They live a longer and happier life."
It was also reported that greyhounds could go muzzle free as part of the new laws.
Toni Donelly from Greyhound Adoptions WA shared that muzzles hamper the breed from being adopted. "Some people don't like friends and neighbors seeing them with the muzzled dog. It can be an impediment."
The state has been given until August 4 to give feedback on the new laws which could potentially be passed in parliament later in the year.