Hamilton’s planning committee has decided that a cat licensing proposal is not up to scratch.
Councillors have voted, 5-to-3, not to act on a staff recommendation that would involve annual licensing fees of $20 for an altered cat and $45 for a unaltered cat, along with the hiring of one full-time employee to oversee and enforce the program.
Staff say some of the revenue could be used to tackle the city’s feral cat problem by supporting spay and neuter clinics.
Director of Licensing Ken Leendertsee adds that they need to change the mindset in the community “that cats are disposable, and if I lose one I can just go on Kijiji and get another”.
Those voting not to support the proposal include Ward 1 Councillor Aidan Johnson who says it is “not good enough”.
He believes they should be looking at microchipping, rather than licensing.
Johnson is also pushing the mantra of “spay, neuter, release” insisting that the staff proposal would not solve Hamilton’s feral cat epidemic. It’s estimated that there are 133 thousand unowned cats roaming the city.
Councillor Doug Conley urged colleagues to accept the licensing plan. He insists they have to “start someplace” rather than always saying there’s a better way.
Flamborough’s Judi Partridge agrees that the recommendations would get us going “in the right direction”.