Supporters of cat licensing have suffered another defeat.
City Council, in a tie vote of 8-8, has narrowly rejected licenses of $20 for cats that have been spayed or neutered and $45 for cats that are not fixed. The planning committee initially voted 5-to-3 against the idea.
An irate Ward 4 Councillor Sam Merulla says the problems resulting from Hamilton’s feral cat overpopulation are a “disgrace”.
He cites cats that are “leaving their feces in gardens and becoming a nuisance in neighbourhoods”. By not taking action on licensing, he accuses colleagues of “being part of a continuing problem”.
Ward 1’s Aidan Johnson says he was unable to support the proposal due to a lack of clarity over how licensing fees would be used to address the feral cat problem. He insists more time is needed to “ripen and develop the licensing plan”.
Director of Licensing Ken Leendertsee says dealing with stray cats costs the city $1 million per year.