CAT BAN? Will this new Aussie town really fight all felines?
CATS should be "banned" from a new suburb in Darwin when it is built.
The call for action comes from the Casuarina Coastal Reserve Landcare group who are arguing the new suburb, which will be set north of Lyons on Lee Point Rd, should ban felines in an effort to protect natural wildlife in the area.
Spokeswoman Deb Hall said the coastal surroundings on three sides of the new suburb provided a perfect place to trial a cat-free suburb.
"To declare the new suburb cat-free would be a significant addition to the environmental credentials of the new suburb," she said.
"There are a lot of suburbs where you can have a cat - how about we make it a selling point that it's a place that's got fantastic wildlife."
Ms Hall said the biggest concern about cats was their hunting.
"Domestic cats eat about a quarter of what they kill, leave about a half of it where it is killed and bring about a quarter of the kill back to their homes," she said.
"In this area, we have multiple endangered animals and species of native birds that we should try to keep safe."
The suburb would not be the first locality in the Territory to be cat-free.
Jabiru, set in Kakadu National Park, is currently cat-free, as is Yulara near Uluru.
There have also been calls for Alice Springs to ban felines. In Canberra, there are a number of containment zones where residents are required to keep their cat indoors at all times.
Despite the plea from the Landcare group, Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis said it would not be possible.
"We can't declare a suburb cat-free, but we can put by-laws in to register a cat," he said. "We're going to see what they're doing in other councils and then we'll figure out what we could do."
But Ms Hall said council bylaws did little to stop cats.
"Council does have some good regulations but they're impossible to enforce," she said.
"Cats are sneaky, they hunt on a 24-hour cycle and this way we could make it better for everyone.
"Even when cats are kept in their owners' yards, native amphibians, mammals, birds and reptiles are likely to stray into what was once their areas and be killed."
A report will be prepared for council to debate later in the year.