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Opinion  

Cat licences a waste of time

Bring on the cat herders!

If the SPCA has its way in Vernon, you'll soon need a licence for your pet.

But, hopefully, city council follows the Regional District of Central Okanagan's lead and rejects the idea.

Licensing animals may make sense on paper, but in reality it would be a nightmare. How would the SPCA or bylaw staff enforce such a thing when cats are so hard to corral? It literally would take an army of cat herders.

Really, the whole scheme sounds like nothing more than a cash grab by the SPCA, whose own spokesperson admits the agency could potentially handle cat control in return for a share of licensing revenue.

You can't blame the SPCA for wanting to feather its own nest, but residents aren't exactly beating a path to City Hall, demanding action on a non-existent feline problem.

Dog owners may say it's about time feline fanciers paid up, but dogs are licensed for a reason. When is the last time a cat mauled and disfigured or even killed a person? Or that a cat kept you up all night with its meowing?

Responsible pet owners take care of their animals. It's the irresponsible ones we have to worry about – and they won't bother to buy a licence anyway.

So, what's next? Cat patrols going door to door to see if kitty has her tag? The proposition could cost far more to operate than it would ever bring in. But it would sure justify the SPCA's existence and bring in a steady stream of government funding.

The RDCO rejected a similar proposal in 2010. Since then, no other municipalities have bitten on the idea – and who can blame them?

As Bob Barker used to say on The Price Is Right, help control the pet population. Get your pet spayed or neutered. That's the best advice we've heard yet – and a far sight better than cat wranglers chasing errant felines through the streets.

There's a reason only 23 out of 161 municipalities and 28 regional districts in B.C. require cat registration – it's an unworkable idea.

— News Director Jon Manchester

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