Coughlan says mandatory micro-chipping goes too far
NEWS RELEASE: 2 August 2016
Mayoral Candidate Jo Coughlan said today that new information shows mandatory micro-chipping is not the answer to managing cats.
It’s likely the Council will have to vote on whether to make micro-chipping of cats mandatory on Thursday, but Jo Coughlan says it appears that councillors have not been presented with all the information needed to make an informed decision.
“I understand that independent legal advice shows the Council would be on very shaky legal ground.
“This is unacceptable. Councillors should not be finding out a few days ahead of a crucial vote that there is no legal basis for micro-chipping cats to protect wildlife.
“It seems the Mayor and a handful of Green councillors have spent significant ratepayer money pursuing a narrow green agenda, when they knew full well that they didn’t have the legal authority to implement their plans.
“As I listened to passionate submissions from both sides of this debate, I was also struck by how this has been handled in a needlessly divisive way.
“We don’t want the issue of cats turning into another Island Bay Cycleway and Living Wage debate. Where ideology is being pursued at the expense of common sense, and the community is being divided in the process.
“I’ve been clear that my policy is to control pests in the region, and I see this as an important goal, however, I recognise the need to work with a range of other organisations – such as the Department of Conservation – in order to achieve it.
“Taking unilateral action that according to independent advice could well expose the council to challenge in the courts is an expensive waste of time and resource,” said Coughlan