SA councils with ‘limited’ powers to enforce cat controls as Mayor calls for statewide approach


A tougher approach to managing pest and feral cats is still up to two years away, South Australia’s Environment Minister says, as a southern Adelaide council warned it had limited provisions to enforce by-laws.

Councils across the Greater Adelaide region have been lowering their tolerance to roaming cats, with several planning or introducing by-laws that impose curfews and confinement rules.

The by-laws are aimed at better protecting native animals from predatory behaviour and preventing nuisance cats from entering other people’s yards and urinating on property.

“Cats are a major conservation problem, given the number of native species they attack and kill every single day, when they are wandering at large,” Environment Minister David Speirs told ABC Radio Adelaide.

But he said SA’s Dog and Cat Management Act was not up for legislative review for about 18 months and urged councils to create their own by-laws in the meantime.

“Anything this State Government does could be 18 months to two years away, so councils could quite easily get on with this now,” Mr Speirs said.

A feral cat in an Adelaide backyard.(Supplied: SJ)

Enforcement questions

But City of Onkaparinga Mayor Erin Thompson said, while a council could implement by-laws under the act, it did not include an “offence for a cat wandering at large”.

“And subsequently, the act doesn’t contemplate the detention of owned cats, their return, or disposal.”

She said the Dog and Cat Management Board was resourced by 68 councils — her own contributed $320,000 in the past financial year — and that should be responded to “centrally with a state-wide approach to cat management”.

Councils reined in

The City of Marion wants to impose an overnight cat curfew, although its proposal to allow for lawfully trapped cats to be destroyed if they were not claimed with 72 hours was knocked back by Parliament’s Legislative Review Committee (LRC) earlier this year.

The Town of Gawler Council has sought feedback on a similar by-law, which would also allow for the seizure, detention, and destruction (by an authorised person) of cats caught wandering at large.

Campbelltown City Council had sought to fix permittable wandering-at-large times for cats, which was disallowed by the LRC, and was now pursuing a full confinement order from January 2024.

The Adelaide Hills Council has successfully adopted a by-law that will require domestic cats to be kept at home at all times from January 1, 2022, unless they are on a harness or a leash.

Mount Barker District Council has imposed a night-time curfew on cats between 8:00pm and 7:00am, while multiple councils, including the City of Mitcham, have introduced by-laws that restrict ownership to just two de-sexed cats per property.

Mr Speirs said it would be of “benefit to have statewide laws in many things councils have the power to create by-laws on”.

“There is nothing to stop councils to get on and create these by-laws,” he said.

“Councils can do this, and should be doing this.”

Lengthy delays

Ms Thompson said “unified action and the technical expertise” of the board was required now.

“The Minister says this shouldn’t stop councils making by-laws, however, the by-law making process takes at least 12 months — [it was] two years for the City of Marion before it was disallowed,” she said.

“[It] will cost between $18,000 to $28,000 and would in all likelihood become obsolete once the act is amended.”

The City of Onkaparinga’s position follows an attack blamed on a feral cat at the Minton Farm Native Animal Rescue Centre, where an animal climbed into a fox-proof electrified area and killed some ducks.

The centre’s Bev Langley said they had been enduring cat attacks on native animals every year for nearly three decades, but it had escalated to the point where it was “absolutely unsustainable”.

“Last week we got eight rescues in, and six of them were from domestic cat attacks,” she said.

“If I can’t keep them safe in a fox-proofed area from cats, what is the point of releasing them just for cats to kill?”



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Orange County, Calif., sheriff says deputies won’t enforce Gov. Newsom’s lockdown order


The Orange County sheriff in California said Saturday his department would not be enforcing Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new restrictive coronavirus lockdown order, which is set to take effect Sunday in the southern part of the state as well as the San Joaquin Valley, south of Sacramento. 

The governor warned last week that the order, which bans indoor dining at restaurants and closes bars and hair salons, would trigger regionally when any section of the state falls below 15% intensive care unit-capacity in hospitals.

“Compliance with health orders is a matter of personal responsibility and not a matter of law enforcement,” Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said in a statement posted on Twitter. “The Orange County Sheriff’s Department will remain consistent in our approach.”

LOS ANGELES COUNTY PROTEST OF DINING BAN TARGETS SUPERVISOR WHO VOTED FOR IT

Barnes’ statement said deputies will not respond solely to enforce mask-wearing, social distancing or social gathering restrictions. “Deputies will respond to calls for potential criminal behavior and for the protection of life and property.”

“To put the onus on law enforcement to enforce these orders against law-abiding citizens who are already struggling through difficult circumstances, while at the same time criticizing law enforcement and taking away our tools to do our jobs is both contradictory and disingenuous,” he wrote. 

SAN MATEO COUNTY BREAKS WITH NEWSOM, WON’T IMPOSE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER 

He said residents should follow health recommendations to keep from spreading the virus and policymakers shouldn’t “penalize residents for earning a livelihood, safeguarding their mental health, or enjoying our most cherished freedoms.”

The statement comes soon after San Mateo County near San Francisco said it would not immediately implement the stay-at-home order. 

San Mateo has not fallen below 15% capacity but could by the middle of the month.

The county said on Thursday that instead, it will work with the community and businesses to enforce the state’s strictest existing restrictions under its “purple tier” category, diverging from other Bay Area counties that decided to implement the order as a precaution. 

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“We know our residents have sacrificed and patience is growing thin, but we need you to know that you have the power to curb the spread and preserve hospital capacity for those who will need care in the coming weeks. We can get through this together if each of us takes action now to social distance, wear face coverings and avoid gatherings,” County Manager Michael Callagy said.



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LNP’s Queensland election pitch to enforce Townsville youth curfew branded ‘a dog pound for kids’ by Katter’s Australian Party


Young people in Townsville and Cairns would be subject to curfews and parents fined $250 if their unaccompanied children are found out at night “without a reasonable excuse” under an LNP election pledge that advocates say could breach the UN convention.

Speaking in the key battleground of Townsville on day 16 of the campaign, Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington declared an LNP government would “fix the juvenile crime problem” in the two cities by trialling an 8:00pm curfew for children aged 14 and under, and a 10:00pm curfew for 15 to 17-year-olds.

Under the plan, police would be given powers to take unsupervised youths off the streets and place them in refuges for an undetermined period.

“This is about making sure that parents become responsible for their children,” Ms Frecklington said.

“If you are on the streets doing the wrong thing, then you will be taken off the streets so the community is kept safe.”

Ms Frecklington said parents would also be fined $250 each time the young person was picked up by authorities.

The policy is similar to an LNP proposal at the 2017 state election to trial a 10:00pm curfew on children under 16 in Townsville.

‘A little bit ludicrous’

But Katter’s Australian Party MP Nick Dametto said today’s curfew announcement would turn police into “pound officers”.

“Picking kids up off the street and taking them to a designated location until their parents pick them up where they’ll give them a fine sounds like we’re setting up a dog pound for kids,” Mr Dametto said.

“The idea of getting kids off the street, fully support that — but there needs to be more context around this.

Katter party MP Nick Dametto says police would become “pound officers”.(Supplied)

“What about young Sarah who’s finished working across the road at a cafe walking home at 11 o’clock at night — what is her excuse?

“Are you going to set up a police special ops team just to look after stray kids? This seems a little bit ludicrous.”

Ms Frecklington said “common sense would prevail” among police officers, saying if a child was already headed home they would be allowed to do so.

‘Prevent childhood trauma first’

Amnesty International Australia’s campaigner Joel Mackay said the policy potentially breached Australia’s commitment to international law, including the United Nations convention on rights of the child.

“Curfews stigmatise, victimise and criminalise young people,” he said.

“They don’t do anything to bring down crime rates, all they do is entrench the marginalisation of children in our community.

“This proposal will not work.”

Act for Kids’ CEO Katrina Lines said young people involved with the youth justice system are often survivors of childhood trauma due to physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect.

“We must treat and prevent childhood trauma first before any youth curfews are likely to see success in reducing the rate of child crime,” she said.

‘Cheap shot aimed at poor people’

Former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner Mick Gooda described the LNP’s proposal as a “cheap shot aimed at poor people”.

“It’s pandering to a bunch of law and order merchants,” he said.

“[The fines] will only impoverish more people, continuing the cycle.

“They should talk to the experts … and fund after-hours services [to support young people].”

PeakCare executive director Lindsay Wegener said residents in Townsville and Cairns deserved the right to feel safe from crime, but parents should be helped rather than punished.

A group of people on the streets with signs calling for the youth justice act to be scrapped
Youth crime has become a serious community concern in northern Queensland.(Facebook: Take Back Townsville)

“Sometimes parents are struggling to care for their children and struggling to ensure they stay at home,” he said.

He also believed the policy would disproportionately affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families.

“Most young people who engage in youth crime also have child protection needs. This will simply exacerbate the kind of issues of concern that we have about the safety of those young people,” Mr Wegener said.

“If there is tension in the relationship between parents and young people, it’s certainly not going to ease that tension if their parents are being fined $250.”

‘It’s just got to stop’

Ms Frecklington said she made no apologies for being “tough on crime” and highlighted an incident where a cafe was held up by an 11-year-old with a knife.

“An 11-year-old — what is he doing on the streets at that time at night? He’s got to be back at home, safely tucked into bed,” she said.

“It is a terrible indictment when every time I come to Townsville, I have to meet with another community member who has had their house broken into, their car flogged … it’s just got to stop.”

In July, Ms Frecklington released the LNP’s “comprehensive plan to crack down on youth crime”, including its “three strikes and you’re out” policy aimed at forcing courts to sentence young people to youth detention if convicted of a third office.

LNP candidate for Mundingburra, Glenn Doyle, said he and his police colleagues were frustrated and needed laws tightened in relation to youth crime.

At a separate press conference in north Queensland, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the curfew plan “doesn’t really cut the mustard”.

She announced a promise to build a second Bruce Highway stretching from Charters Towers to Mungindi on the NSW border to create jobs and divert freight trucks, if Labor was re-elected.



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NAICOM moves to enforce compulsory insurance of public buildings


To drive the enforcement of the compulsory insurance of public buildings across the country, The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) in Abuja has inaugurated a technical committee.

The committee was inaugurated by NAICOM’s Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Mohammed Kari, and it has membership drawn from NAICOM, the Federal Fire Service (FFS) from all the zones and the Nigeria Insurance Association (NIA).

But the steering committee is made up of the Commissioner for Insurance, the Controller-General of the Federal Fire Service and the Director-General of the NIA.

Speaking at the committee’s inauguration, Mr. Kari said it was the responsibility of the committee to advise the steering committee on how public building funds would be effectively and efficiently disbursed in the country.

Represented by the Deputy Commissioner for Insurance, Technical, Mr Thomas Sunday, Kari sad that NAICOM, under the National Insurance Act 2003, had the responsibility of ensuring that public buildings and buildings under construction were insured.

“By public buildings, we mean all schools, hospitals, hotels and offices, and they have the responsibility to show evidence that they have complied with Section 65 of the Insurance Act 2003,’’ he said.

“We have the responsibility for collecting of funds, monitoring and also disbursing the funds for the purpose of improving fire activities in Nigeria.

“0.25 per cent of premium collected with respect to public buildings are supposed to be accumulated in the fire funds. But over time, these funds have not been forthcoming because the process for collection is not put in place,” he said.

He said that some of the funds would be used for the purchase of vehicles for inspection, investigation and also for the purpose of publicity.

The commissioner said that about N78 million had already been accumulated in the funds, adding that a template had been given to the market that would ensure proper enforcement for collection of more funds.

[Daily Trust]





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Police kept busy trying to enforce new rules on illegal gatherings 


West Midlands Police said early on Sunday it had dealt with about 90 reports from the public about possible breaches of restrictions “but we’ve not had to use our enforcement powers”.

The force added: “Tonight’s been dominated by reports of house parties, rather than the really big gatherings we’ve seen earlier in recent weeks.”

West Yorkshire Police said a man was arrested after DJing at a street party on Wepener Mount, Harehills, while five other people at the gathering were fined.

Superintendent Chris Bowen said: “We hope people will recognise the ongoing risks of holding or taking part in events such as this but where intervention is needed, we will fine people and make arrests.”

The new measures also mean people not wearing masks and participants in unlawful gatherings can be fined starting at £100, doubling for each repeat offence up to a maximum of £3,200.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has defended the legislation, saying it represents a crackdown on “the most serious breaches of social distancing restrictions”.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, she said: “We will not allow this breathtakingly selfish behaviour from a senseless minority to jeopardise the progress we have made together.”

Metropolitan Police Federation chairman Ken Marsh, however, warned the legislation will mean “absolutely nothing” for enforcement in London.

He told the PA news agency: “It could be good for areas outside London, but it means absolutely nothing to us here,” he said.

“People just set up a music box in the middle of the street and say ‘it’s not mine’, it’s utter nonsense.”

He called for clearer legislation which would allow officers to “be more forceful clearing the area immediately, close the area down, the Government need more forceful wording around groups of people gathering”.

But a police chief has argued confusion over the guidelines is being used by some as an “excuse” to break the rules.

Andy Rhodes, Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary, said there was a “world of difference” between people acting sensibly and others who were “flagrantly” ignoring the rules.



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Vice President Pence: Biden to enforce far-left, anti-American agenda


Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Tankcraft Corporation Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, in Darien, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

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UPDATED 6:25 PM PT – Wednesday, August 19, 2020

While speaking in Wisconsin this week, Vice President Mike Pence criticized Joe Biden for campaigning virtually throughout this year’s electoral season. On Wednesday, the vice president pointed out Biden hasn’t been to the state since at least 2012, yet he somehow hopes to win over the state’s voters.

“You know, I heard on the way here that Joe Biden hasn’t actually been to Wisconsin in 659 days,” he said.

The vice president claimed Biden wants to increase taxes for all Americans by twice as much as Hillary Clinton had proposed back in 2016.

Pence also suggested his predecessor is endorsing dangerous, far-left ideas.

“The president has always said he’ll see what happens and make a determination in the aftermath. It’s the same thing he said last November. He wants a free election, a fair election. He wants confidence in the results of the election, particularly when you have states like Nevada doing mass mail-out voting to their voting rolls. When they tried this in the primary, it was a massive failure. Ballots were piled up in trash cans, ballots were pinned to apartment dart boards. With that being the system, the president wants to take a hard look at this and make sure that these are fair election results and not subject to fraud.” – Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States

The Trump administration has become increasingly concerned over the reliability of the mail-in voting system ahead of November’s election.

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Melbourne Storm enforce social distancing at Sunshine Coast game


Stringent COVID-safe measures will continue to be enforced at the Melbourne Storm’s Sunshine Coast home games after temporary seating appeased social distancing fears.

It paid off, with the Storm clinching a 41-10 win over the Canterbury Bulldogs.

One week after fans crowded together on the council-owned stadium’s eastern hill, the capacity was further cut to just 4134, down from previous caps of 6000 and just over a third of the stadium’s usual capacity of 12,000.

Temporary seating specifically designed for hills and zoning was in place on the hill at Saturday’s match against the Bulldogs, after a week-long collaboration between council, police and health authorities.

More than 1000 tickets were refunded in the days prior to the match, to ensure social distancing and reduced capacity could be enforced.

Sunshine Coast Council’s manager of sport and community venues Grantley Switzer said the practices would continue to be enforced.

“The eastern and southern hills will now have designated seating that consists of individual chairs with adequate social distancing and personal space between each group of ticket holders,” Mr Switzer said.

“The northern hill will not have designated seating however will have patronage numbers that represents one person per four square metres.

“Despite this significant reduction in crowd numbers, staff and security numbers will remain the same as last week and we have engaged additional Queensland Police Service (QPS) staff to attend on Saturday to enforce social distancing protocols.

“We appreciate the advice and support provided by Queensland Health, Queensland Police Service, the NRL and Melbourne Storm and thank them for working quickly and in partnership with us to help deliver a safe outcome for footy fans this weekend.

“We also thank football fans for their patience and understanding.”

Storm CEO Dave Donaghy said he apologised to fans who weren’t able to attend the event, but reinforced the health and safety of Queenslanders being of the utmost importance.

“We thank the stadium and Queensland Health for the way in which they have been able to work to find a solution that gives as many fans as possible the chance to watch our matches in a safe and enjoyable way,” he said.

More than 1000 refunds were issued to people who took up voluntary ‘opt-out’ refunds, plus those who purchased tickets last.



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Singapore to make incoming travellers wear electronic tags to enforce quarantine

Singapore will make some incoming travellers don an electronic monitoring product to assure that they comply with coronavirus quarantines as the town-condition steadily reopens its borders, authorities claimed on Monday.

From 11 August, the equipment will be presented to incoming travellers, including citizens and inhabitants, from a pick team of countries who will be allowed to isolate at house alternatively than at a condition-appointed facility.

Very similar measures utilizing electronic wristbands to track peoples’ movements in the course of quarantine have been utilized in Hong Kong and South Korea.

Travellers to Singapore are needed to activate the unit, which use GPS and Bluetooth alerts, upon achieving their house and will obtain notifications on the gadget which they have to acknowledge.

Any attempt to depart house or tamper with the system will bring about an warn to the authorities.

Hong Kong in March launched a plan for incoming travellers to use a slim digital wristband, comparable to a tag worn by hospital clients, to implement quarantines for arriving travellers. South Korea has also applied these kinds of wristbands connected to smartphone applications for individuals who violate quarantine.

Singapore, which has not presented facts on what the device will seem like, said in a statement that it will not store any personal info and does not have any voice or movie recording perform.

Those aged 12 and down below will not have to dress in the devices.

The town-state, which is also scheduling to give all people a wearable virus-tracing dongle, has hard punishments for breach of its quarantine and social distancing policies.

Under the Infectious Diseases Act, punishments can be fines of up to S$10,000 ($7,272) or imprisonment of up to six months, or equally. It has also revoked the get the job done passes of foreigners who flouted the regulations.

Singapore has claimed 52,825 coronavirus bacterial infections, mostly owing to mass outbreaks in cramped migrant workers dormitories, but imported circumstances have been creeping up in recent days.

Men and women in Australia should stay at the very least 1.5 metres absent from many others. Examine your state’s constraints on accumulating limits.

If you are suffering from chilly or flu symptoms, stay dwelling and prepare a take a look at by contacting your physician or get hold of the Coronavirus Wellbeing Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

News and data is accessible in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus  



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Coronavirus latest news: Police, not staff, will enforce face masks in shops


Argentina is trying to solve a medical mystery after 57 sailors were infected with the coronavirus after 35 days at sea, despite the entire crew testing negative before leaving port.

The Echizen Maru fishing trawler returned to port after some of its crew began exhibiting symptoms typical of Covid-19, the health ministry for the southern Tierra del Fuego province said on Monday.

According to the ministry, 57 sailors, out of 61 crew members, were diagnosed with the virus after undergoing a new test. However, all of the crew members had undergone 14 days of mandatory quarantine at a hotel in the city of Ushuaia. Prior to that, they had negative results, the ministry said in a statement.

“It’s hard to establish how this crew was infected, considering that for 35 days, they had no contact with dry land and that supplies were only brought in from the port of Ushuaia,” said Alejandra Alfaro, the director of primary health care in Tierra del Fuego.

A team was examining “the chronology of symptoms in the crew to establish the chronology of contagion,” she said.





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