Bad and Annoying Animal Management Act

Jenesa Jeram
Insights Newsletter
17 March, 2017

Any cat owner will tell you that cats are magnificent and regal creatures, descended from royalty and that they deserve to be treated like nothing less.

Those cat owners are, of course, deluded. Behind the contented purring and affectionate head nudges lies the heart and mind of a killer. A bird killer, to be precise.

Most of us already know that cats are evil. But other animals are just plain loud and smelly.

Thankfully, local government is looking to reduce the things I find annoying, regardless of whether some people bizarrely find them enjoyable. While the Prime Minister has bravely opened the public debate on superannuation, Wellington City Council is opening up the debate on animal bylaws.

Wellington City Council is determined to not only herd in the cats of this great city, but the goats, roosters, alpacas, bees and pigeons as well.

What we need is a comprehensive set of animal planning laws: a Bad and Annoying Animal Management Act (or the BAAAMA, as it will be affectionately known).

First, we should assume that what is good for most people – and particularly children – should be good for everyone. Alpacas are adorable and bring many people joy. We should therefore legislate to have at least one alpaca on every street corner.

Rooster ownership, on the other hand, ought to be zoned. While rooster numbers in Wellington’s urban areas are low, there is a “high probability” they will crow loudly. They are likely to be a nuisance. Not unlike pesky first year students who are also very loud when the rest of the city is trying to sleep. Zone the two groups together, I say.

The council is proposing a ban on feeding animals in public places. That seems entirely reasonable. There is nothing worse than relaxing on the beach next to a bunch of kids feeding their leftover chips to a swarm of seagulls.

By the way, don’t even get me started on those darn pigeons treating the world as their toilet.

Sure, feeding the ducks is a treasured childhood memory for many. But why should the rights and freedoms of future generations get in the way of (excuse the pun) pet peeves? Besides, who could possibly regret a planning policy that has the good intention of protecting our own backyards?

And if there is any disagreement, luckily the council will consider establishing a “resolution pathway” for pet-related dramas.

This piece was in no way influenced by the fact Gareth Morgan’s Opportunities Party is currently on the hunt for candidates. That would be putting the cat amongst the pigeons.

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