Woman fights to keep her 30 cats

NICCI MCDOUGALL AND LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 07/06/2014

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An Invercargill woman fighting in court to keep her cats has been granted continued name suppression.

The woman, who is facing charges of failing to reduce the number of animals and creating a nuisance under the Health Act 1956, appeared before Judge Michael Turner in the Invercargill District Court yesterday.

She was remanded to appear in court again on Wednesday. It is alleged she owns more than 30 cats. The woman's lawyer, Simon Claver, said she wished to enter a not guilty plea and the judge said it would be dealt with next week.

Under new bylaws introduced by the Invercargill City Council, the woman must reduce the number of cats she has to three.

Ahead of yesterday's court appearance, the Invercargill City Council said it had received two further complaints about households with a lot of cats.

City council environmental health manager John Youngson said the council had been made aware of a woman in south Invercargill who had 16 cats and another Tweed St household about which there were concerns over stray cats.

"I have been told it [the house] was immaculate, but it's the impact the cats have on the neighbours that's the issue."

Environmental health team leader Muriel Rusike said the council had visited the property but had yet to determine if the cats were a problem.

Rusike said the bylaw only came into affect if a nuisance was created, because some people might have more than three cats that did not cause any problems. 

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