Banyule City Council is located approximately 19km in the North West region from the Melbourne CBD. Banyule City Council has been running a completely free cat desexing program, including microchipping and first-year registration, since 2013. The program addresses any over-population and high euthanasia rates among cats in the City of Banyule. The success of this strategy hinges on building trust with residents, many of whom had fed cats for years. They have now become owners of de-sexed, micro-chipped, and registered cats. Council has de-sexed 780 cats for free to date.
The judges felt that Banyule’s Cat desexing program exemplified community outreach by removing barriers that often prevent community engagement in similar programs. Effective cat management is a challenge for Local Councils nationally, and Banyule has showcased what can be achieved on a small budget with a holistic community-based approach.