Cat owners must take responsibility or face fines

I read with interest some councils’ harsh measures against cats (“Cat Fight Reveals Diversity of Differing Intentions,” January 15).
A documentary a few years ago showed domestic cats roaming up to three miles from their owners at night to seek out and destroy native wildlife. These were not wild cats, but domestic cats.
If owners let their cats roam outside during the day, it should be mandatory for them to wear a collar with a bell. Cats should not be allowed to roam at night and if caught owners should be fined.
Owning a cat or any other animal is not a right. It comes with responsibility. John Nelson, Mudgee

It’s time to stop talking and do something about the 1.7 billion native animals that are killed by cats every year and unfortunately euthanasia is one way to solve the problem as there are too many cats that are killed could be brought to a new home. I’ve called several cat shelters and none have been able to take the adult litter I found. The councils weren’t interested either. The cats stayed free.
Because we see the cat and do not see its slaughter, many choose to protect the cat. We must use our intellect and not just our emotions. Fiona Beattie, Kogarah

Our small reptiles are also particularly susceptible. We’ve always kept our cats indoors, but one day our cat came out the front door. Within minutes she returned with a six inch long lizard hanging from her mouth. Little lizards don’t stand a chance against a cat. Allan Thomas, Lochinvar

Riddles in the classroom

Quality of education is not the only—or even primary—factor in the expensive competition between private and public schools (“Elite Schools Earn Millions,” January 18). With few exceptions, expensive private schools attract only the financially successful and often wealthy families. Students and parents making friends at school—networking by default—means connections for future possibilities. The networks guarantee success for the majority, regardless of their academic performance: 1+1 can be 5 or more if you look beyond mathematics at the social and economic benefits of the petri dish in which our offspring are bred. Rod Cunich, Vaucluse

Twenty schools raised nearly $340 million from parents and alumni over a six-year period. Scots College is “converting its Stevenson Library into a new student center designed to resemble a Scottish baronial palace with a roof terrace”.

Wouldn’t it be nice for the Smith family to support some of those millions to support underprivileged students with a Learning for Life Scholarship or for their Passport Program to get those same underprivileged young people into high school.

Perhaps some of that money could be funneled from those 20 elite private schools to the Smith family. One million of the $340 million would go a long way in helping the Smith family serve these underprivileged young people. Helen Simpson, Curl Curl

Education in Australia has slipped into a kind of parallel universe where public schools, underfunded, understaffed and understaffed, try to cater for every child and where many private schools with great resources and generous staff go to considerable lengths to ensure that they do justice only to a specific cohort. Students who do not fit this pattern for a variety of reasons, such as behavioral problems, mental health issues, autism, learning disabilities, ADHD, are almost always found in government schools.

Education changes lives: it offers opportunities and enables potential to be realised. No child should be disadvantaged. It is time for the current system to be reassessed and for the money to go where it is needed most. Margaret McDonald, Deakin (ACT) Cat owners must take responsibility or face fines

Callan Tansill

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