Policy on Domestic Dogs & Cats

Policy on Domestic Dogs & Cats

The following policy on Domestic Dogs and Cats impacting on the Nature Reserve was first approved by the Environmental Management Committee on 30 January 2009, and updated in October 2012.
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It is widely known and accepted that domestic dogs and cats do have an impact on natural areas. As the Milnerton Racecourse Section of the Table Bay Nature Reserve is a small, closed and isolated system the impact by domestic animals is intensified considerably.
The following are some of the recognised impacts caused by domestic animals in closed natural systems. This list is not exhaustive, but rather highlights the greatest impacts:
Disturbance of nesting areas and breeding patterns of birds and small mammals;
Reduced recruitment from breeding by increasing mortality rates both directly and indirectly, thereby lowering breeding success;
Smaller animals are chased from the reserve into roads and gardens;
Domestic animals supplement existing natural predators, this may lead to over-predation of small mammals in the reserve;
Increased stress on animals occurring in natural areas can lead to greater susceptibility to pathogens and parasites present in such areas that otherwise would be of little consequence;
Increased possibility of introducing new pathogens and parasites into reserves;
Migrant bird species that would normally utilize the area can be discouraged from frequenting the area.

Management Policy

The Operational Environmental Management Plan (OEMP) has been compiled to fulfill a condition of approval for the establishment of Royal Ascot by the City of Cape Town and the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning. Adherence to the OEMP is therefore a legal obligation for all residents of Royal Ascot.
Domestic animals in the nature reserve are addressed by the OEMP in Volume 1: Section 2.12.e:
Domestic animals may not enter the Milnerton Racecourse Nature Reserve.
In the event of non-compliance, the OEMP makes provision for the Environmental Management Committee (EMC), to issue written warnings as well as fines for such non-compliance. The EMC can thus fine residents whose pets enter the nature reserve.
What You Can Do
Place a collar with a bell on your cat, so prey animals are forewarned of their presence.
Walk your dog on a lead in public roads and parks and keep them out of the Reserve.
Sterilize cats, this tends to make them more house bound.
Take reasonable steps to ensure your pet stays within your property.
Removal of Domestic Animals from the Nature Reserve
The EMC works with the SPCA to address continuing issues. As a last resort, this may lead to the initiating of a humane cat trapping project in co-operation with the SPCA. The EMC will also make use of the City’s “Animals Control By-Law” to achieve the objectives of the OEMP.