New animal ordinance close to completion

Thursday, March 10, 2011 | 9:01 p.m. CST; updated 6:42 p.m. CDT, Saturday, April 9, 2011

COLUMBIA — After 18 months of discussion, an ordinance requiring feral cat caretakers to apply for a permit is close to being completed.

The Columbia Board of Health on Thursday discussed public comments from its Feb. 10 meeting, where it considered charging feral cat caretakers $25 for a permit and restricting how owners can tether their dogs.

The board voted to keep most of the provisions in the proposed ordinance but is looking into whether to allow feral cat caretakers to receive a permit if they do not agree to test and vaccinate the cats for feline leukemia, Stephanie Browning of the Health Department said.

The Board of Health will submit a final draft of the animal control ordinance to the City Council after it consults two veterinarians on feline leukemia, board member Ilalyn Irwin said.

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