IT was a demonstration of people power that gave Blacktown councillors no option other than to adopt immediate compulsory desexing of animals sold from its pound.
As the Sun reported last week, Labor councillors were set to push through an alternate voluntary policy that would have seen only a fraction of the nearly-8000 cats and dogs impounded each year desexed.
Councillors said they were inundated with emails from residents and animal welfare advocates all over Australia calling for compulsory desexing.
Th e policy was passed unanimously and a packed gallery broke into elated applause.
Tim Vasudeva from the Animal Welfare League said he was relieved to see the opposing Labor councillors change their minds on the issue.
Mr Vasudeva pledged that the council would not be left on its own to implement to laborious task.
‘‘We will be there to offer veterinary support,’’ he said.
‘‘When you look at the volume of animals coming through (the pound), it’s not going to be an easy process.’’
Mr Vasudeva said the Animal Welfare League, RSPCA and local vets would help with a strategy to operate on the thousands of cats and dogs each year.
Vineyard veterinarian Robert Zammitt lobbied the council to introduce the compulsory policy.
He believed it would lead to a dramatic reduction in the number of animals being destroyed and offered his support.
‘‘Everyone hates the idea of putting healthy animals to sleep,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ll do whatever it takes to to help get this policy of the ground.’’