Woman in court over 26 cats

A WOMAN who had more than 20 cats taken off her Lockyer Valley property by the State Government has claimed she should be compensated for the animals.

In April 2011 government officers raided the property of Elizabeth Alice Verhagen, 53, near Gatton, seizing 26 cats.

On Friday the Ipswich District Court heard an appeal lodged by Verhagen against a Magistrate's decision to uphold the government's decision to seize the felines.

The court heard the cats were taken from Verhagen in 2011 after she failed to provide the then Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation with the names of people she was giving or selling cats to - a claim she denied.

The court heard the animals, 24 of which were kittens, were now in possession of the RSPCA or with foster carers.

Vergahen, who represented herself, told the court she had visited the cats, which she said were worth more than $30,000, but claimed the RSPCA had sold them and the ones they had shown her were not the animals that were taken.

During Friday's hearing the court heard the animals had been kept in cages on Verhagen's property, which she also claimed was untrue.

However, the lawyer for the state government offered to tender photos of Verhagen's property on the day of the raid if necessary.

If Verhagen's appeal was successful she would have been given back the cats, however, Verhagen said she wanted compensation rather than the animals.

"I want the RSPCA to be responsible for what they've done," she said.

"They're showing me cats that aren't mine.

"If they were my cats I would want them back. I should be compensated for these cats."

After a period of discussion between Verhagen and the lawyer acting for the government, the court was told they had reached an in-principle deal for her to forfeit the cats, depending on the agreement of the RSPCA.

The matter was adjourned for a week, with the appeal expected to be dropped, pending the in-principle agreement.



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