in Germany, cats confined to protect a species of bird

The inhabitants of Walldorf, in Baden-Württemberg in Germany, must now confine their cats! The local district administration wants to protect the crested lark, an endangered bird species that lives in this region near the Rhine (a region between Heidelberg and Karlsruhe).

Since May 14 and until August 31, in the southern districts of the municipality of Walldorf the owners of cats can’t let them out anymore. In this town of 15,000 inhabitants, letting your cat out now means risking a fine of 500 euros.

An “unspeakable” and simplistic decision

And this decision of the district administration in charge of Agriculture and the Environment is not at all unanimous. The town hall has already expressed its skepticism. Critics also fuse on social networks. And the president of the local animal rights association even speaks of a decision “unnamable” and simplistic. “This unspeakable general decree and the circumstances that accompany it occupy me day and night, arrests of worried cat owners, insults from people who approve of the measure, arrests of the media”, he said in a press release sent to France Bleu Alsace. He adds that he is desperately trying to find a solution by consulting biologists, animal rights specialistsadministrative experts.

“It is difficult to manage, especially since we, as an association for the protection of animals, are very far from what the authorities are proposing. They are looking for the simplest solution: lock up, capture, slaughter ( magpies) For me, none of these solutions are smart“, he continues.

GPS Cats

By confining the cats, the local administration wants, in fact, to protect three pairs of crested larks seen in the surroundings. A small, endangered bird that nests on the ground and is therefore vulnerable to attack by predators. Except that many residents find the measure disproportionate. Cat owners will have to leave them locked up for three months. They can’t get them out only with a 2 meter leash or equipped with a GPS. And the operation will be renewed each spring until 2025.

In France too, the League for the Protection of Birds is doubtful. “It is a species that likes abandoned environments, transition zones between cultures and the city, wastelands, and therefore what is important for this species is to restore its habitat.“explains Cathy Zell in charge of mission at the LPO Alsace. “So it is by restoring abandoned areas, wastelands that we can really bring a plus for the species.” she says.

In Germany, appeals could well be filed in the days to come in an attempt to obtain a deconfinement Walldorf cats.

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