An abandoned cat in the animal shelter of SPA (society for animal protection) in Gennevilliers, … [+] Paris, on August 13, 2019.
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The Times reported that Willy Schraen, 50, head of the National Federation of Hunters (Fédération Nationale des Chasseurs, FNC) has made a call for cats to be caged if they strayed further than 300 meters (984 feet) from home, whilst also acknowledging that his scheme wouldn’t be popular.
He told a shooting news website that cats were destroying biodiversity and that there were too many in France. He said, “it’s an extremely predatory animal . . . The cat kills far more animals than hunters. They bring home mice, sometimes a rat and sometimes a little hare and three little partridges, a little water hen.” He added, “it never ends, and that is the problem with cats.”
Chino, a 2 year-old European cat, poses in the animal shelter of a SPA (society for animal … [+] protection) in Gennevilliers.
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The idea has not been welcome news to cat lovers–more than 73,000 people have signed a petition to protect cats from Willy Schraen.
In response, his spokesperson has clarified that the FNC would want cats to be humanely caged and then handed over to cat shelters.
Rio, a 3 year-old Siamese cat, poses in the animal shelter of a SPA (society for animal protection) … [+] in Gennevilliers, Paris
According to BFM TV, it is not the first time that calls have been made to limit cats’ impact on biodiversity. Normally, the Bird Protection League (La ligue de Protection des Oiseaux, LPO) is in opposition to the FNC, but in 2017 it made a call to protect smaller creatures from cats.
The LPO claimed that in 2017, more than 11% of animals accommodated in its rescue centers were injured by cats: 84% were birds and 16% were mammals or reptiles. They called for more owners to sterilise their cats (to reduce the number of stray cats populated in the wild), to provide a varied diet (so they had less need to hunt) and to ensure more gardens were enclosed.