Waldorf (dpa/lsw) – A nationwide curfew for cats in Waldorf is calling for action and species and animal rights activists. Rhein Neckar County’s action to protect the endangered crowned lark is drastic: Cats are not allowed to roam the breeding area in the south of the city from April to August for the next three years – unless they are attacked with a short leash or clearly not moving In areas that could pose a risk to rare birds. So far, four objections to the general decree have been received by the district office in the Rhine-Neckar region, which will be referred to the Regional Council for a decision.
A fine of 50,000 euros
The current reason for the ban on free-roaming cats is to protect three breeding pairs of songbirds, which the Nature Conservancy Naboo estimates between 1,700 and 2,700 specimens. If a brown-haired animal with a light chest and a clever coat is caught by four-legged fugitive friends, the owners face a hefty fine of up to 50,000 euros. After all, anyone whose cat escapes closure must pay a fine of 500 euros.
The lark, whose height reaches 19 cm, is ranked in the red lists of Baden-Württemberg and in Germany in the highest category in terms of endangerment. In the state of Baden-Württemberg, there are still 60 regions whose breeding operations are concentrated in the area between Waghäusel, Walldorf and Ketsch in the north of Baden. “Prohibiting the release of cats into the danger zone for the duration that they would significantly increase the risk of killing crowned larks is proportionate,” the justification for the controversial order read. Request more cases, the crowned lark is endangered, cats pose a particular danger to them and the measures are appropriate, necessary and appropriate.
Tierschutzbund: Protecting species is not at the expense of other animals
Hester Bommering, a chancellor at the German Animal Welfare Association, sees things differently: “This measure is completely disproportionate, illegal and cruel to animals.” Protecting the species is an important concern, but it should not be at the expense of other animals. The Animal Welfare Act treats all animals equally. “Cats have to pay for the fact that there is less and less space and food for the rare birds.” Regarding construction work near the Waldorf breeding area, Boomrining adds: “People need to take a good look at themselves.” Six pairs. They raised their young there. Unlike the district office, it does not see all the tools exhausted. “This is how cat fencing can be erected around sensitive breeding areas.”
Cats are not the only threat
Naboo bird expert Martin Rommler takes on the protection aspect of the species: “A small animal captured by a cat could be the nail in the coffin of a dying population.” Their eggs hatch. They are easy prey for cats. But this is only part of the threat, along with intensive farming, land sealing, the death of insects and pesticides, as well as foxes and fish.
Pommerening cares about the welfare of cats. If their need for freedom is suppressed, it can lead to aggressive or depressive behavior. “They can get unclean, especially if they don’t know the litter box, urinate in the apartment and scratch furniture and carpets.” The guild lady asks: “And who is responsible for this damage?” As recommended by the district office, among other things, take their cats to an animal shelter during the breeding season.
After receiving the objections to the extraordinary general ordinance, the regional council, as the supreme authority for nature conservation, expects to make a decision within a period of at least four to six weeks – evaluation is not easy.