The petition, launched in spring 2016 by the animal welfare organizations Network for Animal Protection (NetAP) and the Stiftung für das Tier im Recht (TIR), has received broad support from animal welfare circles and the general public. Support for the demand to make the neutering of outdoor cats mandatory for animal owners came from over 150 animal welfare organizations and was signed by 115'567 individuals. It will be handed over to parliament in Berne today.
Contrary to popular belief, there is a stray animal problem in Switzerland: the number of stray cats living here is between 100'000 and 300'000. One of the main reasons for this is that cat owners, including farmers, refuse to neuter their outdoor cats, whereupon these animals breed with stray or other unneutered cats. The problem persists despite the fact that the Animal Welfare Ordinance (AWO) requires that animal owners do everything reasonably possible to prevent their animals from reproducing excessively (article 25 paragraph 4 of the AWO). However, it is nearly impossible to keep the mating behavior of outdoor cats under control.