TIR disappointed: National Council rejects mandatory neutering for outdoor cats
In November 2018, National Councillor Doris Fiala (FDP/ZH) submitted a motion in parliament for an obligation to castrate outdoor cats in order to support a petition by the animal protection organizations Network for Animal Protection NetAP and Stiftung für das Tier im Recht (TIR; Foundation for the Animal in the Law). At the end of October, the National Council decided not to follow this motion after the parliament had already rejected the joint petition of NetAP and TIR last year.
November 11, 2020
If cats reproduce excessively, large colonies quickly form in a confined space, which leads to hygiene problems and the spread of diseases. Many animals die in agony due to lack of medical care or food. The uncontrolled reproduction of cats also leads to the deportation of countless unwanted kittens to shelters or to their abandonment. Especially in rural areas, unwanted kittens are still drowned or killed in other cruel ways.
As a proportionate and sustainable measure against these abuses, NetAP and TIR demanded an obligation to neuter outdoor cats in a petition, which was handed over in June 2018. The petition was signed by over 100,000 people and supported by over 150 animal protection organizations (see TIR’s news release from June 12, 2018).
To strengthen the request of the two animal protection organizations, FDP National Councillor Doris Fiala, who had supported the concerns of the petition from the beginning, submitted the motion "Less animal suffering thanks to castration obligation for outdoor cats", which was co-signed by 34 members of parliament, shortly afterwards to parliament (see TIR’s news release from December 3, 2018 in German).
After both the National Council and the Council of States subsequently rejected the petition, the National Council has now also rejected Doris Fiala's motion at the end of October, which means that the matter is definitely closed. The upper chamber has followed the partially misleading arguments of the Federal Council, which had previously recommended to reject the petition. TIR is disappointed by the attitude of the parliament. The parliament has failed to commit itself to a sustainable solution to the stray animal issue.
However, together with NetAP, TIR will continue to stand up for a sustainable solution to the stray animal issue and the associated animal suffering. After the two organizations had already asked the Federal Councillor Alain Berset, head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA), in an open letter in March 2020 for information about certain allegations from the authorities with regards to the castration obligation of stray cats, they are now continuing to exchange information with the federal authorities in order to develop effective measures for the reduction of the stray cat population in Switzerland. They are also examining the possibility of introducing castration obligations at the cantonal level.