TIR is disappointed: Grand Council of the canton of Berne rejects mandatory spaying and neutering of outdoor cats
With 88 to 55 votes, the Grand Council rejected the introduction of an obligation to spay and neuter outdoor cats in the canton of Berne at its meeting on March 18, 2021. The corresponding postulate was submitted by Councilor David Stampfli (SP) almost a year ago. TIR is disappointed about the decision of the Bernese cantonal parliament but will nonetheless continue to advocate at the national and cantonal level for mandatory spaying and neutering of outdoor cats.
March 24, 2021
When cats reproduce excessively, large colonies quickly form in confined spaces, which leads to hygiene problems and the spread of diseases. Many animals face painful deaths due to a lack of medical care or food. Countless unwanted kittens end up in shelters or are abandoned. Especially in rural areas, it is still common practice to drown or kill unwanted kittens in other inhumane ways.
As a proportionate and sustainable measure against these abuses, NetAP and TIR handed over a petition in June 2018 demanding the introduction of mandatory spay/neuter laws for outdoor cats. The petition was signed by over 100,000 people and supported by over 150 animal welfare organizations (see TIR’s news release of June 12, 2018).
After both the National Council and the Council of States subsequently rejected the petition, the National Council also rejected Doris Fiala's motion “at the end of October, which means that the matter is definitely closed (see TIR’s news release of November 11, 2020).
After NetAP and TIR had already asked Federal Councilor Alain Berset, the head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA), in March 2020 for information about certain claims made by the authorities in connection with the obligation to neuter outdoor 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. Additionally, TIR is committed to introducing mandatory spaying and neutering at the cantonal level.
Berne is the first canton to address such a proposal. However, at its meeting on March 18, 2021, the Grand Council rejected the postulate submitted by cantonal parliament member David Stampfli by 88 to 55 votes. TIR is disappointed at the position adopted by the Bernese parliament. Nonetheless, together with NetAP, TIR will continue to campaign at national and cantonal level for a sustainable solution to the stray animal problem and against the animal suffering it entails.