Switzerland's cats are suffering. Contrary to popular belief, there is a massive stray cat issue in Switzerland. One of the main reasons for this is that private persons (including farmers) do not spay and neuter their outdoor cats. In turn, these animals breed with stray or other unneutered cats, leading to many offspring. This is the case even though the Animal Welfare Ordinance expressly states that animal owners must take reasonable precautions to prevent their animals from reproducing excessively (article 25 paragraph 4 AWO). However, it is virtually impossible for owners to control the mating behavior of unneutered outdoor cats.
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).