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Give tomcats the snip or lock 'em up: government

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Give tomcats the snip or lock 'em up: government
A stray cat. Photo: DPA
13:26 CET+01:00
The government is to ban un-neutered tomcats from prowling the streets, claiming that when they are allowed to follow their sexual urges without hindrance they endanger other cats and the environment.

A report on the protection of animals published by the Agriculture Ministry on Wednesday illustrates a growing problem in Germany - domestic cats going stray and forming wild colonies.

The number of these wild colonies is growing, the report warns - a situation which increases the suffering of the cats themselves as well as leading to damages to surrounding areas.

Because cats are domesticated animals they are not suited to life in the outside world, making them prone to "pain, suffering and harm" the annual report notes.

According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) millions of stray cats now live in the wild in Germany.

But current measures to castrate stray cats themselves – thousands are given the snip yearly – has had little effect, because domestic tom cats still in possession of their family jewels continue to have their wicked way with female strays.

Road to Purrdition

The report states that it could now be "required that the uncontrolled free movement of un-castrated house and farm cats is limited or banned for a specific period of time.“

This essentially means: "castrate your cat or don't let him out of the house“, the report notes.

However, German states will have the the choice as to whether they wish to enforce the law.

This is due to the fact that the number of stray cats varies radically from state to state, reports the SZ.

In the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) the situation is particularly serious – packs of wild cats caused damage amounting to half a million Euros to flowers and trees in the state last year.

NRW is taking the plague so seriously it has set aside over half a million Euros to cover the cost of castrating the randy felines.

This law could also provide a humane way of controlling the problem. NRW brought in a ban on killing cats in May, after 1,400 of the little predators were killed in 2014.  

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