SHARE
COPY LINK

BADEN-WÜRTTEMBERG

Cats in southern German town ordered into summer lockdown

Pet owners in part of a Baden-Württemberg town have been told to keep their cats indoors until the end of August to protect endangered birds.

A cat sitting in an animal shelter in Peine, Lower Saxony.
A cat sitting in an animal shelter in Peine, Lower Saxony. Cats in one German town may have to stay indoors this summer. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Julian Stratenschulte

Domestic cats in Walldorf-Süd, in the Rhine-Neckar district, won’t be able to roam and enjoy the outdoors this summer under the radical measure. 

The district office issued the order to cat owners over the weekend in a bid to protect crested larks, which are threatened with extinction.

Domestic cats in the southern part of the city are not allowed outside until the end of August 2022 – and from April to August for the next three years, reported a Stuttgart news site.

The survival of the species depends on “the survival of every single young bird”, the district said.

If a cat escapes, the owners have to report it to the authorities and try to get their pet indoors. Owners who flout the rules may face a fine up to €500.

And if a cat kills one of the six crested larks living in Walldorf, the owner can reportedly expect a fine up to €50,000.

However, the Wiesloch-Walldorf Animal Welfare Association said it would look into taking legal action against the general order, the Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung reported on Wednesday.

“Please keep calm,” the association’s chairman Volker Stutz addressed the cat owners in a statement. “I assure you that we will do our best to stop this disproportionate measure.”

The crested lark is classified in the highest endangerment category on the red list for endangered species, according to the district’s notice. The bird is threatened with extinction, and last year, there were only three breeding pairs left in Walldorf, all in the south of the town.

Because the birds breed on the ground, they can often fall victim to cats. After lengthy consideration, the nature conservation authorities came to the conclusion “that preventing cats from roaming free in the danger zone” is proportionate.

The district said that because the bird is threatened with extinction “cats pose a particular threat and the measure is suitable, necessary and appropriate”.

Authorities recommend that outdoor cats be re-homed with family or friends who do not live in the affected area for the designated period, so they can get outdoors. 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

LIVING IN GERMANY

Living in Germany: World Cup rainbows, pumpkin slaughter and a nation of savers

From unusual traditions at a world famous pumpkin festival to Germans' spending habits (or lack there of), we take a look at some of the big talking points of life in Germany.

Living in Germany: World Cup rainbows, pumpkin slaughter and a nation of savers

Where do Germans move to?

Many of our members are foreigners who choose to call Germany home. But what do we know about the Germans who move outside the country? According to official figures from last year, around five million Germans currently live abroad. And most of the Germans who emigrate – perhaps unsurprisingly – don’t go too far. Switzerland is home to the most Germans who choose to leave their country.

About 17,000 Germans took up residence there in 2021. Next in line is Austria – another German-speaking country. Around 11,000 Germans chose to live and work there last year.

But it’s not just the German-speaking places that attract Deutschlanders. In third spot for Germans emigrating abroad in 2021 was the United States – 8,400 Germans moved there last year. Meanwhile, just over 6,000 Germans took up residence in Spain, while around 5,000 each opted for Turkey, France, the United Kingdom, and Poland. 

Tweet of the week

All eyes are on the FIFA World Cup in Qatar – but it’s more than football that’s in the news. The world is watching the various protests going on against Qatar, over its treatment of migrant workers, women and the LGBTQ community. German football commentator Claudia Neumann made waves for her choice of rainbow clothing. 

Where is this?

Photo: DPA/Ilkay Karakurt

The Ludwigsburg pumpkin festival (Kürbisausstellung) is slowly coming to an end after months! So what happens to the pumpkins? Well, a big “pumpkin slaughter” takes place at the Blühende Barock gardens where enthusiasts salvage what they can. Meanwhile, the seeds are usually auctioned off. 

Did you know?

With inflation at over 10 percent, it’s no wonder that many people in Germany are being more careful with their spending. A new survey released this week from the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VZBV) found that 63 percent of consumers have cut back their spending. The survey also found that more Germans are making long-term changes to their lifestyle such as buying less clothes and repairing goods instead of buying new ones. However, did you know that Germany has a reputation for saving, and making items go further? In fact, Germans are known for being a nation of savers rather than investors.

The Local contributor Aaron Burnett wrote in a recent article on investing: “It’s even apparent in the language – the German word for “debt” is ‘Schuld,’ which also means ‘guilt.’ During the euro crisis, ‘austerity’ was often called ‘Sparpolitik’ in German newspapers, or “the politics of saving”. Meanwhile, many Germans keep most of their money in savings accounts and avoid maxing out credit cards. 

Germany is also known for its second-hand culture and strong recycling ethic. Second-hand shops or platforms for selling items are common. You’ll also find that people leave their old clothes or books on their doorstep in a box with ‘zu verschenken’ (to give away) written on a sign. People can look through the items and take anything they want at no cost. 

SHOW COMMENTS