It’s another lockdown, everybody!
Cats are being asked to stay indoors in a German town until the end of August for a good cause.
In the southwest town of Walldorf, German authorities have issued an order to some cat owners to keep their pets inside their homes. The order came with the interest to protect a rare bird during its breeding season.
The rare bird species that the German authorities is trying to protect is the Crested Lark (Galerida cristata) which, although seen as rare in their town, is thankfully not listed as an endangered species. But they have faced a sharp decline in population in Western Europe in recent decades, domestic cats being one of the reasons for it.
Walldorf authorities wrote that “the survival of the species depends on every single chick.”
The reason for the specificity of the decree is that domestic cats are actually a threat to these birds especially when they’re nesting.The Crested Larks make their nests on the ground and they make for easy prey for our feline pets.
According to a German news site, owners can be fined up to €500 if their cat escapes and €50,000 if their cat kills one of the six crested larks nesting in the area.
With the order of having their cats stay indoors from April to August, and this will be repeated for the next three years, pet owners are meowing out their disapproval. The public distress has escalated as well that a head of a local animal protection association is planning on taking legal steps to challenge the “disproportionate measure” of an order, according to a report by Regional daily Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung.
With numerous studies supporting the claim that cats, domestic or not, are a threat to numerous bird species, I think it might be best to ground our pets for a while. We experienced our own lockdows during this pandemic and we survived, didn’t we? Our cats can afford to take a few months off the streets for the sake of a species’ survival. If not, authorities said that they recommend some cats be rehomed with family or friends who reside outside the affected area for the designated period, so they can get outdoors.
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