House cats are generally thought of as pets, but they’ve gained a new classification in the scientific community as being invasive alien species.
The classification was published in the academy’s Institute of Nature Conservation database, which contains the classifications of over 1,786 species.
The decision was met with public disapproval, as many people feared what the new classification would mean for house cats and strays alike. However, the institution stands by its decision, saying that cats perfectly fit the definition of “invasive alien species” as laid out by the Polish government.
The official definition reads:
“Invasive alien species means an alien species whose introduction or spread has been found to endanger or have an adverse effect on biodiversity and related ecosystem services.”
According to Science in Poland, cats kill an estimated 631 million mammals and almost 144 million birds in Poland each year. They’ve also been found to kill “millions” of vertebrates on Polish farmland.
Science in Poland reports that “the activity of these predators has a negative impact on biodiversity on the national scale, for example on endangered species of birds.”
Despite that, the New York Post reports that some people feared the classification would be used as an excuse to rid society of cats.
“Make no mistake: Labeling cats as invasive is a preferred first step in a broader strategy of killing them in huge numbers through ghastly cat hunts and poisonings,” said Becky Robinson, founder of Alley Cat Allies, in a statement.
What do you think of the new classification? Let us know!
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