Switzerland finds itself in a miserable position concerning cats. Contrary to widespread assumptions, we actually do have a massive stray cat issue in Switzerland. One of the main reasons for this is that private persons (incl. farmers) do not have their outdoor cats neutered and these cats, together with ownerless, unneutered animals, constantly have further 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 practically impossible for owners to keep the mating behavior of uncastrated outdoor cats under control.
If cats reproduce excessively, large colonies quickly form in a confined space, which leads to hygiene problems and the spread of diseases. Many animals die in agony due to lack of medical care or food. The uncontrolled reproduction of cats also leads to the deportation of countless unwanted kittens to shelters or to their abandonment. Especially in rural areas, unwanted kittens are still drowned or killed in other cruel ways.
As a proportionate and sustainable measure against these abuses, NetAP and TIR demanded an obligation to neuter outdoor cats in a petition, which was handed over in June 2018. The petition was signed by over 100,000 people and supported by over 150 animal protection organizations (see TIR’s news release from June 12, 2018).
To strengthen the request of the two animal protection organizations,
FDP National Councillor Doris Fiala, who had supported the concerns of
the petition from the beginning, submitted the motion "Less animal
suffering thanks to castration obligation for outdoor cats", which was
co-signed by 34 members of parliament, shortly afterwards to parliament
(see TIR’s news release from December 3, 2018 in German).