From THE LOCAL (Germany):
Delmenhorst recently became the second German city to require the sterilisation of all outdoor cats in hopes of reducing its neglected feral feline population. The move could start a trend in a country where pets are infrequently spayed or neutered.
“We want this to be compulsory for cat owners,” (Ouch!!! - that will put a lot of people off owning cats - especially Roman Catholics) said the Lower Saxon city’s animal health commissioner and veterinarian Nicolin Niebuhr, who led the campaign for the new rule. “The cat sterilisation requirement is mainly an appeal for responsibility awareness.”
“It’s not about taking the cat’s sexuality away,” Hoffmann says. “A sterilisation does the opposite, improving the cat’s quality of life” (Well, no and yes, in that order, I think).
Estimates say German households enjoy the company of some eight million house cats, with another two million stray cats lurking in the shadows. Delmenhorst has about 1,000 feral felines. Animal shelters are full and the number of abandoned cats is rising, Niebuhr and Hoffmann said.
Pet owners who allow their unsterilised cats to roam freely are creating a vicious cycle for the feral population, which suffers a host of diseases and malnutrition, city vet Niebuhr explained, calling the new rule a “step in the right direction.”
But officials don’t expect an immediate change, the model programme in Paderborn has reportedly caught on slowly.