Companion Animal Welfare

EuroFAWC conclusions on Companion Animal Welfare

 

As discussed in the EuroFAWC-meeting in January 2010 in Baarn (The Netherlands)

 

Controlling the population of feral cats 

  • Originally, cats were not part of the European ecosystem. Feral cats are a nuisance and should be removed over time.
  • This problem should be tackled on two levels: i) by preventing domestic cats from becoming feral cats (individual level) and ii)by keeping the population of feral cats under control (group level). Each national body has to decide how to go about these two aspects.
  • Mandatory sterilization and identification of domestic cats may keep them from becoming feral cats.
  • It is the citizens who are the owners of their (identified) cats.
  • Controlling the population of feral cats can be done by means of a trap-neuter-release programme or a trap-euthanise programme.
  • A TNR-programme can only be succesful if applied on a large scale and on 100% of the population. Attention should be paid to the quality of life after cats have been put back; this means that long-term financial support (to provide shelter and food) is necessary.

 

 

Selective breeding  

  • The problem of selective breeding is not restricted to companion animals.
  • Selective breeding is a multi-factorial problem: international breeding companies, lack of genetic variation, subjective breeding standards, registration of the breeders, etc.
  • Some believe a legal basis to reduce selective breeding is necessary. However, there are doubts on the feasibility of its enforcement.
  • More education is needed regarding genetic welfare problems.