GAIA yesterday (Wednesday) saluted the initiative of the Walloon Minister for Animal Welfare, Carlo Di Antonio, in aiming to raise population awareness for the adoption of pets, which end up in animal shelters. The animal welfare charity however laments that compulsory sterilisation of every cat, or, in other words “the most significant step to resolve the issue in the long term,” was not brought up.
The number of abandoned dogs and cats is on the increase in Wallonia.
As we said yesterday, in 2015, there were 26,700 animals – principally dogs and cats – housed in shelters compared to 24,300 in 2014.
Six out of ten dogs and three-quarters of cats were found abandoned on public thoroughfares, the remainder having been brought by owners to shelters.
A proportion of these animals found a new owner – 81% of dogs but only 45% of cats. The others were either put down or, in a small proportion of cases, died naturally.
GAIA considers that implementing a legal obligation, for individuals to sterilise their cats, remains the only solution to attack this problem of feline overpopulation.
The association stresses that this proposal was taken up in an statement by the Walloon Council for Animal Welfare, the Council going public on this last January.
GAIA says, “In July, Mr Di Antonio was committed to introducing this opinion into law, with a view to extending compulsory spaying to all cats from the beginning of 2017.”
The Brussels Times