• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Stray cat hunting ban rejected by Swiss MPs

Malcolm Curtis · 20 Jun 2013, 08:00

Published: 20 Jun 2013 08:00 GMT+02:00

MPs in the lower house of parliament rejected a motion to outlaw the cat hunt by a vote of 105 to 59.

The majority agreed that it would be ineffective to revise the law to ban the practice and to put in alternative measures, such as sterilization.

Hunting cats that are no longer domesticated is “too cruel and unworthy for a modern country”, Luc Barthassat, a Christian Democrat MP from Geneva argued in support of the ban, ATS reported.

Barthassat said numerous cats are wounded and mutilated from missed gun shots.

He said a campaign for sterilization of the animals would be more effective to counteract their proliferation.

However, these arguments failed to sway those opposed.

“Sterilization is very difficult to put in place and would be very costly,” Environment MInister Doris Leuthard she is quoted as saying by ATS.

A federal law would also impinge on the sovereignty of the cantons, Leuthard said.

Two years ago animal support groups, including SOS Cats, filed a petition with parliament signed by 13,000 citizens calling for an end to the cat hunt.

At the time, supporters of the petition argued that the hunt is dangerous to the public at large, in addition to being cruel and ineffective.

In some cantons it is permitted to hunt cats as close as 200 metres to dwellings.

Scientists from the federal environment office say the hunt is useful, noting that domestic cats have no place in natural forests and mountain regions.

The office says there around 1.5 million stray cats in Switzerland.

A British study estimates that an average cat kills 15 birds a year.

Applied to Switzerland, that would mean that around 15 million birds are killed annually by cats, Martin Baumann, a government biologist told Le Matin last year.

Other officials note that some species of lizards have completely disappeared from parts of Switzerland because they have been preyed on by cats.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
MPs say yes to cash for Switzerland’s 'slave kids'
Victims of historic abuse during the handover of a petition as part of "Repair", a public initiative calling for justice for victims of abuse in Bern in 2014. Photo: AFP

For decades, Swiss children were taken from their homes and forced to work as cheap labour. Some were sexually abused or underwent forced sterilization.

Swiss alpinist finds body of US climbing legend Alex Lowe
Speed Speed climber Steck (pictured) and his colleague David Göttler found the remains of Alex Lowe. Photo: AFP

Swiss mountain climber Ueli Steck has found the body of Alex Lowe more than 16 years after the American was buried by an avalanche in the Himalayas.

Hot stuff: Swiss winter was second warmest on record
Tourists ski on a thin layer of snow towards the resort of Leysin on December 28th. Photo: AFP

Only the winter of 2006/07 was warmer.

Family matters
Swiss canton boosts paternity leave to 5 days
Switzerland lags behind other European countries on the paternity leave issue. File photo: AFP

The move will send a positive message to the rest of Switzerland, supporters said before the vote.

Tour de Romandie
Cycling: Quintana wins Tour de Romandie
The Tour de Romandie is seen as a warm up and testing ground for the Tour de France. Photo: AFP

Colombian climber Nairo Quintana of the Movistar team won the Tour de Romandie on Sunday after a breakaway win in the fifth and final stage over 177.4km from Ollon-sur-Villars to Geneva on Sunday for local talent Michael Albasini.

Rogue weasel shuts down Switzerland's Hadron Collider
It will take a few days to repair the damage caused by the weasel, which did not survive its high-voltage encounter. Photo: AFP

The world's most powerful particle smasher, the Large Hadron Collider, went offline after a weasel caused a short circuit on a high-voltage transformer.

Anger as Basel pool bans 'maxi burqinis'
Australian model Mecca Laalaa in a tight-fitting Islamic swimsuit, or burqini. File photo: AFP

What lies behind controversial rule changes at a pool in the Swiss city of Basel?

Swiss region to shield tourists from 'killer cows'
File photo: Caroline Bishop

The tourist area of Laax in south-eastern Switzerland will install fences to ensure no one is attacked by protective mother cows this summer.

Football corruption: Platini faces make-or-break hearing

UPDATED: Uefa's fallen chief Michel Platini says he is optimistic a Swiss court will clear his name.

Arrested: teen who rolled joint outside police station
The two boys claimed “not to have realised they were in a police zone. File photo: AFP

Two teens in the Swiss town of Winterthur have been arrested after they were spotted rolling a joint on the grounds of a police station.

Sponsored Article
How to launch your international career
Society
Swiss parliament snubs plan for two weeks paternity leave
Sponsored Article
What's the best way for expats to transfer money abroad?
File photo: Giovanni Blank
Lifestyle
Fathers should share parental leave, says commission
Photo: eGuide Travel
Society
Dictator-tracker spices up Geneva planespotting
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Politics
Swiss army ready to act in worst case migrant scenario
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Photo: Robert Zingg/Zurich Zoo
Lifestyle
Druk the elephant hauled to her feet by Zurich fire brigade
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Sport
Swiss champion snowboarder Estelle Balet killed by avalanche
Photo: Andreas Omvik/Zurich Tourism
Culture
Swiss 'groundhog day' forecasts lousy summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose International Health Insurance
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Technology
'Love-making couch' among inventions at Geneva show
Sponsored Article
Becoming an expat: where to start
Photo: Caroline Bishop
Society
Bank blacklists Swiss travel agent named Isis
Photo: Julien Gregario
National
Italian research student slain in Geneva street
Photo: Philippe Merle/AFP
Features
New Chaplin museum set in star's own 'Downton Abbey'
Photo: Gary Minnaert
Lifestyle
Name traditions still sway married Swiss women despite law change
Photo: Stephan Ridgway
Government eyes hefty fines for littering
Photo: Swiss Tourism
National
Revealed: the richest regions in Switzerland
Photo: Swiss National Bank
National
Switzerland's new 50 franc note: what you need to know
Photo: Caroline Bishop
Society
VIDEO: Swiss farmer's cows leap for joy of spring
Politics
Automatic expulsion of criminal foreigners rejected at the ballot box
National
UK's Duchess of York seeks to become resident of Verbier
National
City of Geneva to translate information into English
National
Female guard at prison near Zurich 'helped Syrian flee jail'
National
Swiss residential real estate 'bubble risk' continues to rise
4,499
jobs available