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Swiss farmers offered cat castration vouchers

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Swiss farmers offered cat castration vouchers
There are an estimated 300,000 stray cats in Switzerland. Photo: Mohamed Aymen Bettaieb
11:04 CEST+02:00
The animal protection association Quatre Pattes has offered to pay for farmers to get their cats neutered in an attempt to cut down the growing number of stray cats in Switzerland.

Launching the campaign to tie in with World Cat Day on Monday, August 8th, the Zurich-based organization said it would pay for the castration of 88 cats on farms in the Fribourg region of Switzerland.

Interested farmers could contact the organization and request up to ten castration vouchers each.

Quatre Pattes estimates that around 300,000 stray cats live in Switzerland, though the figures could be higher, it said in a statement.

The campaign aims to fight the growth of the stray cat population and teach farmers about the importance of neutering the cats that live on their farms.

Campaign director Lucia Oeschger told newspaper Le Matin that they were focusing on the Fribourg region specifically because they had received several requests for help with the issue from the canton over the past few years.

“An uncontrolled cat population can result in numerous problems,” said Oeschger in a statement, such as negative effects on protected species of wild animals.

“Illnesses can also spread at great speed among large populations of non-castrated animals who then suffer and are weakened,” she said.

Sterilization is the only efficient and animal-friendly method of tackling the problem, she added.

But the cost can be prohibitive.

"Certain farms have around 30 cats. To sterilize a female costs between 150 and 200 francs. Imagine if you had to take a dozen to the vet," Oeschger told the Tribune de Geneve.

"We are trying to make farmers aware that they must take them at the beginning, when they only have three or four cats".

The organization is also supporting a petition calling for all cats who live outdoors to be sterilized by law.

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