CAROcat welcomes the decision of the Government of Wallonia (Belgium) to make cat neutering mandatory as from March 2017

Since its earliest days CARO cat has been working to promote a culture of responsible ownership that has to be developed through a comprehensive strategy. We believe that the implementation of responsible cat ownership policies is crucial to control cat overpopulation and should be based on the following elements: traceability (Identification and Registration); systematic neutering; veterinarian prevention; information, education and training of all targets groups.

These points have also been included in the Cat Manifesto  which was presented in the Madrid Parliament last year and which we plan to publish in every member state, as a ten-point roadmap to improve feline welfare in the EU.

With this law, which also makes identification and registration of cats mandatory, Wallonia makes a major step forward to improve cats’ welfare and reduce the killing of cats in shelters. The challenges to face now are the establishment of policies that make neutering affordable for everyone, especially low-income and vulnerable people, and the general enforcement of the Law.

Wallonia is also working to improve its stray cat population management: according to the Animal Welfare Minister, 145 municipalities will participate in the new TNR campaign next year. Cat Responsible Ownership and the humane management of stray cats are very important steps to improve cat welfare in Wallonia. Hopefully this progress will be followed by other EU regions and member states.