Legislation improvement for stray cats protection in France

From 1 January 2015, the law will change establishing colony management as the first option to control un-owned cats population in France. In the “Arrêté du 3 avril 2014 fixant les règles sanitaires et de protection animale auxquelles doivent satisfaire les activités liées aux animaux de compagnie d'espèces domestiques relevant du IV de l'article L. 214-6 du code rural et de la pêche maritime” . chapter V “Dispositions spécifiques aux fourrières” establishes the following:

     “Unidentified cats without owner or holder living in groups in public places in the territory of a commune can only be captured at the request of the Mayor. The animals can only be transported to the public shelter if it had not be possible to implement a neutering and identification program as specified in Article L211-27 of the “Code rural et de la peche maritime”.

This change will prevent municipalities to implement catch and killing programs for un-owned cats without thinking twice, as they will have to justify the impossibility to implement a TNR program to do so. Currently many municipalities are still managing cats population through massive killing methods, even when the colony management has been a valid option since 1999.