In the German town of Walldorf, cats will be allowed to go out independently tomorrow for the first time in months. In the spring, the authorities of the city in the state of Baden-Württemberg determined that the animals were no longer allowed to roam loose outside. The cat lockdown comes to an end at midnight.
The measure was introduced to allow the crested lark – a protected bird species – to breed calmly. The larks make their nests on the ground (for example near bushes) and are therefore easy to catch prey for cats. The pets were therefore only allowed to go out on a leash with the boss.
Cats that ran off on their own had to be reported by their owner via a special phone number. Incidentally, those owners were also responsible if their pet injured or killed a protected bird outside. The fine could be up to 50,000 euros per cat.
One owner was fined 500 euros, reports the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. His cat was seen hunting near the larks nesting grounds.
Two weeks expire
Only three crested lark couples would live in Walldorf. Whether the animals are actually protected by the cat lockdown is not clear. But today, authorities announced that the rule expires two weeks ahead of schedule. The young larks are now so mature that the cats no longer pose a threat to them, the authorities argue.
Incidentally, there was a lot of criticism about the measure: many cat lovers stated that keeping the pets inside was bad for them.