ICAWC 2013 - Free Roaming Cat Population Management in Barcelona - Agnes Dufau


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ICAWC 2013 Barcelona, Spain - Agnes Dufau's presentation on Free Roaming Cat Population Management in Barcelona

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ICAWC 2013 - Free Roaming Cat Population Management in Barcelona - Agnes Dufau

  1. 1. Community cats management in Barcelona Agnès Dufau President Plataforma Gatera
  2. 2. Who we are • Plataforma Gatera is an Animal Welfare Organisation based in Barcelona • Created in 2005 we are working to improve cats welfare and protection in Barcelona • Plataforma Gatera coordinates 19 associations working to improve cats welfare:  Colonies management program  Rescue and rehoming of abandoned cats  Promotion of responsible ownership • We are working with the Barcelona City Council to promote the humane management of community cats since 2007
  3. 3. Barcelona: The legal framework Animal Protection Law of Cataluña – 2008 (Decreto Legislativo 2/2008, de 15 de abril (“Texto refundido de la “Ley de protección de los animales”)  Cats, as a species (felis catus) are always considered as companion animals (Definition- article 3.b)  Municipalities are responsible to control abandoned, lost and free-roaming animals (article 16.1)  It is prohibited to kill healthy companion animals in Cataluña (article11.2) Barcelona Local Regulation concerning animals protection – 2003 (Ordenanza sobre la protección, la tenencia y la venta de animales del 22/12/2003)  The city council will promote cats colonies for abandoned or free-roamng cats, as an alternative to killing (article 19.5)
  4. 4. Why controlled colonies? • TNR and managing controlled colonies is the only legal and economically sustainable option available in Cataluña. • Community cats colonies management is the only effective and ethical option to control cats population  Trap/remove/kill is not efficient  Rehoming facilities (shelters) are not the solution for all cats: economically unsustainable; ethologically confinement may generate high level of stress / suffering
  5. 5. Colony management Since 2007 the city council promotes a a humane management of community cats through a specific program     The program is based on TNR and aims to promote Colony Management including: Veterinary follow-up Protected areas for the cats Colony monitoring Training and registration of volunteers
  6. 6. Public Controlled Colonies program Stakeholders:  Barcelona City Council  AWO through the “Cat Committee” (Plataforma Gatera and Progat)  Animals Protection Office (OPAB)  District Contact person + + + + + Local Police, Citizens, Companies, Feeders, Cats….
  7. 7. Colony log and monitoring Barcelona controlled colonies map
  8. 8. The City Council and community cats City Council definition: “The City promotes the controlled colonies model which allow citizens to enjoy these animals in the city, while decreasing the problems of overpopulation and ensuring a proper integration of cats in the urban reality”. (www.bcn.cat/adopta/es) • Since 2007 the Barcelona city-council promotes the humane management of free-roaming cats population through a specific program (Gestió de Colonies de Gats Urbans). • In 2009 NGOs started to get organized working together with the local government towards several objectives:  Improving cat welfare through the humane control of free-roaming cats.  Reducing citizens complaints regarding nuisances caused by cats  Improve the coexistence between citizens and cats
  9. 9. TNR program working options • The city council commitment to the TNR program allows the NGOs to develop their work in 2 different ways: AWO Collaboration Agreement with the City Council A grant is allowed to each district on a yearly basis for the AWOs to spend in private veterinary clinics (neutering surgeries only). The AWOs have to follow a strict procedure and can use the clinic of their choice. (1859 cats neutered in 2012) Neutering Centre The centre opened in June 2009 and his managed by a veterinarian. It is dedicated to neutering healthy animals only; no other medical or surgeries can be undertaken in the installation. Centre users are authorized volunteers from recognized registered AWO. (977 cats neutered in 2012)
  10. 10. Municipal Neutering Centre • • • • • • Opened in June 2009 Allows to speed up neutering process No other surgery than neutering is performed Free service: especially useful for the smallest NGOs Users: authorised volunteers from registered NGOs (80 users) Average 1000 neutering / year
  11. 11. Education: from feeder to colony manager  Volunteers workshops (since 2010): administration, NGOs, veterinarians, local police.  Educational material: Best Practices leaflet; city council leaflet (Cats responsible ownership)  Official Identification card for registered volunteers who manage colonies (June 2013)
  12. 12. Results (2012) • 2836 cats neutered through the City Council program • 598 registered colonies (407 in 2009) • 8.515 “controled” cats • 189 citizens requests:  179 “positive requests”: citizens asking for an intervention to improve cats welfare  10 “ negative requests”: citizens asking for an intervention due to problems/ nuisance caused by cats. (Between 2012 and 2011 citizens requests decrease by 35%)
  13. 13. Comprehensive approach needed  New colonies are usually caused by the arrival of newly abandoned or lost unneutered cats and their offspring .  The arrival of new individuals in the colonies, new born or lost or abandoned cat is the main slow down issue of the program.  A comprehensive approach to reduce feline overpopulation is needed, including the promotion of Responsible Ownership  Communication and education campaigns should be implemented simultaneously to TNR programs to succeed in the community cats population management.
  14. 14. Conclusions • Since 2009 9.365 cats have been neutered within the city council program and all stakeholders consider the program a success in terms of reduction of citizens’ complaints, control of cats’ population and improvement of cat welfare • Barcelona is a clear example of the possibility to implement a no-kill approach involving the NGOs as key stakeholders of a public policy • The NGOs and the city council are aware that results could be improved by improving cat responsible ownership culture • Responsible ownership campaigns and a better enforcement of the existing Catalan Animal Protection Law are the challenges we are facing:  A comprehensive approach to the issue of feline overpopulation is necessary to lead to a long lasting solution for the benefits of the cats and the community.
  15. 15. The CAROcat project  An innovative tool to promote cats responsible ownership and the humane management of community cat populations  A practical information system for policy makers, veterinarians, law professionals, NGOs and citizens  Behind the website: Vier Pfoten; Istituto G.Caporale; FVE; EU Commission www.carocat.eu
  16. 16. Thank you for your attention More information: www.plataformagatera.org