Killing domestic cats for pleasure

For parts of the hunters, cats are downright "fair game", their shooting is made possible by the respective state hunting laws without any specific endangerment of the game. It is estimated that well over 100,000 cats die nationwide every year. Only a few federal states record such figures, but in North Rhine-Westphalia alone, according to official information, more than 137,000 cats have been killed in the last ten years. On the hunting side, this is justified with the alleged endangerment of ground breeders and small mammals, and the catch of songbirds is also thrown into the balance. While the dimension of the songbird "problem" is largely unknown because there are no meaningful figures, the negative impact on rabbits, hares or other small game is completely overestimated. Calculations presented by the German Hunting Association, according to which cats would kill around a million rabbits and hares and over six million birds during the breeding and rearing period, are out of thin air and scientifically not tenable. Regardless of this, reducing high population densities of wild cats is a common concern of animal and nature conservation, even if their motives may differ. However, this can only be achieved sustainably and in accordance with animal welfare through nationwide castration campaigns, which are currently almost exclusively carried out and financed by animal welfare associations. The measures of catching, neutering, chipping, registering and releasing can be an effective means of a promising reduction. Such an approach is also supported by the recent amendment to the Animal Welfare Act and the associated authorization in Section 13b by the legislature. Schleswig-Holstein has already started a “pilot project against cat misery”. Without a clear shooting ban, however, such nationwide efforts are taken ad absurdum. The killing of cats is also no longer socially acceptable.