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feral oliva cat control

Feral cat control - La Oliva
The City Council of La Oliva starts a campaign of control of colonies of cats
The Department of Environment invites citizens and animal groups to collaborate, reporting areas with high density of specimens to prepare the census. Contact:

The City Council of La Oliva has initiated a campaign of control of feral cats, whose first step will be to prepare a census that allows programming subsequent actions.

This program is important for public health reasons, given that some of these animals that live in urban areas may carry parasites or diseases, and for the protection of native fauna that may be threatened by a species of predatory nature.

From the Department of Environment "we invite citizens to contact us, informing us of the areas where there is a greater population of these animals, or of the places where the cats are being fed. Thus we can prepare the census with greater accuracy, and plan with assurances the next steps of the campaign, always ensuring the integrity of the animals, "said the councilor of the area, David Fajardo.

The Department of Environment has made available its email address,, so that neighbors can inform about the location of the colonies, or also by contacting the town hall through social networks.

David Fajardo stressed the importance of collaborating with institutions and animal groups, explaining that this campaign begins "after meeting with the College of Veterinarians of Las Palmas, who will guard the program, the Cabildo de Fuerteventura, which provides funding, and with associations for the protection of animals. "

Capture, sterilize and return

The collaboration of animalist groups is essential, "because they know the situation better than anyone else and because we want to make this campaign ensuring that no animal is damaged."

"We have already informed you that this campaign of control of feline colonies in no case contemplates damaging or sacrificing animals," recalls the councilor. In this sense, the method established by the College of Veterinarians is the CER protocol (capture, sterilize and return), which allows progressively reducing populations of stray cats without harming any individual. "

Veterinarians will also proceed to clean up captured individuals, for public health reasons, and in parallel to this campaign, the City Council plans to develop a vaccination program aimed at cat owners.

Why is this campaign important?

Colony of stray cats can be a public health problem when, due to lack of care or feeding, some of these animals are sick (can transmit toxoplasmosis) or infected by other parasites.

At the same time, the situation of the municipality of La Oliva is particular in that the majority of rural locations limit spaces that have some type of environmental protection, such as natural parks or spaces of the Natura 2000 Network such as ZEPA areas or ZEC zones.

As the cat is a species of hunting nature, feral individuals can easily move from urban areas to surrounding rural areas, affecting populations of native fauna such as birds, reptiles or rodents.

Cats are animals domesticated by humans, and "as a species there is no danger, because it is present throughout the world." However, wild cats "are a serious threat to the native fauna.

Numerous studies of global environmental organizations warn of the damage caused by feral cats, especially when we talk about protected species such as shrew, lisneja or hubara, among many other bird species, such as the canary tarabilla, which is a unique endemism in Fuerteventura ".

That is why "we request neighborhood collaboration to develop this campaign," said David Fajardo.
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The City Council of La Oliva has taken another step in the Feline Colonies Management Campaign, agreeing with the veterinary clinics and animal protection associations of the municipality the actions to follow to execute this project to throughout the year The institution remembers that in no case it is contemplated to harm the animals, but that the project will be executed following the CER protocol (Capture, Sterilize, Return).

The City Council and the aforementioned groups transfer to the population that this campaign is very important for environmental and health reasons, given that street cats pose a threat to wildlife, and can bring public health problems as potential disease transmitters. In addition, the campaign will reduce the discomfort caused by these animals in urban areas, especially during times of heat.

From the Department of Environment and Public Health, the Feline Colonies Management Campaign contemplates actions such as continuing with the census of stray and feral cat colonies, sanitation and sterilizing the specimens with the support of the veterinary professionals of the municipality, coordinating , train and authorize animal protectors and private volunteers acting in the colonies already located, and avoid abandonment favouring the adoption of specimens.

The Councillor for the Environment, David Fajardo, said that "the previous work of coordination with the group of veterinarians and the protectors has been essential to have this plan of action. We thank all of them for their involvement and commitment", also stressing that "Without citizen participation, this project cannot work, so we invite all people interested in this issue to contact us and collaborate."

Collaboration of cat owners

In this sense, the group of veterinarians has reminded cat owners that the microchip is mandatory, and the importance of sterilizing their animals, taking the opportunity to invite them to identify them with collars or badges to make it clear that they have an owner.

Colony Management and Volunteering

Within this campaign, the City Council of La Oliva will grant a nominal and individual authorization to volunteers working in the already located colonies. It will be these points where only food will be allowed and where the capture of specimens will be made for sanitary treatment, sterilization and return.

Animal protection societies have been working for some time in the previous phase of the campaign, locating colonies and dialoguing with people who feed stray cats. Wild animal feeders are not only prohibited, but far from helping animals, what causes them is their multiplication, favouring the spread of diseases and the attraction of other animals such as insects or rodents.

In this way, people who are doing this practice are transferred, who should contact the City Council. In case of feeding wild animals without this authorization, the Local Police can act and punish those who do not comply with this rule.

Any person interested in participating in the campaign and having this authorization can request it by contacting the Department of Environment in the email, or by going to the municipal offices in La Oliva (c / Emilio Castellot, nº2) .

The Department of the Environment will train these volunteers and members of the animal defence associations that work in the management of the different colonies, and will be responsible for developing a census file for each animal and following the capture protocols for sterilization , marking and sanitary treatment.

A threat to the native fauna

Both cat owners and people who feed specimens in the street should be aware that, in a municipality like La Oliva, where urban centres border the natural environment, cats are a threat to native fauna.

Being a predatory species, it does not matter if they are fed or not, because they hunt by nature, reducing the population of wildlife. Numerous studies support this reality, in which a sologato can hunt hundreds of animals throughout the year. On an island like Fuerteventura, this poses a serious danger to unique and protected endemism such as the Canarian tarabilla, the hubara, the shrew, the lisneja or the Atlantic majorero lizard.

A campaign for Public Health

Homeless cats that live in urban areas can carry parasites such as fleas and diseases that can be transmitted to humans. Hence, health care and de-worming specimens allow to prevent possible infectious foci associated with these colonies.

Census and reproductive control

The municipal census of companion animals in La Oliva has 1,247 cats registered, with the aim of the campaign continuing with this registration process. From the town hall it is recalled that the identification of these animals is required based on the Law 8/91 of animals of the Canary Islands and the Order of June 29, 1998, which determines the marks and methods of identification of dogs and cats.

The colonies of stray cats are groups of cats duly registered, sanitized and sterilized, in public spaces cared for and controlled by organizations and organizations that protect non-profit animals. The experience in other cities, has demonstrated this solution as the most effective to achieve the balance of the coexistence of these animals in the city, guaranteeing their well-being.

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Radio Sintonia:

Municipalities have to manage cat colonies in urban centers.

Gloria Moreno, defender of animal rights, explains the need to capture feral cats in the natural environment to protect species in danger of extinction.

We interview Gloria Moreno, defender of animal rights. Known for her work at the SEPRONA in Lanzarote. We talk about the subject of cats that is part of the group of domestic animals.

“His experience, -explains-, implies his division first in the felines with a home (which must have chips and be kept in the enclosure of the house). Its care and control depends on its owners. Second, the cats of the urban colonies (they are the responsibility of the city council and entail the care of the municipal authorities, they do a service to the community by keeping rodent pests, such as rats in urban centers, at bay). However, their diet in most cases falls on the city


years of cat lovers who buy food for them, and even deworm and sterilize them, by abandoning the administration; when these resources should come out of municipal budgets. It would be important to carry out at least two sterilization campaigns a year so that they do not become an inconvenience due to their reproductive capacity. Finally, there are the feral cats in the natural environment that prey on protected fauna and are a serious problem for endangered species such as birds, reptiles, insects ... Therefore, it is necessary that they be captured and delivered to the shelters of animals to see if their reintegration is possible. "

It is a complex issue, cats are domestic animals and their abuse is punishable, says Moreno. A Constitutional ruling of July 15, 2020 implies the validation of the La Rioja Law, which indicates that sterilization will be mandatory in the face of the problem of overpopulation of cats, due to abandonment. So in the Islands the Canarian law should take up this matter.
The lifelong stray cat is the responsibility of the City Council that must feed and take care of it, and not the neighbor who feeds it out of pain and on top of that it may receive an administrative penalty because it is forbidden to feed animals on public roads, for the inconvenience of bad smells or dirt. We must reflect because it is an ethical issue, you can not fine the person who does your job.
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Radio Sintonia:

Noemi Gutierrez seeks to reduce the population of cats to avoid stray litters in Lajares.

Noemí Gutiérrez explains on the radio the situation of litters of cats in a situation of vulnerability in the town of Lajares, in the municipality of La Oliva.

According to Noemí, she has been working for more than four years to offer better conditions to cats living on the street, however, she is unable to cope with all the needs of the litters, which do not stop increasing. Recently he has launched, with the help of other people who have offered their support, a collection to, at least, finance basic food care, to which veterinary expenses are added. From the radio, Noemí Gutiérrez requests help from the City Council of La Oliva for the cession of a place where cats can settle without invading the neighborhood properties as well as collaboration with the population to be able to continue taking care of the stray animals.

link to original article and recorded interview
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