Spanish Senator Carles Mulet, a member of the Parliamentary Association in Defense of Animal Rights (APDDA), has denounced to the Central Government a draft of the new Canary Islands Biodiversity Law because he maintains that it includes cats as a species that can be legally hunted. Feral cat hunting, by hunters with guns, during hunting season has historically been allowed if there is no way to identify the animal has an owner. Consequently many cats in the wild are shot, and many report domestic cats being killed due to misidentification.
In a question that he formulated in writing to the Government, Mullet echoed the complaints of animal protection associations in the Canary Islands, which point out that the new law aims to regulate all cats without visible identification – those that have owners and those who have a chip- if they are in hunting grounds can be hunted.
Likewise, the associations have warned that the future law wants municipalities to avoid and eradicate feral cat colonies, while the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) method does not appear in the text at all, despite being the scientific method of choice, and the most effective , according the animal defenders, for the control of feline populations.
Associations also emphasise that the new law proposes that privately owned ferrets be sterilised, but not those that are in the possession of hunters, which could reproduce uncontrollably when they are lost or are foreseeably abandoned.
The senator has also asked the Government if, in the draft Animal Welfare Law that is being prepared, measures will be included that can guarantee the ethical management of urban feline colonies following the TNR model throughout the Spanish territory.
Mulet is also interested in whether, in the new law from Spain’s central government, if considering feral domestic animals as hunting species could, in fact, be made illegal and it could enforce the application of ethical methods of population control for species by prohibiting, for example, the shooting of goats, as has recently been reported on Tenerife.