In the city of Walldorf, all cats are banned from leaving until August 31, reports Der Spiegel. Owners who let them out would expect a heavy fine, to protect the “crested lark”, a species close to the lark, threatened with extinction.
There are only three breeding pairs left in Walldorf and there is a”very high risk of extinction” for local people.
Despite the measures taken in recent years, crested larks are not sufficiently protected. The high density of free-roaming cats in the area poses a threat to birds, according to the executive order. In particular, young flightless birds would again and again be victimized by cats. And this while”the survival of each young bird is important to the survival of the species“.
The decision entered into force on Tuesday and concerns the entire south of this city of some 15,000 inhabitants.
If cat owners leave their animals outside despite the order, they face a fine of 500 euros. If a domestic cat blesses or kills a crested lark, it can even lead to a fine of 50,000 euros.