Wild animals pass out

When the pet disappears : Legal situation makes you swoon

Pet owners are unsure: can you free your own house cat from a live trap?

"Like every morning we let our cat out," a reader from the Karstädt area told us. But what was not the same as always: the cat no longer showed up in the mornings for its nap on the terrace. Even in the evening there was still no trace of her.

The reader has already lost two cats in recent years. She found her cat a day and a half after his disappearance at the edge of the forest 200 meters away in a live trap, scared and extremely hungry. "I can say with certainty that this particular trap was not checked for three days," says our reader. In any case, she feels powerless in the face of this legal situation. “I did a lot of research on this topic on the Internet, we don't stand a chance. Certainly there is something good about these traps if they are used correctly and appropriately. Many pet owners have not been lucky enough to find their pet like us. But the impression remains that some traps are not checked for days. "

“Nobody can control what ultimately happens in the forest,” says Peter Höffken from the animal welfare organization PETA. For years, the organization has complained that the Federal Hunting Act and the corresponding state laws only insufficiently regulate the time intervals at which the live traps are to be checked. However, the state of Brandenburg does not see any need for improvement. The hunting regulations would already finally regulate the trapping, the usual control interval is twelve hours, insofar as it is unlikely that animals perish in a trap, notes Achim Wersin-Sielaff from the Ministry for Rural Development, Environment and Agriculture of the country. Dr. Tino first from the Brandenburg State Hunting Association. The German Hunting Association and the Association of German Professional Hunters had agreed to check “once a day”.

Live traps are usually used in Brandenburg to catch various small predators such as fox, raccoon, raccoon dog, mink, badger and stone marten. Achim Wersin-Sielaff adds that "stray cats that have been caught in live traps must be returned to the owner." But that does not mean that you can free your own animal. “The right to hunt is only available to hunting district owners and applies to live traps. Third parties have no right of access to the traps that have been set up, ”says Wersin-Sielaff. As a result, one must fear legal consequences if one's own animal is freed. This is also how the State Hunting Association sees it.

The animal welfare organization PETA argues a little differently. “Liberating one's own animal from such live traps is generally permissible, as it is the property of the person who liberates it,” says PETA legal advisor Sophie Nouvertné. She advises you to contact the responsible hunting authority immediately if you discover any abnormalities. The same applies to cases in which the trapped animal has been injured in or on the trap or has been in the trap for a longer period of time. “In an emergency, you should call the police.” PETA says that in Germany the trap snaps shut for domestic cats around 100,000 times a year.

According to Dr. Tino Erstling, stray house cats are also a threat in the Prignitz, for example for songbirds and domestic small game such as the brown hare, rabbit, pheasant and partridge. In the case of stray cats that are outside the 200 meter radius, the pet owners could even be held responsible for a violation of species protection. "That is why we continue to advocate this possibility of hunting."

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