A COSTA BLANCA council is asking people not to feed feral cats as they say it is affecting their programme of sterilisations.
Orihuela council say the cats are capable of feeding themselves and, in any case, registered volunteers are feeding the animals with dried food. People giving the cats leftovers could be a health hazard and attract cockroaches and rats.
According to some people the town’s colonies of cats – up to 30 or more strong – are becoming a bit of a tourist attraction with people gathering to see them fed.
But for others they are a pest who defecate in gardens and are “taking over the town”.
Orihuela council adheres to the CES program (Capture, Sterilization and Release), but the results are not as good as hoped as many cats are still not sterilised and litters are still being born.
The Federation of Associations of Orihuela Costa (FAOC) doubts says that a lack of funding is preventing the programme working properly.
It has sent several letters to the council asking for a solution to what they consider could create a serious health problem because those who feed the cats do not usually collect the remains of food they leave.
Feeding cats is not forbidden, but leaving the remains of food and containers on the public street can lead to a fine.
The Councillor for Health, Noelia Grao said: “We have a problem with those who feed the cats because we can only catch them with cages and those which are being fed do not enter them”.
The matter will be discussed at the next meeting of the Animal Welfare Council on September 17.