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Assessment of the risks posed by domestic cats (Felis catus) to biodiversity and animal welfare in Norway. Scientific Opinion of the Panel on Biodiversity of the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment

Vitenskapelig oversiktsartikkel/review
VKM Report
Eksterne nettsted
Paul Ragnar Berg
Erlend Birkeland Nilsen, Bjarne Olai Braastad, Svein Dale, Børre Kind Dervo, Kyrre Linné Kausrud, Lawrence Richard Kirkendall, Martin Malmstrøm, Cecilie Marie Mejdell, Eli Knispel Rueness, Paul Ragnar Berg, Anders Bryn, Katrine Eldegard, Sonya Rita Geange, Kjetil Hindar, Anders Nielsen, Brett Kevin Sandercock, Eva Bonsak Thorstad, Gaute Velle


VKM has evaluated to what extent keeping of cats pose a risk to biodiversity in Norway. Risks were assessed separately for threats to biodiversity from direct predation, indirect (non-lethal) effects, competition with other wildlife and spread of infectious organisms. VKM also assessed the risk of reduced animal welfare related to the keeping of domestic cats, both for the cats and their prey. In addition, VKM has assessed a range of risk-reducing measures aimed at minimizing the risk for negative impacts on biodiversity and animal welfare. Overall, VKM find that the risk of negative impact on vulnerable birds and red-listed mammalian species are high under certain conditions. VKM also find that there is a considerable risk associated with increased spread of infectious organisms from cats to wildlife and other domestic species. Some of these infectious organisms may also infect humans. With respect to mitigation measures, VKM concludes that measures focused on limiting cats’ access to prey populations are likely to yield the most positive outcomes in terms of mitigating the adverse impact on biodiversity.