Due to their classification of domestic cats as a ‘invasive alien species,’ the government-run Polish Academy of Sciences has angered a number of people. Wojciech Solarz, a scientist, made the decision after pointing out the harm cats do to birds and other nearby species. According to Associated Press, Solarz stated that a big portion of the scientific community holds the view that cats have a negative impact on biodiversity and that their hunting habits seriously hurt the environment. The Institute of Nature Conservation of the academy made the decision to add them to a national database of ‘alien species.’
The decision to term house cats as ‘invasive alien species’ has not gone down well with cat lovers as around the world as people started trolling online and the institute faced a lot of criticism.
In TV debates where he participated, Solarz received criticism as well. Despite this, the scientist stuck to his position, asserting that ‘cats kill roughly 140 million birds in Poland each year,’ according to the AP.
The institute has also defended their position, noting the issue on their official website and claiming that the result was reached with consideration for the standards of the European Union.
The institute said in the official statement that the typical house cat was most likely tamed around 10,000 years ago in the Middle East and that, as a result, from ‘a strictly scientific point of view,’ it will not be incorrect to consider them a ‘foreign species’ for Europe.