Stray Cats' Exploits Torture Seoul Residents

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Stray Cats' Exploits Torture Seoul Residents

Kim Sung-jin (32), a businessman resident of a town house complex in Eunpyung-gu, Seoul, cannot sleep soundly at night because of the sound of stray cats ransacking garbage boxes in front of his house.

"They don't even run away when they see people. I'm worried about my wife who hates cats," said Kim.

The number of abandoned cats causing harm to local inhabitants in Seoul has increased this year.

On the district offices' Internet opinion boards, more and more people are registering complaints regarding the inconveniences caused by the abandoned cats. Residents say that the cats pollute the environment by ransacking garbage, disturb sleep with nightly caterwauls, and scare residents by springing out of the dark.

According to Korean Animal Rescue and Management Committee, in charge of abandoned animals in 13 district offices in Seoul, the number of cats caught by the rescue team increased sharply from 79 in 1995 to 169 in 2000.

However, there are no definite regulations regarding the stray felines. They are not defined as livestock animals according to the Livestock Act, therefore they cannot be regulated by administrative institutions. They also cannot be killed, caught, or sold randomly according to the Animal Protection Law. And Environment Ministry regulations regarding alley cats are criticized as vague.

by Woo Sang-kyun

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