North Denmark village hit by ‘feline AIDS’ epidemic

All feral cats in the Danish village of Sønder Onsild must be caught after an outbreak of the feline immunodeficiency virus.

North Denmark village hit by 'feline AIDS' epidemic
Photo: Iris/Scanpix

Cats might be said to have nine lives, but this appears to be far from the case in the village, reports local newspaper Nordjyske.

Feline immunodeficiency virus, sometimes called feline AIDS, has been found in at least nine feral cats in the village and surrounding area southwest of the town of Hobro in central Jutland.

Although it cannot be caught be humans or other animal species, cats with the disease can infect each other via biting and scratching. Once infected, the cats cannot be cured.

There is no vaccination against the disease.

The local municipality has agreed to work with Animal Protection Aarhus (Dansk Dyreværn Aarhus) and local cat shelter Min Ven Katten Hobro to capture all the wild cats in the area, reports Nordjyske.

READ ALSO: Shooting cats and dogs now illegal in Denmark

Cats will be captured on a number of dates over the next month.

Local cat owners are advised to keep their cats indoors during this period if they do not have collars or identifying ear tattoos.

Infected cats can take up to ten years to show signs of infection and kittens are infected in the womb. The disease is diagnosed via blood test.

The disease itself is a viral infection that weakens the cat’s immune system. Symptoms can include general sickliness and infectious diseases such as mouth cavity infections, veterinarian Søren Haubro told local Nordjyske.

This risk can be reduced if the cat is spayed, Haubro said, as less aggressive cats are less likely to scratch and bite.

All captured cats that test positive for the disease will be put down, reports Nordjyske. Cats that test negative will be kept at cat shelters or other institutions. 


Kitten journeys from Norway to Denmark on underside of truck

A kitten became a reluctant stowaway on 450-kilometre-long journey from Norway to Denmark after hopping on to the undercarriage of a truck.

Kitten journeys from Norway to Denmark on underside of truck
Illustration photo: LeniKovaleva/Depositphotos

After being driven and making a ferry crossing from Egersund in Rogaland, southwestern Norway to Bronderslev in North Jutland, the truck was handed over to a mechanic in the Danish town.

The mechanic found the kitty on the vehicle’s chassis, Norway’s national broadcaster NRK reports.

The little cat is thought to have been on board the lorry throughout its international journey.

“That’s a long journey for a little kitten,” Gritt Mathiesen Hanghøj, head of animal welfare at nearby cat shelter Nordjyllands Hittekilling, told NRK.

Hanghøj was contacted by the workshop who discovered the travelling feline.

The cat most likely climbed onto the truck’s undercarriage seeking warmth before being taken on an unexpected long haul.

Although a large part of the journey was a ferry crossing, the cat stayed under the vehicle for a long road trip, Hanghøj told NRK.

“The lorry drove from Egersund to Stavanger before taking the ferry from Stavanger to Frederikshavn in Denmark. The driver then drove to the workshop in Bronderslev,” she said.

The trailer was delivered to the workshop directly after its arrival in Denmark, making it unlikely the cat hopped on board after the crossing.

The female kitten is currently being looked after following her ordeal.

“She is dehydrated, lethargic and in shock, but is being given fluids, food and love. She made it through the night and there’s a good chance she’ll survive,” Hanghøj said.

“I think she’s used up a couple of her nine lives,” the cat shelter leader told NRK.

Search is now underway for the kitten’s owner, who is yet to be identified.

A social media post on Wednesday by Nordjyllands Hittekilling has been shared over 1,700 times, but a further update on Thursday said that no owner had been found so far. Neither has any further information become available on identity of the truck or its driver.

READ ALSO: Danish kitten takes solo train trip to neighbouring town