One of the cat signs in Mennecy, Source: Aux Mennechats

French town warns drivers about crossing cats with new signs

French town warns drivers about crossing cats with new signs

The traffic signage posts also include horses and hedgehogs, in a bid to better the welfare of all local animals

The town of Mennecy, located south of Paris, has recently installed some new road signs featuring horses, hedgehogs and cats. Whereas horse traffic signs are part of the road network in other countries as well, the inclusion of domestic felines on a sign is rather unusual.

What’s more, the triangular sign features the words “Chat en balade” (Cat taking a walk) below the outline of a black cat. And no, the authorities have stated that the signs are not meant as a joke or as a sign of warning to superstitious drivers.

The installation of the new signs has to do with the town’s policies to earn and maintain its “Animal-Friendly Town” label (Ville Amies des Animaux) for the second year in a row. The label is an initiative of the Ile-de-France region, which seeks to promote animal rights there, regardless of whether they are domestic pets, farmyard animals or wild critters.

It's a way to raise awareness among people who will react a little differently if we are talking about animals or people. If it can make it possible for people to drive more slowly, it will make for more safety and less noise pollution for everyone,” said Jean-Philippe Dugoin-Clément, vice-president of Ile-de-France Region, as quoted by 20Minutes.

Animals have always been part of the road traffic, in one way or another

However, the town of Mennecy might be unique even among the other animal-friendly towns, thanks to these new signs. The initiative to design and place them originated locally from a cat-owners association called Aux Mennechats.

Its president, Lionel Garnier, was saddened to constantly pick up dead animals on the roads and decided to do something about this issue. 

As such, the road signs are free of copyright and other towns are encouraged to adopt them as a good practice.



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