World’s northernmost town forbids domestic cats and the reason will surprise you

Longyearbyen (“The Longyear Town”) is the world’s northernmost settlement with a population greater than 1,000. It is the largest inhabited area of Svalbard, Norway and is named after the American John Munro Longyear. It’s a community on Svalbard which is a Norwegian Archipelago in the Arctic Ocean.

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Almost everyone living in Longyearbyen has come to the town rather than being born there and it is believed that for this reason they have a similar attitude.

It is a town surrounded by great wildlife.

There are two unusual rules for the citizens of this town:

  • Domestic cats are banned and have been since the 1990s and
  • Dying is also banned!

Domestic cats are banned

Cats are banned not primarily it seems to protect wildlife which is abundant around Longyearbyen but because, according to The Sun newspaper, they are “overly susceptible to rabies and tapeworm infections”! And for this reason they posed too big a risk to humans.

Comment: why do they pick on those two zoonotic diseases? Tapeworm infections come from the cat flea which the cat ingests and in doing so ingests tapeworm eggs. I would doubt that fleas exist in such a cold place. I might be wrong but tapeworms aren’t the most dangerous things in the world.

Rabies obviously is very dangerous but it doesn’t stop many millions of Americans successfully looking after domestic cats and rabies is present in America. Also dogs can spread zoonotic diseases but they are not banned. I understand the rule though.

Note: I think The Sun has this wrong as cats are banned on Svalbard to protect wildlife. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Dying is forbidden!

If you are dying you are flown off the island to die elsewhere because being buried in the permafrost means that your body might contain diseases almost indefinitely. It’s believed that the permafrost contains the virus from the 1918 flu pandemic.

If you die unexpectedly you are “whisked away to be interred”. Comment: it would seem that the body is flowing off the island.

In addition to the above, people must carry rifles to protect against polar bears of which there are 3,000 around the town, a greater number than the 2,500 human population.

Alcohol is limited to a certain amount per month and finally you can’t give birth in Longyearbyen. Weeks before a pregnant woman is due to give birth she is flowing off the island to give birth on the mainland of Norway.

RELATED: Four places where domestic cats are totally banned.

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