By Humphrey Carter PALMA city council will next month launch a campaign to try and bring the capital's population of cats and dogs under tighter control. The new initiative was unveiled yesterday by the city councillor for health and consumer affairs, Begoña Moragues, who explained that the main focus of the new campaign is to encourage pet owners to have their animals neutered. A total of 36 veterinary clinics will be participating in the operation which kicks off this Saturday and runs until November 15. During this period, pet owners will be entitled to a 20 percent discount from the participating veterinary clinics. The operation costs around 100 euros. Begoña Moragues said yesterday that there are an estimated 1'000 cats and dogs in Palma and the primary aim of the campaign is to reduce the number of strays. Part of the drive will involve the distribution of 12'000 maps indicating where the participating veterinary clinics are located in Palma as well as all the capital's pet shops. Director of the municipal animal protection and care centre at Son Reus, Pedro Morell, while admitting that the authorities have no accurate idea of how many strays there are in Palma, stressed that it is vital for all domestic pets to be neutered. He explained that apart from reducing the risk of pets having litters which can not be properly looked after and often end up being abandoned, the operation also reduces the number of cases of “psychological pregnancies” some pets suffer when they are on heat and also reduces the level of aggressiveness amongst male cars and dogs. He added that having pets neutered or castrated does not effect the animal's behaviour, although after the operation, diet should be controlled and an active exercise routine planned. Son Reus is fighting a tough battle, while during this current legislature, the number of pets being adopted has risen by 30 percent, the number of animals being abandoned continues to rise - hence why the sterilisation campaign is being launched to stop the birth of pets the city cannot look after properly. The council will also be running a simultaneous campaign reminding owners their pets should also be fitted with a micro-chip.