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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Feral Cats and Birds

Ted Williams has a succinct article on the conflict between feral cat management advocates and wildlife issues in the most recent Audubon magazine. I'm sure he's going to take some flack for this, but it had to be said, and Audubon magazine should be commended for wading into the fray--it's a very emotional issue for so many people. But lets just get this out of the way--TNR (trap, neuter, return) is based on junk science. It actually promotes feral cats rather than reduces their number and impact on the environment.

We need a better option to protect birds and other wildlife. Feral cats need to be removed from the environment. If the animal welfare folks don't want these cats to be killed, than they need to foot the bill to have them taken care of on their own properties and be licensed for the killing of wildlife that will take place on these "cat ranches". Sure it will be expensive to set up cat ranches for all these animals. But that's the only way to manage them so that they aren't killing wildlife.

Feral cats should not be roaming around in public. They are a hazard to wildlife and human health.


Dan said...

As I just replied to you on Twitter, and as a biologist, please don't pass along articles like this that outright say we should respect groups like the Humane Society of the United States. HSUS is not affiliated with animal welfare groups such as the ASPCA or local humane animal welfare groups. Instead they support groups like SHAC and ALF.

I'm all for bringing feral cat populations under control to help birds, but not at the expense of animal rights' terrorists.

sue said...

I agree 100%. I am a bird lover AND a cat lover and though I do not have a cat at the present time, my previous cats were all indoors.
Here is a post from my blog regarding the same topic and keeping cats and native wildlife safe by keeping cats indoors.
Of course this would not be an issue if folks would spay/neuter their pets.

Rick Wright said...

Yes. Cats indoors. Please. Always.

Ryan said...

Great article. Science is definitely on the side of the birds. Now how do we win the emotional debate? It's clear the feral cat lovers won't listen to logic, so there needs to be some work to appeal to their emotions.

Brenda Pike said...

I didn't even realize there was a debate over TNR. I guess I'll need to do more research. But it makes sense. We don't allow feral dog colonies. And if we have leash laws for dogs, there should be a requirement to keep cats indoors, too.

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