Okay, admittedly I am a cat-lover. In my defense, however, I am a lover of all God’s creatures (not thrilled about bugs and reptiles, but hey – live and let live). This report, however, does not seem to make ANY sense.
The University of Nebraska at Lincoln has alleged gleaned results from their recent “research“, and determined that the best method of handling feral cats is to kill them. Yep, kill them – by means of chemical, carbon dioxide, or …shooting them. Their report even goes so far as to instruct on the way to shoot a cat so as to (allegedly) incur immediate death. Honestly, I cannot believe this. I couldn’t read it without the blood pressure going sky-high! What are these people thinking?
This is 2010, in fact it’s almost 2011. We are well into the 21st century, well aware that although ferals can create a nuisance, and that cats in general are natural predators of birds, we have also worked hard in developing effective and successful TNR (trap-neuter-return) and feral cat colony management programs. TNR simply ensures the cats are neutered to prevent multiplying their population, and returns them to their territory to live peacefully among wildlife. Yet this university purports that TNR does not work well, and the only solution to eradicate (blood pressure check) the situation of feral cats is to destroy them.
Now, cats have always been predators of birds. I consulted a bird-enthusiast friend, and she told me the fuss over cats vs. birds is based on nonsense. I believe her, she’s also a cat-lover. She has a balanced perspective. As ferals, cats may indeed go after birds, but exactly how many birds can’t escape a cat’s mission by simply flying away?? Those who are concerned about depleting populations of songbirds are not considering other factors, such as pollution and land development. Add to that the reality of all creatures in Nature ultimately in the position of predator over another creature, and where would we draw the line? Should coyotes be killed? Bears? Wolves? In fact, birds? I can think of some larger birds who attack smaller creatures, including cats.
So the argument that feral cats are to be destroyed because they will otherwise obliterate the population of songbirds, and cause great inconvenience to humans in the meantime, is just too intolerable for me to have respect for. TNR does work. Feral cat colonies, overseen by responsible, educated humans who ensure they are neutered and fed, are not likely to cause much of a problem. Birds still sing. There are humane solutions.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
For more information about TNR, and a response to this news, please visit Alley Cat Allies