Meow.

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

American Bird Conservancy kicks its May BirdWire off with the following ominous blurb:

ABC Video Highlights Damage to Birds from Trap, Neuter, Release Programs

American Bird Conservancy has produced a new, short video “Trap, Neuter, and Release: Bad for Cats, Disaster for Birds.” Each year, feral and free-roaming cats kill hundreds of millions of our nation’s birds, putting additional pressure on the populations of many species that are in decline.

Trap, Neuter, and Release (TNR) programs catch feral cats, neuter them, and then release them back to their colonies, which are subsequently maintained by volunteers. In theory, cat colonies managed under TNR will diminish over time through attrition, and eventually disappear. In practice this is not the case.

View the video here.

(If you have difficulty viewing the high-definition version, please click here.)

Here’s the video, along with its description on You Tube:

Each year free-roaming and feral cats kill hundreds of million of birds in the United States. One controversial solution to deal with the feral cat problem is trap, neuter and release. However, evidence is growing that this method is not eliminating the cat colonies or the predation of birds and other wildlife. There are other problems created by feral cats as well including threats to human health, and public nuisance issues. For more information see American Bird Conservancy’s website at http://www.abcbirds.org

(If you can’t view the video, you can read more about ABC’s speciesist views vis-à-vis free-roaming cats here.)

Though I’m not sufficiently educated on the issue to offer a counter to ABC’s assertions* (except to say that the birds with which ABC is so concerned have no greater right to life than their predators, the domestic and feral cats; but the guardians of domestic cats should most definitely keep them indoors, both for their own safety, and that of wildlife), I have to wonder whether ABC also advocates a vegetarian or vegan diet for Westerners. After all, meat consumption is a major contributor to climate change – which in turn is “the greatest threat to birds and other wildlife in human history.” (So says the Audubon Society, another organization that, inexplicably, engages in omni indulgence, if not outright apologism.) Most likely, ABC stands to save more birds by persuading their fellow Americans to adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet – or even just eating less of the stuff.

And yet.

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

And also, I’d love to hear Laura “Trap, Neuter and Find a Home” Reynold’s** ideas for rehoming all these feral cats when 1) most are not properly socialized to live indoors, with humans (they’re essentially wild animals, hello!); and 2) while between six and eight million cats and dogs enter U.S. shelters every year, only half leave alive. Seriously, what a stupid, uninformed thing to say.

One final thought: humans constitute a massive threat to wildlife. Unrivaled, perhaps. Remember, we’re the cause of climate change, “the greatest threat to birds and other wildlife in human history.”

….

* Luckily, the HSUS and Alley Cat Allies are. For a rebuttal of ABC’s video, start with their websites.

** Of the Tropical Audubon Society; quoted from an interview in ABC’s video.

(More below the fold…)

Alley Cat Allies: URGENT: Tragedy Could Lead to the End of Trap-Neuter Return (TNR) in Cape May, NJ!

Friday, June 8th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Feral Power! – alleycat [at] alleycat.org
Date: Jun 7, 2007 2:49 PM
Subject: TAKE ACTION! Tragedy Could Lead to the End of TNR in Cape May, NJ

URGENT: Tragedy Could Lead to the End of Trap-Neuter Return (TNR) in Cape May, NJ!

Your help needed to maintain renowned TNR program – send a letter now!

A terrible tragedy fell upon the Cape May, New Jersey Animal Control and a local animal organization, Animal Outreach. Early in the morning on Saturday, May 18th, 37 cats were killed in a fire that broke out in two trailers where the cats were housed – one used by animal control, the other by Animal Outreach of Cape May County.

Cape May’s feral cat Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program was one of the first of its kind and has been thriving for more than a decade. The city was one of the first to fund and legislate TNR as their feral cat policy, which has proven to be successful in the continued management and reduction of feral cats. Some of you may be familiar with the program because it is highlighted as a success on Alley Cat Allies’ video, “The Humane Solution: Reducing Feral Cat Populations with Trap-Neuter-Return.”

Feral cat advocates have looked to Cape May as an example of what can be done when local government, non-profit organizations, and residents come together to protect cats.

Unfortunately, the local Cape May government is using this tragedy as a reason to discontinue the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program. Pressured by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the City is being forced to decide between continuing the feral cat program and adopting a new Beach Management Plan written by the federal government. If the city council repeals the TNR program, any cats picked up will go to the county shelter which is so overloaded with cats that majority of them are killed. Eliminating the TNR program would result in an increase of feral and stray cats, a major step backwards for Cape May animal control and citizens of Cape May who have come to rely on this humane managment plan.

While the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s interest is in protecting the endangered species residing on Cape May’s beaches, it has little scientific proof that cats harm these species. Further, it is quite likely that there would be significantly more cats residing on the beaches if it were not for the efforts of Cape May’s animal control and local non-profits to TNR the cats.

TAKE ACTION: Support Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) in Cape May

The City of Cape May relies on tourist dollars and needs to hear from you. Contact the city council and the mayor to send your condolences for the loss of their community’s cats and encourage them to continue the standing TNR program. Tell them how their progressive, precedent-setting policy has been a model to other cities around the country. They need the encouragement and the support from feral cat advocates nationwide to see just how significant their work has been.

Send a Letter Now!

(More below the fold…)

Alley Cat Allies: Write a Letter to the Editor to support TNR at Avenal Prison

Friday, September 29th, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Feral Power! – alleycat [at] alleycat.org
Date: Sep 26, 2006 4:42 PM
Subject: Avenal Prison update! Write a Letter to the Editor to support TNR at Avenal Prison

Write Letters to the Editor to support TNR at Avenal!

Read “Prison cat program declawed; fur flies,” which explains the ongoing battle local Avenal, CA activists (Feral Paws Rescue) fight to reinstitute Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) at Avenal Prison – front page news in the Fresno Bee on Monday, September 25, 2006.

This article points out clear flaws in the prison’s reasons for ending their five year TNR program. Volunteers were able to reduce the feral cat population from 600 to 200 with no state funding, but they claim the program was ineffective.

Take action: Write a firm but polite Letter to the Editor stating that Trap-Neuter-Return should be reinstituted on the prison grounds to humanely reduce and manage outdoor cats. Please respect the 200 word limit for each paper. Encourage the San Francisco Chronicle to pick up the story since this hot topic issue needs more media coverage.

* Write a Letter to the Editor of the Fresno Bee HERE.

* Write a Letter to the Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle HERE.

Action Center

Continue to write letters to the Avenal Prison Warden, the California Department of Corrections and the Governor of California to ask for a revision of the prison’s policy on cats! Visit our Action Center to take action: HERE.

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