On November 5, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be conducting a day-long workshop at the Wildlife Society Annual Conference in Waikoloa, Hawaii to teach attendees how to protest trap-neuter-return efforts in their communities.
The workshop, entitled “Influencing Local Scale Feral Cat Trap-Neuter-Release Decisions,” is “designed to train biologists and conservationists to speak in an effective manner on behalf of wildlife in the community decision-making process by providing the best available scientific evidence regarding unrestrained cat control.”
They will also “review the latest peer-reviewed science on unrestrained cats, TNR effectiveness, and human and outdoor cat health issues. Throughout, participants will have ample time for questions and discussion. We review the array of communication tools presently available to wildlife advocates, including FAQ sheets, NGO position statements, photos, videos, education literature, responsible pet ownership guidelines, training tools for keeping domestic pets indoors, and example wildlife-friendly municipal ordinances. We also provide a forum to critically examine and discuss current efforts to form partnerships to bridge the divide between cat and wildlife supporters. Finally, we provide a structured opportunity for participants to explore likely decision-making scenarios, debrief, and then share insights and ideas about possible future directions for developing productive partnerships for resolving cat issues and promoting cat well-being without jeopardizing native wildlife.”
The USFWS is going to support lethal control measures, or the wide-scale killing of feral cats, which has been proven to be cruel and ineffective and has garnered public outcry.
“Undoubtedly, there will be little talk of how TNR programs sterilize the cats, thus curtailing future free-roaming cat population growth, and how fewer cats logically equals less predation. Equally offensive, the organizers will fail to pinpoint a funding source for their recommended solution, while completely ignoring that this blatant rejection of humane alternatives to wildlife conflicts flies in the face of public opinion and decency. Furthermore, attendees won’t be hearing about how a full-day workshop declaring war on cats is an unwise use of taxpayer funds,” according to Best Friends Animal Society.
Speaking of taxpayer funds, TNR programs are run and funded by non-profits and private citizens, whereas expensive killing-sprees, which most people seem to oppose, are funded by taxpayers. Managed care colonies also give tame abandoned cats and kittens a chance at being adopted, instead of being left to roam or be killed.
Maybe instead of targeting compassionate people and organizations who have taken it upon themselves to clean up the continued irresponsibility of others, the USFWS could come up with a humane solution to protect cats and deal with wildlife conflicts, or support accessible spay/neuter programs to stop the problem before it’s a problem and will save taxpayers in the long run.
Send a letter to the USFWS asking them to support non-lethal methods of feral cat control and sign the petition pledging to spay/neuter your pets.
Photo credit: jonworth via flickr