Browsing the archives for the Policy Issues category

Canine Citizens and Community Cats

You know what they say about judging a book by its cover. Well, don’t be fooled by the title of Citizen Canine—as its subtitle indicates, this book is about “our evolving relationship” with both dogs and cats. Using a combination of rigorous research and on-the-ground reporting, author (and online news editor of Science) David Grimm [...]

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American Bird Conservancy “Encouraged By” Government Overreach

From a member message sent last week by the American Bird Conservancy:
We were encouraged by [the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s] recent statement from an FWS field office on free-roaming cats, a thoughtful and science-based letter to Escambia County, Florida. The letter expressed strong opposition to free-roaming cats within the U.S. ‘due to the adverse [...]

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A Commitment to Lethal (Non) Control

The reason the American Bird Conservancy, National Audubon Society, The Wildlife Society, and others oppose TNR is, explained chief Animal Control Officer for Pompano Beach, Florida, David Aycock, during a barn-burner of a City Commission meeting Tuesday night, “that these animals are not safe out there—on their own, by themselves.
I was reminded of that famous [...]

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Twenty-Three Years and Counting

The definition of insanity, it’s often said, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. As it happens, this isn’t actually the definition of insanity. And it’s unlikely that the pithy quote actually originates with Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, or Mark Twain, though it’s often attributed to one of the [...]

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Hillsborough County Commissioners Approve TNR Plan

It doesn’t happen often enough—but every now and then, common sense, reason, and compassion win the day. Today is such a day.
This morning Hillsborough County commissioners voted 6-to-1 in favor of Hillsborough County Animal Services’ recently announced TNR pilot program—part of director Ian Hallett’s proposal for reducing shelter killing (PDF).
This is a huge victory for [...]

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Hillsborough County Veterinary Medical Society Joins Witch-Hunt

Hillsborough County (Florida) Animal Services’ modest step in adopting TNR is met with fierce resistance by some in the veterinary community. Their alternative plan? Uninformed, unfunded, and unworkable.

Among the agenda items to be addressed when the Hillsborough County (FL) Board of Commissioners meets Wednesday morning: “approve the Animal Services Department’s Plan to Increase Live Outcomes [...]

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PETA Threatens Florida’s Community Cat Act

Less than two weeks after the “Community Cat Act” received unanimous approval from Florida’s House Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee, the bill (SB 1320) is scheduled to be heard and voted on by the Senate’s Agriculture Committee Monday afternoon.
As I reported in my previous post, the Florida Veterinary Medical Association came out in opposition to [...]

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Florida Veterinary Medical Association Opposes TNR-Friendly Bill

Among the “values and objectives that are still revered” by the 85-year-old Florida Veterinary Medical Association is “to further the education of its members.” So why is the organization going out of its way to misinform them about House Bill 1121, “The Community Cat Act”?
The bill, authored by Best Friends Animal Society and supported by [...]

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Brighter Days Ahead for the Sunshine State’s Cats?

Feral cat advocates were more than ready for some good news when, last Wednesday afternoon, we got some. Florida House Bill 1121, supported by Best Friends Animal Society, Alley Cat Allies, and the Humane Society of the United States, made it through the 11-member House Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee with unanimous approval. Among the [...]

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Audubon Editor Suggests Poisoning Feral Cats

Armed with the recently published “killer cat study” from the Smithsonian Biological Conservation Institute and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, TNR opponents are calling for increasingly extreme measures.
Travis Longcore was among the first, telling KCET reporter Judy Muller that “managing and controlling unowned, free-roaming cats will require euthanasia. There are not enough shelter spaces, there [...]

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Key Lie Kitties

It was easy to miss,* what with all the media attention devoted to the Smithsonian/USFWS’s “killer cat study,” published less than 24 hours later, but on January 28th, the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex (managed by USFWS) released the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex Integrated Pest Management Plan. Regular readers will recall that [...]

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The American Bird Conservancy’s Campaign of Killing

“The only sure way to protect wildlife, cats and people is for domestic cats to be permanently removed from the outdoor environment,” argues American Bird Conservancy president George Fenwick in a Baltimore Sun op-ed published earlier this week.
“Trap-neuter-release programs that perpetuate the slaughter of wildlife and encourage the dumping of unwanted cats is [sic] a [...]

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The Agenda Behind Agenda-driven “Science”

What do you get when public policy is based on agenda-driven junk science? If various TNR opponents have their way, we’ll find out the hard way.

As I pointed out shortly after the Smithsonian/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s “killer cat study” was published, the paper actually has very little to do with science or conservation. At [...]

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Garbage In, Garbage Out

By now—just about 72 hours after the story broke—it’s probably more difficult to find people who haven’t heard about the Smithsonian study claiming “that free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.4–3.7 billion birds and 6.9–20.7 billion mammals annually” [1] than it is to find people who’ve heard the news somewhere—the New York Times, the BBC, NPR’s All [...]

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A Ban on Cats in New Zealand?

I swear, I really didn’t want to put any energy in to the Gareth Morgan story—didn’t want to give the thing any more oxygen. As a former co-worker used to say, “Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, and the pig likes it.”
But, as if often the case with such PR stunts, the [...]

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Monmouth County, NJ

It’s taken a very long time, but there is now an unmistakable momentum. At long last, shelters across the country are beginning to reconsider their long-standing policies about stray, abandoned, and feral cats.
Among the pioneers were, of course, Jacksonville, FL, and San Jose, CA, with their “Feral Freedom” programs. Late last year, Sutter County, CA, [...]

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Follow-up: Indian Harbour Beach Ordinance

Last Wednesday, I reported that the Indian Harbour Beach (FL) City Council had voted in favor of ordinance revisions that would effectively ban the feeding and care of feral cats. At the time, I hadn’t seen the final wording of the ordinance, however. Nor did I have any details of the lively discussion that preceded [...]

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Pompano Beach Cracks Down on Feeding Homeless Cats

The same day the Indian Harbour Beach (FL) City Council voted to ban the feeding of, and caring for, feral cats, the issue was making headline 150 miles to the south, in Pompano Beach.
According to Tuesday’s Sun Sentinel, “Gretchen Sheehan’s labor of love”—feeding homeless cats—”netted her a $50 fine,” thus creating a bit of an [...]

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Indian Harbour Beach Bans Feeding and Care of Feral Cats

Late Tuesday I received word that Indian Harbour Beach, Florida, went through with its proposed ordinance, thereby making it illegal: “for any person to possess, harbor, feed, breed, maintain or keep any feral animals on any public or private property located within the corporate boundaries of the City of Indian Harbour Beach.”
The approved ordinance* reads, [...]

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Indian Harbour Beach, FL, Votes on TNR Ban Tonight

Regular readers will recall that last summer, officials in Brevard County, FL, threatened to impose restrictions on TNR by way of changes to their ordinance governing free-roaming cats. This came after a moratorium on new colonies in residential areas was declared by the Brevard County Commission during its May board meeting.
According to a Florida Today [...]

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