Arkansas Game and Fish Declines Offers of Assistance with Feral Cats

When I wrote recently about the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s decision to begin trapping cats at the Barnett Access on the Little Red River, I suggested that AGFC fisheries biologist Tom Bly had “been drinking TNR opponents’ Kool-Aid.”


That same day, I sent an e-mail to the AGFC director/deputy directors and commissioners asking for an explanation for the roundup. AGFC Director Loren Hitchcock responded promptly, forwarding my e-mail to Bly, who in turn wrote:

“My information came from the Spring 2011 issue of The Wildlife Professional. This is the magazine of the “The Wildlife Society” and includes peer reviewed and published articles on wildlife management and dealing with feral cat issues. The link to the publication is

As you will notice nearly one third of the publication is concerned with wildlife depredation by feral cats and public health related issues.”

Kool-Aid? Check. Read more

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Targets Feral Cats

“The Barnett Access on the Little Red River is being overrun with feral cats,” reported last Tuesday’s edition of The Sun-Times, the local paper in Heber Springs, Arkansas. “Due to the interaction between the public and feral cats, and the risk to human health, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is going to begin a trapping effort in July to remove the cats.” [1]

Interaction between the public and feral cats?

Huh. The feral cats I’m familiar with don’t really interact with the public. They’re… you know, feral.

What’s going on here?

“Tom Bly, fisheries biologist with the AGFC said that feral cats are considered an invasive species by conservation agencies and organizations nationwide. ‘Cats are the most significant invasive species affecting native bird populations and are also estimated to kill twice as many mammals as birds. There are also numerous human health concerns associated with feral cat colonies. Through feces, fleas, bites, or scratches cats can pass a variety of parasitic, bacterial and viral illnesses including rabies, toxoplasmosis, hook worms, and typhus,’ Bly said.” [1]

Sounds like Bly’s been drinking TNR opponents’ Kool-Aid. Read more