Best Friends Co-founder Francis Battista Calls B.S. on TNR Opponents

The next time I see Francis Battista, I’m buying the man a drink.

It’s the least I can do after his post on the Best Friends blog Thursday. In it, Francis, one of Best Friends’ founders, took TNR opponents to task for their indefensible position.

“Despite the inescapable logic that fixing free-roaming cats in a given neighborhood will reduce the ability of those cats to reproduce, the dogma of those opposed to trap/neuter/return (TNR) protocols prevents them from acknowledging the mathematical effects of spay/neuter on population control.”

The position of TNR opponents, Francis argues, is supported neither by the science, nor by public opinion.

“Setting aside—if indeed that is possible—the ugliness of such a plan, who would they propose undertake the campaign and how would they sell it to the cat-loving public? Municipalities certainly don’t have the resources to deploy hundreds of trappers who would, in any event, quickly become the target of animal activists’ ire. Are the bird groups planning to do it? The idea is as unworkable as it is cruel. Catching and killing stray cats was standard operating procedure for decades prior to the rise of TNR, yet catch-and-kill policies were notably ineffective in controlling community cat populations.”

He then goes on to point out that prohibiting TNR is, in fact, likely to be detrimental to the very species opponents claim to want to protect (a point I’ve made previously). “I suppose their logic goes that it’s better to let cat populations go entirely unchecked rather than open the door even a crack to TNR.”

Unfortunately, it’ll be nearly four months until I have the opportunity to buy Francis that drink—when we see each other at the 2012 No More Homeless Pets Conference, at which I’ve been invited to speak. (For a $25 discount on your registration fee, enter the discount code “Wolf” when asked for payment information.)

Until then, Francis, keep those blog posts coming!