Tuesday, May 17, 2016

AN UNHEEDED CALL TO ACTION—From the Palm Beach Post editors: Cats and why TNVR needs to be abandoned

Remember, it was a Palm Beach Post editorial on May 27th, 2015 (nearly a year ago), that started the big debate and all the news about Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, Release (TNVR) and the horrible devastation of bird populations here in Florida. Eliot Kleinberg wrote an article about this titled, "Wildlife groups: Returning cats to streets a bad idea", and Wayne Washington had one titled, "Palm Beach County mayor urges rescue groups to stop bringing in non-local animals".

Even Rich Anderson of Peggy Adams Animal Rescue chimed in with a Post opinion piece that, frankly, didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Anyhow, read the blog post below from May of last year about the Post editorial that started all the fur flying (pardon the pun):

Once a cat has been trapped, neutered, and vaccinated, many times they're released into the neighborhood or into the wild (such as the Everglades). Cats are causing havoc on the ecosystem and you can read about that here. Here is a Florida songbird that is threatened by cats:
The Florida Scrub Jay, image from Wikipedia.
The Palm Beach Post editorial board has this to say about a PBC Commission vote coming up in June:

     "In June, 2015 commissioners will take a final vote on the proposed TNVR program. They should pause before they do. [emphasis added]
     The county’s proposed policy, as written, has some good features. It would prohibit the release of the cats in parks and protected natural areas, and it would focus on sterilizing only healthy-looking cats that are clearly being fed and cared for by neighborhood animal lovers. These cats would be returned to their place of origin once 'fixed,' microchipped and vaccinated.
     That sounds like the perfect solution, except that it’s not really. Even well-fed cats retain their hunting instinct, and continue to kill significant numbers of wild birds and animals. One study found an outdoor domestic cat is capable of killing 60 birds and 1,600 small mammals in an 18-month period."

There is also another possible solution to the feral cat population:
The Nile Monitor Lizard eats feral cats and it is gaining a foothold in Palm Beach County.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ha, we will be in big trouble if the Nile lizard establishes itself here. Cats, I don't know what the solution is. If you killed all the feral cats, pretty soon you'd have a whole bunch more feral cats because way too many people allow their cats to roam, don't fix them, abandon them, etc. Solution must be a two pronged effort, control the feral cat population either through TNR to a registered colony or through depopulation PLUS strict and strong enforcement on sale, neutering and roaming cats. Cats cannot be outside and any cat that is found outside has to be captured and turned into animal care and control and if the owner wants the cat back they pay a fine, next time a high fine and third time no cat back. Until cat owners learn that cats outside is not allowed, via enforcement, the feral cat issue can never be solved.

Anonymous said...

So many people think their cats "have" to be outside for some reason. It is dangerous out there for them!

Several years ago we rescued a bunch of cats from a few abandoned houses. This was during the financial downturn. We worked hard to find places for them- cats can be useful in certain situations. Rodents and birds (through foraging and huge deposits of feces) can destroy crops. Cats can be a good deterrent. They are used in the Chicago area in breweries to keep rodents out of the grain storage areas. We had found places for the cats in 5 different counties- none in Palm Beach County. We were heartbroken when lsw enforcement would not listen and had the cats removed and destroyed. One more day and they would have had the second chance they deserved. Not everything should be judged as something on reality television. We had a solution but it was assumed we were keeping them, etc. So sad!