Sunday, September 4, 2016

POINT OF VIEW: "Like lionfish, invasive feral cats should be eliminated"

Note that Mr. Weix, who penned the "Point Of View" published in the Palm Beach Post, left a comment (see below).

The roaming pet and feral cat issue in not going away any time soon. Recently, this was a major topic at a Lake Worth Neighborhood Assoc. meeting and Paul Bates from Peggy Adams Animal Rescue was the speaker. He clarified the situation vis-à-vis TNVR (trap, neuter, vaccinate, release) and ways for the community to try and solve this problem.

The Post began this kerfuffle on May 27th, 2015, with an editorial critical of Palm Beach County's duplicitous approach to environmentalism, of cats and the devastation to our native bird populations here in South Florida; an excerpt from that editorial:

In 1999, Palm Beach County voters endorsed buying environmentally sensitive land. The first property on the list was a 97-acre patch of sand pines and scrub oak on Hypoluxo Road, near railroad tracks. The county paid $4.5 million for it. What made the site so special? It was home to the southernmost population of Florida scrub jays, an endangered species that lives only here, and is unique for its intelligence and family bonding. We say “was,” because there are no more scrub jays on the Hypoluxo Scrub. [emphasis added] County environmental managers believe that the last eight birds were hunted and killed years ago — by stray house cats. Because the birds nest in low bushes, they were easy prey for the feline predators. It is a stark reminder of how much damage free-roaming cats can do to native wildlife, not just birds but small mammals and reptiles as well.

A short time later, on June 7th, Jim Weix chimed in and he pulled no punches. He makes probably the most logical case for eliminating feral cats to date with this analogy:

     If someone were to suggest a trap, neuter, vaccinate and release (TNVR) program for lionfish and pythons, they would be labeled delusional. [emphasis added] Why is it different for people who advocate the TNVR program for feral cats?
     The reason is that feral cats are cuter than other non-native invasive species. They also have become the “poster child” for many animal rights groups, as “poor kitties” are a great source of donation revenues.
     Many of these animal rights groups would have the public believe that hunting is a serious threat to wildlife. Yet they think nothing of protecting a non-native, invasive, feral cat population that is wiping out native bird populations.

Mr. Weix makes an excellent logical case. Cats get special treatment due to the "Bambi syndrome", more formally called anthropomorphism. Hopefully the public will come to their senses before it's too late.
The Florida Scrub Jay; image from Wikipedia.