Birders and conservationists unite: feral cat battle comes to Minneapolis
The Minneapolis City Council's Committee on Public Safety, Civil Rights and Health will have a hearing today on the stupidity that is “trap, neuter, and release.” Yes, advocates for releasing an exotic species into the environment have friends in the Minneapolis City Council who have created a lengthy ordinance accommodating feral cat colonies.
The City Council needs to hear from every birder and outdoors enthusiast in the metro area today that even discussing something this ridiculous is completely unacceptable. Audubon Minnesota filed a letter Monday expressing its opposition to the ordinance.
My opinion on feral cats and TNR nonsense is well known, so I won’t delve into it any deeper here (though you’re welcome to browse through my blog archives). Outdoor News regular contributing writer and University of Minnesota ornithologist Bob Zink sums up feral cat colonies today in the Star Tribune pretty well: “They are, pure and simple, ecological pollution.” See Bob Zink’s well written, complete letter here.
My take is a little more blunt: Feral cat colonies should be wiped out, and people who maintain them should be prosecuted under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act for helping to wipe out native songbirds.
Today’s Star Tribune story notes how the feral cat wildlife problem has “burst into the public eye” thanks to recent research by the Smithsonian. No, all the Smithsonian research did was validate past studies like those by the University of Wisconsin in the late 1980s and early ’90s. There’s nothing new here. I wrote a column a few years back about magazine content from the 1930s recognizing the carnage free-ranging cats inflict on the environment. Humanity’s inability to learn from the past boggles the mind.
Anyone who’s spent any time outdoors during the past quarter-million years knows cats kill small critters, lots of them. I don’t hold that against a native wild cat (like a bobcat), but free-ranging house cats or – god forbid – these stinkin’ feral cat colonies are subsidized domestic animals. They are an exotic species, and like all exotics that are wreaking havoc on our environment, society should be trying to eliminate them, not perpetuate them. Side note: For all the yelling and screaming sportsmen endure about spreading aquatic invasive species via watercraft, our DNR (as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) sure are quiet about domestic cats.
There’s a simple way to control overabundant feral cats. You shoot them. A bullet from a gun is a simple, humane way to dispatch any overabundant species. Metro bowhunters keep the Twin Cities-area deer population in check and when they fail, municipalities hire sharpshooters to cull the rest. It works with cats, too.
I wrote a blog a few months ago where I inserted the word “rat” for cat in a TNR debate scenario. Hell, insert the name of any other mammal for “cat” in this so-called debate, and both sides would laugh themselves silly. Feral “dog” colonies. Feral “rat” colonies. Feral “pig” colonies. Feral “human” colonies.
Then there’s the disease angle, as reported here last month. Cats are the main domestic animal linked to human rabies exposure, and we want to maintain colonies of these things? How dare the Minneapolis City Council even consider increasing my children’s exposure to rabies and all the other nasty diseases these filthy animals spread. What planet am I living on? Has the human race gone completely insane?
Contact Minneapolis City Council members via email on this issue today. Here’s a link to council members and their emails. Cam Gordon proposed the ordinance.
You also may send comments to council committee coordinator Irene Kasper.
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