For Immediate Release: September 8, 2012
Contact: CARLA DAVIS, firstname.lastname@example.org or (240) 482-3887; FRANCIE ISRAELI, email@example.com or (202) 207-1134
ALLEY CAT ALLIES TO 20/20: GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT ON CATS
ABC’s 20/20 hypes myths about wildlife predation while ignoring the real threat: humans
BETHESDA, MD— Alley Cat Allies, the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, today derided ABC’s 20/20 after the program aired a sensational segment about outdoor cats and wildlife predation, but ignored the species with the greatest impact on wildlife: people.
“20/20 aired this segment without first checking the facts,” said Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies. “The program did not bother to turn to cat experts for fairness, balance or truth. It also ignored the massive scientific evidence pointing to people as the true cause of wildlife decline, with the greatest impacts caused by habitat loss, pollution, and urban sprawl.”
Ironically, the program was titled, “The Camera Doesn’t Lie,” but 20/20’s segment on cats was full of half-truths and misleading information.
The 20/20 segment misused unpublished data by the University of Georgia in which researchers used “kitty cams” attached to collars to follow a small group of pet cats in suburban Athens, Georgia. In one week, the 55 cats caught five birds. While erroneous headlines have trumped the cats’ natural instincts, the researchers actually found that the majority of cats studied were not hunters, and that birds were by far not a major target.
Alley Cat Allies also called out 20/20 for turning to the American Bird Conservancy for comment, even though this group’s propaganda and distortions have been roundly criticized.
“The American Bird Conservancy is known for spreading fictions about outdoor cats and making wild extrapolations about their imagined impact on other species,” said Robinson. “They’ve used unpublished data to fuel their extremist agenda of killing cats. There just isn’t evidence that shows cats have any negative impact on bird populations.”
About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 260,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens nationwide. Their web site is www.alleycat.org.