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Press Release

For Immediate Release: December 1, 2010
Contact: ELIZABETH PAROWSKI, or 240-482-1984; FRANCIE ISRAELI, or 202-207-1134

Disputes accuracy of report’s findings; rejects conclusion that shooting feral cats is an acceptable means of control

BETHESDA, MD — A disturbing report released by the University of Nebraska at Lincoln—which proposes shooting feral cats as an acceptable means of control—is based on shoddy research, is scientifically unsupportable, and should be unequivocally rejected, said Alley Cat Allies.

“This ‘report’ is basically a summary of previous studies, some inaccurately quoted and others extrapolated to reach wildly exaggerated conclusions,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies. “It seems the writers did little more than collect a set of confusing facts and figures and pull conclusions from previous research—including research which has been characterized by the original author as ‘not actual data.’

“Still, this is not just an issue of science, but also of ethics. The fact that this report—based on no conclusive or reliable data—could be used to justify shooting cats is disturbing and offensive,” she said.

Robinson pointed to significant scientific research—totally ignored by the University of Nebraska researchers—that shows the effectiveness of Trap-Neuter-Return. In addition, she noted that decades of anecdotal evidence by feral cat caregivers across the globe shows Trap-Neuter-Return to be the only effective and humane approach to feral cats.

“Time and again, the research shows that killing feral cats to manage the population is a cruel and useless exercise,” Robinson said. “But to go a step further and actually advocate shooting cats is outrageous and in direct opposition to our values as a society.”

In recent years, cats have surpassed dogs as the most popular pet in the U.S, with over 82 million in homes. This number does not include the cats being cared for outdoors by caregivers nationwide.

The report also ignores the fact that feral cats—like all members of the domestic cat species—are protected under state anti-cruelty laws. An Alley Cat Allies survey of Americans’ attitudes toward outdoor cats conducted by the respected research organization Harris Interactive found that the overwhelming majority would prefer a cat be allowed to live out her life outdoors rather than be caught and killed.

“It is sad that inflammatory reports such as this should revive a debate that is both tired and counterproductive,” said Robinson. “As animal advocates, Alley Cat Allies supports policies that are in the best interest of all animals, including birds. That means taking a hard look at the real threats to wildlife—habitat destruction and pollution foremost among them—and changing the way our choices impact our environment. Intentionally killing cats is no solution.”


About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the nation’s leading advocate for stray and feral cats. Their website is