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Press Release

For Immediate Release: January 20, 2011
Contact: ELIZABETH PAROWSKI, eparowski@alleycat.org or 240-482-1984; FRANCIE ISRAELI, fisraeli@johnadams.com or (202) 207-1134

ALLEY CAT ALLIES OPPOSES UTAH BILL TO ALLOW SHOOTING OF FERAL CATS
Legislation would change state anti-cruelty law to sanction killing all cats with impunity

BETHESDA, MD — Alley Cat Allies, the national advocate for stray and feral cats, today said it is outraged at proposed legislation that would repeal existing anti-cruelty protections and allow cats to be killed.

Feral cats are currently protected under Utah anti-cruelty law, which include felony provisions. Utah House Bill 210, introduced by Rep. Curt Oda (R-Clearfield), would permit any cat to be hunted, shot and killed, so long as the hunter believed the cat was feral.

“This dangerous legislation imperils the lives of all cats – pet, stray and feral,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies. “It is barbaric and essentially declares ‘open-season’ on any outdoor cat.

“All cats are protected under anti-cruelty statutes in all states and the District of Columbia,” she said. “These laws have existed for more than one hundred years and are meant to protect animals from human violence, regardless of ownership status. Revoking that protection and allowing the hunting of cats is in direct opposition to our values as a society.”

Feral cats are domestic cats, but unlike pets, they are not socialized to people and live in family groups called colonies. Scientific studies have shown that feral cats are just as healthy as pet cats and lead content lives in their outdoor homes.

Numerous communities across the U.S. have adopted Trap-Neuter-Return as official policy for feral cats after decades of the failure of catch and kill, Robinson noted. Trap-Neuter-Return improves the cats’ lives by eliminating the stresses associated with mating and pregnancy. It also stabilizes the size of the colony.

“Spaying and neutering is the only appropriate, humane and effective course of action for feral cats,” she said.

Alley Cat Allies is urging supporters to contact their lawmakers to stop House Bill 210. Visit www.alleycat.org/ActionCenter for more information. To learn more about how feral cats are protected under anti-cruelty laws, visit www.alleycat.org/AntiCruelty.

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