OAKLAND, Calif. Dec. 21, 2020 Alley Cat Allies President and Founder Becky Robinson has condemned the shooting and killing of cats by the East Bay Regional Park District in California. In a letter to the president and board of directors, she called on the park district to suspend the individuals responsible for the shootings; conduct a thorough, transparent investigation with results made public; and to end its practice of killing cats.
“Alley Cat Allies is shocked and dismayed by the news of East Bay Regional Park District employees shooting and killing cats,” Robinson said. “It is horrifying to consider the suffering, fear and risk of such agonizingly slow death for the cats who were hunted down and shot. It boggles the mind how, in this day and age, in a place as highly populated and as progressive as the East Bay, taxpayer funds were used to repeatedly send an armed team out to shoot cats in the dead of night in public parks.”
News reports from the Bay Area indicated that East Bay Regional Park District staff have shot and killed as many as 18 cats this year.
“The district should put a permanent end to this barbaric practice and instead embrace humane, nonlethal approaches that have proven to be successful throughout the country,” Robinson added. “Killing cats is overwhelmingly rejected by our society and has never worked as a means of controlling cat populations.”
Robinson said that removing cats from the park with guns or any other means will be counterproductive, because the population of cats will rebound. This is known as the vacuum effect, and it has been documented worldwide in many species.
She explained the risks involved with lethal population control schemes, which fail to provide long-term population management, cause collateral damage to other animals and to local ecosystems, and bring unacceptably high moral costs.
Alley Cat Allies is reviewing additional facts from the case and seeking answers from the park district. Updates will be posted to alleycat.org as developments unfold.
About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the leader of a global movement to protect cats and kittens. Now in our 30th anniversary year, we are joined by over half a million supporters worldwide.
Alley Cat Allies believes every cat deserves to live out his or her life to the fullest. We exposed an entrenched system in which animal control agencies and shelters have been killing millions of cats for over a century. Today, the programs we introduced in the United States are mainstream.
To achieve our goals, we collaborate with grassroots advocates, animal shelters, municipal managers, and lawmakers to replace deadly laws and policies with ones that protect cats.”¯ We defend all cats by offering cutting edge education online, in person, and through one-on-one dialogue. We advance lifesaving innovations such as Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and Shelter-Neuter-Return (SNR), high-quality, high-volume spay and neuter, microchipping, anti-declawing legislation, and any program that best serves the interests of cats.
Our website is www.alleycat.org, and we are active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.