Petition_FINAL_1Today we delivered to the Smithsonian Institution a petition signed by more than 55,000 Americans to protest a controversial study the institution funded on cats and wildlife.

The signatures were delivered by Alley Cat Allies president and co-founder Becky Robinson to Smithsonian Undersecretary of Science Eva Pell, along with an analysis by an independent researcher that found major flaws in the Smithsonian study.

Gregory J. Matthews of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst conducted a thorough and independent review of the Smithsonian study which appeared in the journal Nature Communications. Matthews found numerous flaws in the study, like the method used by the researchers to come up with the number of birds killed. The Smithsonian researchers took one study on a small sample of cats over three summer months in one specific geographic area and extrapolated it to cats all across the United States, over all seasons. Some of the studies researchers used to make their case were decades old, including one from 1930. Matthews concluded that had he been a peer reviewer of this paper, he would have graded it unacceptable for publication.

The researchers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute who conducted the study have a history of publishing papers blaming cats for wildlife decline and calling for an end to Trap-Neuter-Return. There is abundant scientific evidence that TNR works. More and more local governments and states are adopting TNR because it is the only humane and effective way to reduce feral cat populations.