Published in the Honolulu Civil Beat on May 23, 2018

The Hawaii Legislature’s failure to pass a bill authorizing Trap-Neuter-Return for community cats was a missed opportunity, not a step to be congratulated, as PETA did in its April 6 letter to Civil Beat (“Cats Are The World’s Deadliest Invasive Species). TNR is the only humane and effective approach for community cats and sound public policy. It ends the breeding cycle and stabilizes the population, while reducing shelter intake, “euthanasia” and calls to animal control.

This saves taxpayer dollars. Thousands of communities use this mainstream approach, and the number is growing because of its success.

Any serious discussion about protecting native wildlife should start with the true threats. Leading biologists, climate scientists and environmental experts say climate change and habitat destruction are the most serious causes of species loss.

The author of the April 6 letter is on record as saying it’s kinder to kill feral cats than release them. “Helping” cats by killing them is absurd.

Cats lived outside for thousands of years before we welcomed them into our homes. We must accept that they’re part of our environment. The best approach to community cats is TNR, and we encourage Hawaii’s Legislature to revisit this bill in its next session.

— Becky Robinson, president and founder, Alley Cat Allies, Bethesda, Maryland