Published in The Columbus Dispatch on November 7, 2017
On November 8, controversial author Peter Marra will be speaking at The Ohio State University (OSU). In the name of “wildlife conservation,” Marra calls for removing all cats who live outdoors.
He has no evidence that it’s possible to round up and kill all free-roaming cats, nor evidence that society supports such violently extreme programs. Also, as he himself acknowledges, there’s no evidence that cats are having species-level impact on wildlife in the continental U.S.
Marra attempts to estimate wildlife predation levels by cats in the continental U.S. based on only 10 studies, six of which are over 60 years old. It’s impossible to arrive at valid, current estimates of our vast, varied, highly urban nation by using only a handful of old, geographically limited studies.
Marra’s proposal that cats be removed from our landscape “by any means necessary” is out of step with the public. An April 2017 poll shows 85 percent of Americans prefer to leave cats outside than to have them killed.
Given the impressive number of forward-thinking conservationists and cat population management experts in our nation, it’s hard to see why OSU has chosen to invite Marra.
Ohio State, a respected research institution, deserves better.
President and Founder
Alley Cat Allies