Comments Off on New resource: “Trap-Neuter-Return Ordinances and Policies in the United States: The Future of Animal Control”
We’re proud to announce the release of our latest Law & Policy Brief, “Trap-Neuter-Return Ordinances and Policies in the United States: The Future of Animal Control.”
The first comprehensive look at Trap-Neuter-Return policies across the United States, this report is proof that animal control policies are finally catching up with the core values of this country. Local governments are moving toward TNR because it is the effective, humane approach to feral cats.
The number of local governments with policies favoring Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) for outdoor cats has risen exponentially over the past decade, from just 23 in 2003 to 240 this year. States with the highest number of TNR ordinances include New Jersey with 58, California with 33, and Texas with 29 ordinances. Major municipalities and counties that have adopted TNR include San Francisco, the District of Columbia, and New York City.
This online resource explains the massive failure of catch and kill, introduces our innovative approach of on-the-ground activism to increase Trap-Neuter-Return, and debunks the misinformation that plagues nearly every media story about outdoor cats.
Humane treatment of outdoor cats isn’t complicated, it’s just common sense! There isn’t a choice, because needless killing can never be an answer.
While some people justify their claims based on junk science, we’re advocating for a different approach. And today we’re asking you to ask your friends, family, and neighbors to stand up for cats and join the national movement that’s coming together around common sense policies for their care.
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.
Articles scapegoating cats have been all over the news this week, from The New York Times to USA Today.
The media are relying on a so-called “study” funded by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Division of Migratory Birds that recklessly perpetuates a bogus debate. This “study” was authored by researchers with an anti-cat track record, who arrived at their chosen conclusion by cherry-picking data. Worse still, they cite a discredited researcher, a colleague who was convicted and then fired for trying to poison cats.
Let’s be clear: the real threats to birds and other wildlife populations—deforestation, climate change, and habitat destruction—are being ignored. Speak out and stand with us—tell the Smithsonian to stop spreading false information that puts cats at risk.
A biased study on cats and wildlife published this week in Nature Communications is just another veiled promotion by bird advocates to ramp up the mass killing of outdoor cats.
Some of the research cited is more than a half-century old; discredited researcher Nico Dauphine, who was convicted by a D.C. jury for trying to poison cats and then fired from her job at the Smithsonian, is also cited.
“This so called ‘survey of research’ seems just another misguided attempt to draw attention to the decline of wildlife by manufacturing a fake debate. The study conveniently sidestepped the primary culprit of decline of wildlife populations which, of course, is human activity including habitat destruction. The authors also neglect to mention that their proposed ‘solution’ really endorses continuing the same failed policies of the last century which call for the mass killing of cats. Tens of millions of healthy cats have already been killed in animal pounds and shelters, at great taxpayer expense, without achieving anything. A policy of just more killing can never be the right answer,” said Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies.
Comments Off on Alley Cat Allies Response to PETA: Feral Cats Deserve to Live
As one of the nation’s largest animal rights groups, it’s astonishing that PETA continues to promote myths and misconceptions about feral cats, basically declaring them “better off dead.” (“Don’t Turn Your Back on Feral Cats,” October 18, 2010.) PETA’s promotion of the mass killing of cats is remarkably backwards and out of step.
First and foremost, it is in no animal’s best interest to be killed.
Feral cats—who are not socialized to people, and therefore cannot be adopted—have been living outdoors, in close proximity to humans, for nearly 10,000 years. They thrive in every landscape, from densely populated cities to rural farmland. Feral cats are a part of our community. They always have been, and they always will be.
According to scientists, cats are one of the only animals who domesticated themselves—choosing to live near humans to feed on the rodents attracted by stored grain. Today, we live in an animal-loving society, where Americans go out of their way to care for stray and feral cats. It is our responsibility to ensure that these Good Samaritans are able to find the help they need—not a gas chamber or syringe—but information on Trap-Neuter-Return and access to affordable spay/neuter resources.
Trap-Neuter-Return is undeniably gaining attention and support from policymakers, shelter directors, and communities across the country who all agree these cats shouldn’t be killed. It seems ironic that the public opposes PETA in our desire to care for cats and keep them alive.
PETA will tell you the killing is necessary. They will say they are saving feral cats from living miserable lives and dying traumatic deaths, but it’s just not true. Not only have we at Alley Cat Allies had the privilege to see hundreds of cats in perfect health in colonies across the country, performed Trap-Neuter-Return, and hosted feral cat spay/neuter clinics; we also have research that shows feral cats are healthy and validates the merits of Trap-Neuter-Return. Furthermore, Americans just don’t support the killing. In a survey of Americans’ attitudes towards outdoor cats, over 80 percent responded that they believe it is more humane to leave a cat outside than to have her caught and killed.
It’s time our shelter policies and practices reflect the moral and ethical standards we share as Americans; that we don’t want our tax dollars and donations spent on killing animals, but to truly help them. We don’t want more of the same. We want change.