OAKLAND, Calif. – June 14, 2021 – Alley Cat Allies, the global engine of change for cats, has released results of a survey showing overwhelming disapproval among East Bay residents to the lethal cat control policy on which the East Bay Regional Park District’s (East Bay Parks) Board of Directors will vote on Tuesday. The proposed policy, if passed, will green-light East Bay Parks to continue to hire outside contractors to shoot and kill cats in East Bay Parks.
If you live in Contra Costa County, California, take action to stop the proposed policy here.
If you live in Alameda County, California, take action here.
The survey results show that 78 percent of people in the East Bay view hunting and shooting of free-roaming cats with guns – a core element of the proposed policy – as unacceptable in East Bay communities. In addition to concern about cats being killed, over 80 percent expressed concern that people and other animals could be harmed or scared by the shooting of cats in East Bay Parks.
Becky Robinson, the president and founder of Alley Cat Allies, called on parks board members, who are elected and accountable to the public, to listen to their constituents and reject the practice of killing cats.
“It is time for East Bay Parks to fully move beyond the Wild West notion that killing has any part to play in conservation. The moral costs it carries are far too high, and it does not work,” Robinson said. “By wide margins, East Bay residents oppose cats being shot and killed in their parks. If the Board rejects lethal cat control, it will enjoy the support of the community and will, finally, be protecting endangered and threatened species in ways that are in line with the values of the communities in which it exists.”
While killing may briefly reduce the number of cats, the population soon rebounds as other cats move in to fill the space freed by the temporary population reduction. This phenomenon is known as the Vacuum Effect and it has been documented in studies of cats, coyotes, and other mammals.
The survey further showed that 68 percent of people in the East Bay would be less likely to vote for an EBRPD board member who supports the policy of shooting and killing cats on East Bay property.
The survey was conducted May 1 – 8, 2021 by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates of Oakland, California. Six hundred registered voters in Alameda and Contra Costa counties were interviewed, with data weighted to reflect Census demographics of adults in the two counties.
In 2020, an I-Team7 ABC exposé revealed that East Bay Parks had shot and killed over a dozen cats in Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline over a series of nighttime hunts in October and November 2020 without notification to any people in the community. In response to public outcry, the EBRPD Board indicated that it would review the Parks’ actions.
In the end, the new proposed policy retains the one element the public finds most objectionable – the killing of cats in East Bay Parks. Information uncovered from a public records request indicates that between 2018 and 2020, EBRPD and its contractors killed dozens of cats in East Bay Parks in urban communities along the San Francisco Bay.
About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the leader of a global movement to protect cats and kittens. Now in our 31st anniversary year, we are joined by over 650,000 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 lifesaving 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 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.