Humane Society Ignores Science Chooses The Failed Policy of TNR

Humane Society of Erie County Ignores Science, Chooses Feral Cats Over Native Wildlife

The Wildlife Society
The Wildlife Society

Erie County, PA –-(AmmoLand.com)- The Humane Society of Erie County, like many municipalities, has adopted Trap, Neuter and Release as a method for managing feral cats, even though science tells us that TNR is ineffective in reducing feral cat populations, exceptionally cruel for the cats in question and that such programs take a tremendous toll on native wildlife, including migratory birds and small mammals (see Langhorn, T., Rich, C., and Sullivan, L.W. 2009. Critical assessment of claims regarding management of feral cats by trap-neuter-return. Conservation Biology 23: 887-894).

When are municipalities and their local humane societies going to get a clue?

When will they have the courage to make the hard decisions?

When are state and federal wildlife agencies responsible for conserving our native wildlife going to take municipalities to court under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Migratory Bird Act and other federal legislation protecting native wildlife? Predation by managed feral cat colonies on protected species should be considered a “take” under the ESA and other legislation. From this perspective, what cat colony mangers are doing is illegal and should not be tolerated.

When are conservationists going to take action against this ill-advised practice, which has shown to be ineffective in reducing the numbers of feral cats?

The Human Society of Erie and the Humane Society of the United States (that also supports TNR) should be ashamed of themselves for promoting a failed policy which, although it may make them feel good about themselves (and helps them raise money from unsuspecting donors who also want to feel good about themselves), is an unmitigated disaster for our native wildlife. TNR is a policy that helps people avoid the hard decisions regarding feral cats, but in the end, is actually less compassionate and less humane than the alternative.

Conservation organizations and individuals who truely care about the future of life on this planet must come together to oppose TNR as anti-conservation and inhumane. Feral cats are non-native predators which exact a tremendous toll on native wildlife. Combined with other factors, such as habitat loss and pollution, they have the potential to push many species to the brink of extinction.

About:
The Wildlife Society (TWS), founded in 1937, is an international non-profit scientific and educational association dedicated to excellence in wildlife stewardship through science and education.

Our mission is to represent and serve the professional community of scientists, managers, educators, technicians, planners, and others who work actively to study, manage, and conserve wildlife and its habitats worldwide.

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    MGallojoezyAmmoLandScott SchoemannSilent Majority Recent comment authors
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    MGallo
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    MGallo

    You have failed to rebut any of my arguments while I have consistently addressed yours. Repeating yourself over and over does not somehow make your argument more persuasive; quite the opposite is seems you have so few facts to argue that repetition is all you have. If you are indeed interested in furthering your argument please respond to the following two issues which I mentioned above, I would be very interested in what you have to say. Please don't bother though if all you have to add are opinions and personal beliefs; however studies (reputable), facts and logic will be… Read more »

    joezy
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    joezy

    There is a big diffrence between a birder and a cat lover-birders want what is in the best interst of the cat-wildlife and humans, TNR (cat lovers) are one sided not showing empathy for wildlife and humans. I have 2 cats I am responsible for.My cats have always been supervised in the house, It is common sense and right to supervise and care for your cats health and safety is priority,not allowing my cats to roam. I am being a considerate respectful within my community, keeping peace with my neighbors. I value. Just because we have no laws state or… Read more »

    joezy
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    joezy

    We have laws that protect songbirds-but no laws for holding cat owners accountable for there cats,this makes no sense, then we shouldint have laws to protect wildlife if we dont protect wildlife from cats.

    joezy
    Guest
    joezy

    Bottom line is people need to be held accountable for there free roaming domesticated cats,only way this will happen is if we unite as a whole, we must have national/state laws to hold cat owners responsible for there cats, cat owners who are not held accountable (because no laws) is why we have the feral/free roaming cat issue in the first place. it is in the best interest of humans-cats and wildlifes health and safety to have laws for cats. No laws for cats= anarchy within communitys.

    MGallo
    Guest
    MGallo

    Dear Scott, you are confused about the definition of what a 'fact' is. (Hint: a fact is not an opinion nor is it something that you make up because it sounds good). Your Wisconsin study that you mentioned has been widely critisized for its use of non-scientific, unpublished data; it has not been subject to peer-review and is not respected as a meaningful contribution to the debate on the subject at hand. Maybe YOU should look it up again because I thought this was common knowledge among people taking a stance on the issue. Does anyone on here do actual… Read more »

    AmmoLand
    Guest

    The Facts is: Cats are a non native, invasive species that is damaging the environment. They should be removed from the wild juts like Pythons in Florida or Feral Pigs in Texas or Zebra Mussels in Lake Michigan. Just because an animal lives in the wild some other place on earth does not make it Ok to be left in the wild in the USA. People maybe be the cause of this problem but people can also resolve the problem though persistent trap and remove programs. Just leave out the release part and are on your way solving the problem… Read more »

    Scott Schoemann
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    Scott Schoemann

    Unbelievable… Fact, Cats are the ONLY predator that kills for fun (other than man). Fact Studies HAVE been done in urban areas as to the affect of domesticated and feral feline populations on songbird populations and have shown that they are affecting songbird numbers in a dangerous manner (google Wisconsin on this). FACT cat owners are far more irresponsible in keeping their pets under control than any other pet owners (sorry responsible cat owners, you are far out numbered by the irresponsible). FACT feral cats can not be domesticated once they learn to hunt (typically age 4 to 5 month… Read more »

    MGallo
    Guest
    MGallo

    No, you are incorrect about what I have conceded so I will review: I agree cats kill birds. I do not agree cats kill birds in 'large' numbers if we are going to define 'large' numbers as substantially impacting the bird population. I further submit that there are no studies based on the scientific method that conclude that cats are one of the main threats to the bird population. Feral cats are non-native to the environment. So are most humans. How far are we going back here? 200 years? 1000 years? 10,000 years? 1,000,000 years? Where have you drawn your… Read more »

    Silent Majority
    Guest
    Silent Majority

    MGallo: You are typical of a true believer in the Failed policy of TNR. Your long winded argument acknowledges all the flaws of TNR and the problems with making it work and yet you still try and argue your way out of it? Lets review , you just agreed that: Feral Cats Kill Large Numbers of Birds Feral Cats are Non Native to the Environment TNR is a Compromise in place of what we know works TNR only is successful when combined with adoption and Leash Laws TNR caretakers are amateurs and unreliable None of the studies you quote can… Read more »

    MGallo
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    MGallo

    Science proves TNR works and that it is more effective than the alternative trap and kill. The evidence, taken as a whole, is favorable to TNR. “Success” is defined as reducing the feral cat population. Yes, cats kill birds. But humans (most of which who are also not native to this country might I remind you) kill a LOT MORE birds… for innumerable reasons and sometimes to extinction (let us not forget the passenger pigeon). TNR is a pretty damn good compromise which should be applauded embraced as such. But no, you sit there (not coming up with compromises), fold… Read more »

    MGallo
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    MGallo

    BTW AmmoLand- you might want to read the study: Levy, Evaluation of the effect of a long-term trap-neuter-return and adoption program, 222 J.Am.Vet. Med. Assn. 42 (2003) again (or for the first time). Vsmith was not wrong- YOU are. Did you even read it? Or did you just cut and paste from the abstract linked to Vsmith's comment?

    Actually, Dr. Levy concluded that, "A comprehensive long-term program of neutering followed by adoption or return to the resident colony can result in reduction of free-roaming cat populations in urban areas."

    Feral
    Guest

    Christine, the concept of TNR is not difficult. TNR sounds good on the surface, but the reality is that TNR does not work. TNR takes place in an open system. Further, opposing a method does not mean one opposes the cats. I am opposed to TNR – I do not hate cats. FYI, the reason some municipalities are approving TNR are as follows: -ignorance -the perception of cost savings -political image – don't want to be the town that 'kills the kitties' They are not approving it because 'it works' – reduced rates of euthanasia or less nuisance phone calls… Read more »

    Christine Claybourne
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    Christine Claybourne

    Whether you love or loathe cats, TNR does work…..I know it is a difficult concept for many to wrap their heads around and some would rather hold onto their cat-hatred as an excuse to justify repeated eradication. The truth is, killing them just doesn't work. That is why municipalities are approving TNR over and over across the country…….because when you really look at both methods, TNR simply makes sense and is more effective at reducing cat numbers in communities. It is interesting that so many bird lovers oppose TNR, because if you truly wanted to see fewer birds killed then… Read more »

    AmmoLand
    Guest

    Christine:

    Once again you are just repeating the same old falsehoods.

    Where is your proof that TNR works?

    There seems to be none, but on the other hand science has proven that TNR is not working and you are actually causing more pain and suffering for the cats you say you wish to protect.

    Why don't TNR groups have real science done to prove their claims? All I can guess is they can not face the truths or know that it can not be proven.

    TNR is a failed policy that hurts everyone involved especially the cats.

    Feral
    Guest

    Vsmith where is the proof for this statement? "Trap and kill has been proven NOT to result in long-term reductions of feral cat populations because the surviving cats will simply rebound to fill the vacuum left by the exterminated cats." The reality is that if the food source is removed and the cats – the problem is solved – no vacuum effect. See Winter 2004. As for the paper you cited from 2003, reductions in individual colonies do not indicate anything about the overall population within an area (i.e. municipality, county, etc.). Further, campus settings are unique and unlike typical… Read more »

    Michael Hutchins
    Guest
    Michael Hutchins

    Once again, please read the article in Conservation Biology that I referred to. It reviews all of the current studies on TNR's purported effectiveness in reducing feral cat populations. The evidence that TNR reduces the number of feral cats is simply not there! That is why The Wildlife Society–an organization representing nearly 9,000 wildlife professionals–has a very strong policy on the control of feral cat populations. I never argued that live capture and euthanisia of feral cats should be the only method employed; tackling this problem will involve using all of the tools in our toolbox, including both lethal and… Read more »

    Jim Smith
    Guest
    Jim Smith

    Step 1: remove all food left outdoors for feral cats. Outdoor food should only be provided during the course of trapping them. Enforce penalties for feeding animals that are not yours. * This is because, without artificial food bonanzas, feral cat populations would not explode. Control efforts would stand a chance. Step 2: trap cats and euthanize those that do not turn out to be someone's pet (who would get a fine). Allow citizens to trap feral cats (as with other invasive, alien species) and allow animal control officers to respond to citizen complaints to try and trap all strays… Read more »

    Vsmith
    Guest
    Vsmith

    Trap-neuter-return is the only proven method that over time will result in a substantial decline in feral cat populations through the natural process of attrition. See e.g. Levy, Evaluation of the effect of a long-term trap-neuter-return and adoption program, 222 J.Am.Vet. Med. Assn. 42 (2003). This commenter has read the report wrong: Results—In both counties, results of analyses did not indicate a consistent reduction in per capita growth, the population multiplier, or the proportion of female cats that were pregnant. – AmmoLand.com Trap and kill has been proven NOT to result in long-term reductions of feral cat populations because the… Read more »

    Michael Hutchins
    Guest
    Michael Hutchins

    Sorry, but the science does not support your erroneous claims that TNR reduces the size of feral cat populations. Control of feral cats is going to take a mix of sterilization, neutering, owner education, and lethal control. Please read Langhorne, T, Rich, C., and Sullivan, L.M. (2009) Critical assessment of claims regarding management of feral cats by trap-neuter-return. Conservation Biology 23 (4): 887-894. Its review of studies that have been conducted on TNR managed cat colonies clearly indicate that TNR is unsuccessful at reducing the number of feral cats. Its time to explode the myth that TNR is a successful… Read more »

    Feral
    Guest

    Cats have been around for thousands of years, but the population explosion has only been in the last 3 or 4 decades – and in that same time frame, songbirds have declined precipitously.

    And get a load of this: a black bear from West Milford NJ died from toxoplasmosis recently. Now the town of West Milford is getting ready to legalize TNR! How clueless is that!

    For more info on the black bear and toxo visit the link and click on Failure in Point Pleasant Beach.

    Michael Hutchins
    Guest
    Michael Hutchins

    Feral cat apologists are simply wrong. Sure there are many other factors that may cause a decline in bird populations, such as pollution, habitat loss, and unsustainable use. However, it is the COMBINED IMPACTS of these factors along with introduced predators and competitors, like feral cats and invasive bird species, that we should be worried about. We know that feral cats kill vast numbers of birds and other animals, including threatened and endangered species. Furthermore, we also know that these deaths are often painful and cruel, so why should feral cats be tolerated? As a conservationist, I'm going to continue… Read more »

    Luke Thomas
    Guest
    Luke Thomas

    PS-it's so convenient that cats are always blamed for the demise of birds when cats have been around even during the Ancient Egyptian times and strange birds were unaffected. We have industrialized POLLUTION and humans rape the land for development. Birds are VERY sensitive to the environment and that has absolutely everything to do with the decrease in bird populations. In China there are simply NO song birds anywhere-the pollution killed them all. THAT IS A FACT (and the cat population is low because Chinese eat cats and that is a fact).

    Luke Thomas
    Guest
    Luke Thomas

    Cats multiply faster than animal control can kill them. Most people will not turn in stray and feral cats because they KNOW they will get killed in the pound-most do not want to kill cats so they leave them be. Though I'm not crazy about the notion of Trap-Neuter-Release, regardless whether or not you agree with it, STRAYS AND FERALS WILL BE THERE. If you tell people bring in your strays and ferals to be sterilized with the promise they WILL be returned unharmed, I guarantee a lot more people are going to be turning in cats. So instead of… Read more »