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