Join WisconsinCAT as we seek to make No Kill a reality for Wisconsin's cats

American Bird Conservancy News-Alert

(BTW, this is the most rabid anti-cat lobby in the United States today. Stan Temple is their hand-picked scientist. Q62 would not be possible without the tireless efforts of ABC and Dr. Stan Temple...)

April 14, 2005

Dear Cats Indoors! Campaign Supporters:

Greetings. I hope you are enjoying some decent spring weather. I just wanted to pass along some news regarding cats that you may find of interest.

1. Wisconsin Proposal to Make Feral Cats an Unprotected Species Approved: By a vote of 6,830 to 5,201, Wisconsin residents approved a firefighter’s proposal to make free-roaming feral cats an unprotected species at Monday’s spring hearings of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, a citizen’s advisory group. The proposal would allow people with a valid small game license to shoot any free-roaming cat in rural areas that isn’t under the owner’s direct control or is without a collar. Many cat lovers in Wisconsin and across the country strongly opposed the proposal and organized an effort to try to defeat it. (http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/science/04/12/killing.wildcats.ap/index.html)

Before the proposal could take effect, the state legislature would have to pass a law and the law would have to be signed by Governor Jim Doyle. However, Governor Doyle told the Associated Press that, "I don’t think Wisconsin should become known as a state where we shoot cats." Both Minnesota and South Dakota have similar laws which have been in effect for many years. Both the firefighter who made the original proposal, and Dr. Stanley Temple, a wildlife ecology professor at the University of Wisconsin who conducted research on cat predation and served on ABC’s Cats Indoors! Technical Advisory Committee, have received death threat at their home and work, according to Dr. Temple, a Lincoln County District Attorney recently tried to prosecute a man who had killed some feral cats on his property. However, the DA concluded that Wisconsin law does not prohibit such a disposition of feral cats. What this whole debate reinforces is that the issue of how to humanely manage the nation’s stray and feral cat populations remains a complex, highly emotional, and divisive issue, and there are no easy answers. Hopefully more people in Wisconsin will embrace ABC’s Cats Indoors! Campaign and use our educational materials to encourage cat owners to keep their cats indoors, spay or neuter them at an early age before they can produce an unwanted litter, and never abandon cats.


2. AVMA’s New Position Statement on Abandoned and Feral Cats: The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is one of America’s oldest and largest veterinary associations, with over 70,000 members. In November 2004, the AVMA issued a new position statement on free-roaming abandoned and feral cats that represents a significant change from its previous position. Advocates of Trap/Neuter/Release (TNR) can no longer claim that the AVMA supports their actions. The AVMA neither endorses nor opposes TNR. The AVMA clearly states that free-roaming abandoned and feral cats represent a significant factor in the mortality of hundreds of millions of birds, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and pose a zoonotic disease risk for the public. AVMA also says, "All free-roaming abandoned and feral cats that are not in managed colonies should be removed from their environment and treated in the same manner as other abandoned and stray animals in accord with local and state ordinances." State and local agencies are also encouraged to adopt ordinances that prevent the establishment of managed cat colonies in wildlife-sensitive ecosystems. The AVMA also states, "An insignificant percentage of the total number of unowned free-roaming and feral cats are being managed by humane organizations. Consequently, the reduction in the total number of free-roaming cats these programs will affect is insignificant." The establishment of properly designed and maintained enclosed feral cat sanctuaries is encouraged, which ABC has endorsed for several years. For the full position statement, visit AVMA’’s Website at:

www.avma.org/policies/animalwelfare.asp#feralcats.

An article on the new position statement in JAVMA Online can be found at:

www.avma.org/onlnews/javma/jan05/050115i.asp.

Thanks as always for all you do for cats and wildlife. Linda NEW ADDRESS as of 1-13-05

Linda Winter, Director
Cats Indoors!
American Bird Conservancy
1731 Connecticut Ave., NW 3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20009
NEW PHONE: 202-234-7181, ext. 201
NEW FAX: 202-234-7182
lwinter@abcbirds.org
www.abcbirds.org/cats