|Join WisconsinCAT as we seek to make No Kill a reality for Wisconsin's cats|
The results are in. The whole world now knows what we know; there are lots of Wisconsin hunters that would like to have permission to begin shooting cats legally. Go here to see the official DNR statement on the April 11th hearings.
The total vote was 6,830 in favor of Q62 and 5,102 opposed. It was close, but the "Pro-62" crowd took the vote by a 14-point margin. With 5.4 million people in the state, roughly 0.2% of the state turned out to vote. We've actually had more than twice as many people sign our anti-62 petition (over 35,000 so far) than the total number of people that showed up to vote at the county hearings.
So are our cats less safe? Will this pass? What do we do now?
According to Kurt Thiede, Regulation Policy and Outreach Specialist in the DNR Bureau of Wildlife Management said even if the proposal to make feral cats an unprotected species was forwarded to the DNR, it is not in the DNR’s authority to write rules to establish any hunting of cats, because cats, in Wisconsin, are considered a domestic species. “Under Wisconsin case law animals are wild vs. domestic based on the species and not based on the traits of an individual animal. As cats are considered a domestic species, we have no authority over them. This would require a statutory change.”
Our cats are safe as long as our animal cruelty laws still work. The Wisconsin Legislature values the votes of the 88% of the population that does not actively hunt (most of which lives with a cat or two). The Conservation Congress has always been and remains to this day the sacred territory of our states' rod-and-gun clubs. They own it. They proved it with the Mourning Doves and again with our cats.
I don't know that the citizens of Wisconsin or the countless millions that are looking on in horror as this develops are learning more about feral cats or the leadership of this taxpayer-subsidized Hunter's Lobby we call the Conservation Congress.
The all-hunter, all-the-time Conservation Congress may decide to push this. While we would prefer that the leadership of the Conservation Congress would choose natural-resource priorities that better reflected the serious needs of our state, we are quite prepared to continue our campaign to defeat this proposal before it ever becomes law.
The question is really more about how much they want to lose. The hunters are not winning friends, allies, or fans with this exercise in futility and irrelevance. All that we learn is how much our states natural resource priorities are squandered by a body with a myopic zeal for killing new things in new ways
We're prepared to fight the Conservation Congress leadership on this, should they choose to take this matter further. We will also be working with the DNR, our Legislators, and the Governor to insure that the only thing that gets accomplished by passage of such a proposal is embarrassment.
There is a very real political cost of "winning" on Q62. Nobody wins if Q62 passes, certainly not hunters. By making our cats a target, their priorities become our target, namely control of the Conservation Congress itself.
I am incredibly proud of what we did and why we did it. We win by fighting our fight. We win by not quitting. We win by not fading away. We get stronger every time we fight.
Thank you to everyone that has played a role in this, however small. Everything connects to everything and everything affects everything. This was a group effort by a few million people around the world to bring attention to a barbaric strain of thinking that seems to have infected our rural Midwestern landscape. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Wisconsin's cats especially thank you.
Stay tuned for the next phase...
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." --Margaret Mead
Copyright © 2005 Don't Shoot The Cat