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Old 21 March 2013, 11:39 PM
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Bonsai Kitten Writer's Call to Kill Feral Cats Sparks Outcry

A writer's call to euthanize feral domestic cats has caused new fur to fly in the ongoing debate over how to handle free-roaming felines.

In a March 14 opinion piece in the Orlando Sentinel, Ted Williams, then editor-at-large for Audubon Magazine, advocated for trapping and euthanizing feral cats due to their rampant hunting of birds and their reputation for carrying diseases like toxoplasmosis.

The magazine, published by one of the nation's leading bird groups, has since suspended its contract with Williams and removed him as editor-at-large from its masthead.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...dubon-science/
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Old 22 March 2013, 12:14 AM
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In a March 14 opinion piece in the Orlando Sentinel, Ted Williams, then editor-at-large for Audubon Magazine, advocated for trapping and euthanizing feral cats due to their rampant hunting of birds and their reputation for carrying diseases like toxoplasmosis.
I love my fur-babies dearly, but feral cats are kind of a problem. I note there's no mass outcry when we talk about controlling rats or pigeons in the same way.

On the other hand, on the scale of things we need to worry about, toxoplasmosis is... not terribly high. It's terrible for a woman to catch it for the first time in pregnancy, but otherwise it is the most ubiquitous parasite on Earth; and in some Western countries up to 80% of the population carry it without ill effects. It's not terribly harmful to most other mammals, either.
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Old 22 March 2013, 01:26 AM
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One big problem I have with this article about Ted William's piece, is it says that he suggested euthanizing feral cats with Tylenol. Euthanasia means a peaceful death. Tylenol poisoning means kidney failure and an agonizing death. Feral cats are a huge problem. But inhumanely poisoning them isn't a viable option.


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On the other hand, on the scale of things we need to worry about, toxoplasmosis is... not terribly high. It's terrible for a woman to catch it for the first time in pregnancy, but otherwise it is the most ubiquitous parasite on Earth; and in some Western countries up to 80% of the population carry it without ill effects. It's not terribly harmful to most other mammals, either.

Toxo's been tied to sea otter die offs, and potentially tied to schizophrenia in people. I wouldn't call it harmless.
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Old 22 March 2013, 07:40 AM
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Toxo's been tied to sea otter die offs, and potentially tied to schizophrenia in people. I wouldn't call it harmless.
I know. That's why I didn't call it harmless. It just seems to me that in the great scheme of things there are way more urgent priorities.

As for the inhumanity of the method; well, I agree. But rat poison is pretty darn inhumane when you get down to it. My concern is that the outcry against this 'proposal' is purely because, well, cute fluffy kittens; why can't we accord to all creatures the care we have for the cute ones?

As it is, the hypocrisy kind of turns my stomach.
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Old 22 March 2013, 11:19 AM
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The word 'feral' in the article seems to be referring to 'stray', rather than my understanding of the word which means a cat that is totally devoid of human interaction, and may not have any such interaction for several generations.
These are a major problem in Australia, and are known to kill birds indiscriminately, including being a danger to endangered species of both birds and ground dwelling animals.
Poisoning is not a reliable method, as there is no realistic way of ensuring that a native species does not get the bait.
Shooting is possibly the best way to control them. It's precise and humane.
As for tnr, what idiot thought up that as a means of controlling wild animals. Releasing a neutered cat will still endanger wildlife for the next several years. As one wit said, "It's their feeding that's the problem, not their f**king".
(Actually, in Australia it is illegal to move or release a feral animal, so I'm not sure of the legality of tnr here).
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Old 22 March 2013, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by DevilBunny View Post
I love my fur-babies dearly, but feral cats are kind of a problem. I note there's no mass outcry when we talk about controlling rats or pigeons in the same way.
Non-domestic rats carry disease and pests. Although I don't care for poisoning, I don't know of any other method of getting rid of them, especially in urban areas where people put out food for birds and squirrels.

On the other hand, falcons do a good job of keeping pigeon populations under control. Unfortunately, no one told them to leave flickers and other desirables alone. An engineer on the 7th floor of our downtown Detroit offices witness a pregrine diving a pigeon right in front of her large window. She said feather flew everywhere. Glad it wasn't me!

ETA: also, rats are known to bite, particularly babies and small children while they're in bed.
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Old 22 March 2013, 02:18 PM
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My concern is that the outcry against this 'proposal' is purely because, well, cute fluffy kittens; why can't we accord to all creatures the care we have for the cute ones?
I would support that. I would not, OTOH, support eliminating hypocrisy by starting to treat the cute fluffy creatures as cruelly as we treat others.

I also wouldn't assume that anyone who objects to "euthanizing" feral cats via Tylenol poisoning also, hypocritically, supports poisoing rats in cruel ways.
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Old 22 March 2013, 02:25 PM
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We don't see to have the cat lovering "just let them go" group here in Australia. Most likely because even cat lovers are aware of the major problems that feral cats have caused our wildlife. So stray or feral cats are euthanazed if they aren't collected after a set time.

We had a lab, and she wasn't allowed to chase most animals, except cats*.
Was talking to a cat person workmate who said "oh no, our dogs aren't allowed to chase anything" I told here we actively encouraged birds and other wild life to our yard and backed on to a bush reserve (this was in Springwood Sceptic). Cat owners in Australia are required to control their pets (as are dog owners) And I think this should go double if you are near a bush reserve.

tagurit we also have preditor birds and I have seen them take doves etc, no not very nice, but part of nature. Domestic cats are not part of the Australian environment


*Don't worry cat lovers, she had no hope of catching one and the one time she had one cornered she didn't know what to do with it, running after it till it left here yard? ok, but if it didn't, what do I do now.
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Old 22 March 2013, 02:32 PM
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I'm glad the cat she cornered didn't give her a swipe across the nose. As my brother used to tell his dog re: cats -- "Watch out for those things -- they're sharp on both ends!"

I definitely wouldn't suggest allowing a dog to chase feral cats.
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Old 22 March 2013, 02:44 PM
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I'm glad the cat she cornered didn't give her a swipe across the nose. As my brother used to tell his dog re: cats -- "Watch out for those things -- they're sharp on both ends!"

I definitely wouldn't suggest allowing a dog to chase feral cats.
It wasn't a feral cat, an Australian feral cat would have swipe, this was a domestic cat allowed to wander. This was our second lab, Gemma, gentle but big enough for most animals invading her yard just to leave and not take her on. When she wasn't in her yard she igored most other animals.
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Old 30 March 2013, 06:39 AM
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I told here we actively encouraged birds and other wild life to our yard and backed on to a bush reserve (this was in Springwood Sceptic).
I'm only about a mile from that place. I often go walking there.
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Old 30 March 2013, 02:12 PM
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It wasn't a feral cat, an Australian feral cat would have swipe, this was a domestic cat allowed to wander.
Plenty of domestic cats will swat a dog who gets too close.

One of ours did that once, to a lab puppy whose who got too close to the cat's carrier in the vet's office. I felt bad for the puppy, but it was entirely her person's fault -- they weren't paying attention and gave her too much leash.
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