By Elisa Black-Taylor
The Ohio Division of Wildlife is now being petitioned on the Change.com website to make the hunting (and shooting and killing) of feral kittens legal to hunters. You will see counter petitions too: Don’t Allow Hunters to Shoot Feral Cats. It is a contest on the internet, and decency is the battleground. The alternative to shooting feral cats is proper TNR.
I was reading one of the recent articles about the humane officer shooting the kittens. The article I did for PoC is here. I hadn’t been surfing long when I found an article I wanted to read and came across a man by the name of Ben Siebert, who lives in Orville, Ohio. Ben sounds a lot like Woodsman. The link to that story is here for any of you who want to read the comments.
The way Ben tells it, he’s managed to trick a few people into signing the petition. Thankfully only four have signed at the time of this article. I’m not sure whether this would be standard licensing procedure where a hunting license for cats in particular would have to be purchased, but it sound like that would be the case.
The petition reads:
“To control and possibly eliminate the population of feral cats in the state of Ohio.To allow hunting of feral cats. Other states allow the hunting of feral cats. Hunting feral cats has proven to be an effective population control method in other states.”
I’d like for everyone to read this excerpt and tell me if this man doesn’t have the same mentality as our dear Woody. It reads terribly and hardly makes sense but smells of Woody.
(Name removed) thanks for signing my petition supporting the hunting of feral cats. That’s a real 180 on your part. You just stated that killing an animal is in no way a form of population control. Yet you signed my petition asking the Ohio Division of Wildlife to allow the hunting of feral cats. I am sure there is no way you would have blindly signed a petition without reading its contents. That would be a whole new level of ignorant. So seeing as that couldn’t possibly be the case. Thanks for your support. I’ll take you hunting sometime. Oh and (name removed). Thanks for your support also. I see you signed the petition also. We will grand hunting buddies. Also don’t try to deny it. I screen capped that priceless work of art.
Kandy Klosterman of the Ohio Division of Wildlife has her own view of feral cats, saying:
“Feral cats can just wreak havoc on the wildlife population, they hunt constantly.”
Dan Knapp, director of the Capital Area Humane Society, defends the feral cats in Ohio.
“Once released, the cats keep newcomers from entering and repopulating their territory.”
After the kittens killed by the humane officer, people in Ohio are really standing up for “cats rights” at the moment. This doesn’t necessarily mean the petition won’t get things moving to where the Ohio Division of Wildlife can make it legal to hunt and kill feral cats. Currently licenses are available in Ohio for deer, wild turkey, wild boar, waterfowl, and small game. Each has it’s own restrictions and seasons.
There are some exemptions to this, and they bother me. Those hunting on their own land don’t need a license, and neither do their tenants. Active duty US service personnel don’t need a license while on leave or furlough. And children and grandchildren under 18 don’t have to have a license when hunting on land owned by parents or grandparents.
This allows quite a percentage of the population to hunt without a license. Now we have someone petitioning to add cats to the list.
North Ridgeville Chief of Police Mike Freeman has already said in one of the interviews since the kittens were killed that it’s legal for police to kill feral cats if they believe them to be a danger to the community or an individual. Ben Siebert is just trying to take things further and make it legal for people other than gun-happy-kitten-killing cops to shoot the poor cats.
I believe the often quoted Mahatma Gandhi had it right when he said “You can judge a nation by the way it treats its animals.” I think it’s sad that this country used to have to worry about the criminals. Now we have just as much to fear from those who are hired to “protect and to serve.” For those of you in other countries, that’s the police. May as well add cat haters to the mix while we’re at it.
Your comments are welcome on any of this. I thought I was going to blow a few arteries after covering the story of the kittens being murdered, but learning there are those out there who want to hunt cats for sport is just a bit too much. I don’t know who those are behind this movement. It may be a hunting-oriented organization. Deer and rabbit hunting is big here in the U.S. I also don’t know whether it’s more oriented to rid the state of feral cats due to health concerns, or just because some people want to be able to shoot cats as game.
I need to close this article before I say something I’ll regret later. I mainly wanted your opinion on whether this new cat hater sounds like our Woodsman. If it’s not, then he has an evil twin, who will likely take being called a cat hater as a complement. Perhaps Woody will get in touch with him.
Can anyone tell me why they’d like see it made legal to hunt feral cats? I just don’t understand it at all. At least this story teaches us to be very careful what petitions we sign, and to be sure to read them first.
Associated page: Shooting feral cats (Michael wrote this about 3 years ago)