The Galveston County Daily News reports that the Galveston Island Humane Society is thinking about trying an oral contraceptive on feral cats on the island in conjunction with standard TNR programs.
Jim Stevenson – world’s most notorious cat website troll
It’s very interesting to note that on this island lives the most famous cat website troll on the planet whose name is Jim Stevenson. He is an ornithologist, cat hater and Executive Director of the Galveston Ornithological Society. Jim gives tours to tourists showing them the wading birds on the beach. He has admitted to shooting at cats on these beaches. He lives on the island at the end of a cul de sac.
As he is on record with new media, he says that he wants the feral cats to be euthanized or trapped and neutered and then kept within a large shelter. In short, he wants to do anything to keep the cats away from the birds.
He is not, therefore, in favour of TNR or oral contraceptives for feral cats. Surprised?!
Add-on program to supplement TNR
The intention is to use a low dose of megestrol acetate in specific areas said Wayne Holt who is on the Animal Shelter Advisory Committee.
The idea, as far as I can tell, is to create an ‘add-on’ program to the existing TNR program. There is clearly pressure on local government to protect the bird species on the island and for some people TNR is too slow.
I did some research on megestrol acetate. It’s actually used as a hormone therapy in people. It is classified as a progesterone. In people it is used to treat loss of appetite and weight loss in patients with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It is also used in the treatment of advanced breast cancer. This information does not suggest that it is used as a contraceptive. There are side effects.
However, further research indicated that a variant of the drug called Estradiol/megestrol acetate is sold under the brand name of Chinese injectable number 2. It is used as an injectable birth control in the People’s Republic of China. It’s given once per month.
In order to use it as a contraceptive for feral cats, they must consume the medicine regularly. It seems complicated to me and it may not work satisfactorily.
Feral cat population growth
Unfortunately, the feral cat population has grown from about 500 in September 2008 after hurricane Ike to somewhere near 3,200 currently. This clearly has put more pressure on finding means to deal with them.
The Humane Society and animal shelter committee are awaiting approval from the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners for a pilot version of the oral birth-control project.