This is an example of how a local feral cat population can be properly managed. It’s happening in Marin County, USA. Janet Williams, the co-founder and president of Marin Friends of Ferals, explains what she means by feral cats being managed properly.
Janet has worked with feral cats in and around Marin for 14 years. She volunteers with the Marin Friends of Ferals. They are partners with Marin Humane and they have a Career Cat Program for feral cats.
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They run the usual TNR program and they have trapped nearly 3,000 feral cats. They live in managed colonies. They receive daily meals from 30 volunteers who currently feed around 125 sterilised feral cats.
The programme recently relocated its 650th feral cat. What she means is that they are relocated to properties for rodent control. Residents who want to control rodents but don’t want to hire a monthly exterminator realise the benefits.
Of course, some cats are better hunters than others but whether a cat is successful or not at hunting rodents, the residents tell Janet that they notice a huge reduction in rodents on their properties even before the cats are released from their acclimatisation cages. This is something I’ve always said, namely, that the presence of cats deters rodents. In the same way that the presence of Tasmanian devils deters the presence of feral cats.
Janet restates what needs restating namely that trapping and killing these cats is not only ineffective at controlling their breeding but it is impossible accomplish and perhaps most importantly it is inhumane. Also if you rely on the mass killing of feral cats to control them there would be uproar, it would be impractical, it would be politically unacceptable and ultimately it would not work. Look at how Australia is struggling to control feral cats by mass killing. They are failing.
You don’t need to euthanise feral cats by the thousands. Effective and well managed TNR programs do work. Janet says that she has the statistics to prove it. I would urge detractors of TNR programs to contact her to discuss how to do it.
Since starting the program their data confirms “a dwindling population when sterilised cats are allowed to die of natural attrition and not through euthanization or by starving them”.
Further, the feral cats of Marin are not suffering because they are managed properly. They receive shelter, daily meals, veterinary care and visits from the volunteers monitor their health and welfare. This is surely the way to manage feral cats. The whole program is underpinned by a ethical approach.
Such a well-managed organisation as founded by Janet Williams, in partnership with others, can make a positive impact in a compassionate manner.
Source: Marin Independent Journal
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