For me this is ludicrous. It is an example (and there are many others) of the modern, overzealous approach to health and safety by local authorities; the nanny state gone mad.
Whisper is a library cat. She has been at the Tri-County library since she was a kitten eight years ago. There have been no reports any health and safety (H&S) issues for the entire time. She has given the library character and a soul. She has no doubt pleased the public and provided a service. It is all positive.
And yet the Mayor of the city of Mabank, Texas, Jeff Norman quotes the CDC when he says Whisper presents a threat to the health of library customers:
“As difficult as this is we must regard the safety and the needs of all of our constituents and the potential danger and risk associated with animals and the resulting liability of the library if anyone is injured because of disease, fleas and ticks, allergens, or biting and scratching. Please refer to the CDC for the potential harm we are trying to avoid.”
This is modern day H&S overkill. We have lived for years without this sort of intrusive nanny state policy making without any problems. The CDC will always overstate the potential dangers of cats. For heavens sake, Whisper is a domestic cat. There are almost 90 million of them living in homes throughout the USA. If domestic cats were so damn dangerous why aren’t they banned from the entire country.
As I read the situation, this is a bit of a war between the public who are for a library cat and the mayor and perhaps some of the city councuil (the law makers) who are against Whisper.
It is up to the public to make their case to the Mabank City Council to encourage them to reinstate Whisper. A petition of 200 signatures has been presented to the council.
Libraries and cats go together like apple pie and custard. There are probably hundreds of library cats in the USA and in Europe. It works well.
The mayor is a jobsworth sort of person I sense. He’s being difficult. He probably does not like cats. And that could be the real reason for his decision.
Mabank is in Texas.
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