New Jersey Law Would Classify Cats As Venison

by Elisa Black

Will I Be

Will I Be "Hunted?"

I'm sorry folks, but it's more bad news out of me. I don't like to think of what I write as gloom and doom. I'm more into education and prevention. I like to keep my readers up to date on what is happening right under their noses. Hopefully in time to prevent the worst from happening. Most people don't have time to search the web for what's going on. I do.

I am a true cat lady. I'm a single mom and knowledge and research is my contribution. Sometimes I think this is the most important thing I can do for our cats. I inform before it's too late. When the news is good I include details on how other areas can make the same happen for their community. When it's bad I include information and references on how to protest.

Sit down and prepare for the journalistic equivalence to a roller coaster ride. This one will leave you gasping until the end.

I wanted to bring this to the attention of everyone; that the New Jersey Fish and Game Council is trying to reclassify cats as exotic and dangerous. If this should happen it will give hunters the right to hunt cats as casually as deer and rabbit are hunted today. Of course the latter two are hunted not only as a sport but for food. See Daily Record story.

Should this bill be passed, it will become legal to kill, skin (and use fur), and eat cat since it will become "venison." It's hard to think of cat as "white meat" but that's what will happen.

It's bad enough to think of cats being hunted and killed, but this gets worse. If this bill is passed into law it will end the TNR that has worked well for years.

This whole matter began in May of 2007 with Jeannette Vreeland, acting chair of the Fish and Game Council in New Jersey. Her logic behind this (if you could call it logic) is that cat's aren't natural and don't belong outdoors. When they ARE outdoors they are guilty of killing small creatures (e.g. birds) and this must be stopped. Last month at the New Jersey Fish and Game commission meeting she stressed that her views haven't changed.

The New Jersey Fish and Game Council is appointed by the governor and consists of farmers, hunters and commercial fishermen. Their next meeting is this month and there is a petition opposing this bill from passing. It can be found here. PLEASE read this article as it lists who to contact and how to word an email so it won't be screened out and not reach the right people.

Right now on their council there is a member whose family runs an animal euthanasia business. His name is Leonard Wolgast. Why is he even on the committee when his family would benefit by banning TNR and endorse euthanasia? It would be a good idea to bring this up to the appropriate officials when you contact lawmakers in protest of this bill.

Am I imagining it or is this bill going to benefit everyone except the cats?

There are other negative considerations to consider should this pass. Police will have to deal with many of these cases as animal cruelty as it will be impossible for a hunter to know if a cat is domestic or wild. Many pet cats will be killed. Their crime? Being outdoors at the wrong place at the wrong time. Police hours that could have been put into solving actual police cases will be bogged down with cruelty investigations.

Some people in New Jersey may shrug this off because they have indoor cats and don't think this pertains to them. Guess what? Should this be passed it will be illegal to let a cat outdoors. Doing so could result in a $2000 fine per occurrence. IF your cat isn't shot first. Cats do have a way of sneaking out. This law means a costly mistake for the family or willful murder by a "hunter."

My secondary reason for opposing this bill is what I like to call an "epidemic." In other words, if this passes in one state others may follow. I don't know about the rest of the world. In the United States, states seem to copy each other on new laws. Wisconsin passed a similar law a few years ago and a cat hunter accidentally shot his neighbor. Which is probably what will happen in New Jersey.

The Sheriff's Association of New Jersey is working with animal right's groups to keep this law from happening.

The New Jersey Fish and Game Council just doesn't get it. TNR works and is the only thing that does work. Many are under the wrong idea that removing ferals from an area is a permanent way to eliminate ferals. This simply isn't true. The TNR people can testify to that. From a monetary standpoint it's cheaper to TNR than to euthanize. Most TNR programs rely on grants and donations and save the taxpayers money. Since this will be banned should this law pass, the cost of euthanasia will fall on the taxpayer.

Unless the hunters get there first.

Now hang on tight for the flip side of this story.

I feel is it my duty as a cat reporter to tell both sides.

It may all be FALSE and based on RUMORS started by a few animal rights

The New Jersey Fish and Game Council argues the case that their concern is with changing the cat into a companion animal. This would hold owners accountable for their cats and cut down on the feral issue. It will enforce stricter laws about the abandonment of cats which will cut down the feral population. The cat hunting, skinning, eating issue isn't even on the agenda.

Michelle Lerner who works with a non profit group called Animal Protection League of New Jersey states that nothing has happened so far concerning this proposal. Her group is working to make sure none of this ever DOES happen. She is credited with helping start a TNR program in Mount Olive last

There is a link on this reference that is supposed to direct the reader to the official state page for New Jersey. Good luck. When I tried reaching the site, the browser said the page doesn't exist.

So what IS the truth? I have no idea which side to believe. The next meeting of the New Jersey Fish and Game Council is scheduled for April 13, 2010. Here is a copy of their schedule for 2010.

I entered the issue into I don't know if this is a world renowned site but it's what people in the U.S. use to separate fact from myth. Urban legend rumors spread quickly and snopes is pretty accurate on telling the true story. I tried everything from New Jersey feral cats to New Jersey shoots cats and came up empty handed. So there is a chance the shooting proposal doesn't exist.

Is there anyone in New Jersey who knows more about this? Just the truth, please.


Comments for
New Jersey Law Would Classify Cats As Venison

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by: Anonymous

billions of asians can't be wrong,they've been serving cat(and dog) in asian resturaunts forever

Apr 08, 2012 meow NEW
by: Cat

Meow. I'm a cat and should be shot because I'm a worthless creature. Meow. You people are retarded and should be shot as well. Meow. Everytime I spray outside of someone's house and make it smell really bad, I deserve to be shot. Meow.

by: the other ghost girl

A OUTBREAK OF STUPID! Dogs kill native small animal species too, and while I'm a lover of dogs AND cats, I don't see anything about dogs. The problem with this would be is that is that these idiots hate cats. The other problem is that a cat is (in my opinion) if it's a well tempered cat, a good pet for a family with smaller children (less need to be hands on and poses less of a threat if a kid gets grabby and has more of a tendency to hide rather than attack) So if Sally lets mittens out and goes out to the woods by her house or even is in the front yard with mittens then who's to say Sally's not going to get shot? I mean with deer there's less of a chance of someone standing right next to it and NOT wearing hunter orange (if there's smart and legal) but a cat especially a pet cat is more likely to have a human companion and be in an urban setting. Making New Jersey the idiots of hunting laws and the hillbillies of the north. Did I mention I REALLY don't like this idea?

Feb 04, 2011 nj fish & game council and endangered species coumco; together have worked on this issue
by: jeanpublic

both councils consider cats dangerous to birds and blame declining bird populations on them. this is stupid when we have aphis wildlfe services going all over america poisoning millions of birds. audubon of nj also is in league with killing cats because they claim cats kill birds. it is factual that jeanette vreeland and barbara brummer of nature conservancy and endangered species council both have sent letters to commnities making cats into undesirable species fit to be killed and wiped out. they have done that. these two have also written to us fish and wildlife service, a federal agency, to work together on wiping out cats. that is factual. this antipathy to cats is not a rumor. they will certainly run with it as far as they can unless cat lovers start seeing to it that these crazed cat haters are stopped. fish and game council always wants to introduce new species to kill. they added coyote, they added bears, they keep adding new species to entice hunters to come out to buy licenses. make no mistake about it - the nj fish and game council does what it wants. and it usually does it quite secretly. it is hard to get any word on their doings. they mask everything.

Oct 09, 2010 Where would you hunt a feral cat?
by: Anonymous

Something the legislators should consider: if cats are reclassified and become a "hunted" animal, where would these hunts take place? Most feral colonies, especially those that are considered nuisances are located in residential areas. Places where our children play. Since when is hunting allowed in such highly populated areas. I remember being in my own backyard as a child with my parents rushing us into the house because bullets were whizzing over our heads! At the time the area was "rural". There were virtually no feral cats there then. It has now become very built up. And P.S. the feral cat population has also grown. (There seems to be a correlation between human and cat population.)

I am surprised to learn that farmers are on the committee. I thought cats were desirable on farms to keep the rodent population down.

Apr 05, 2010 Thank You
by: Joyce Sammons

Thank your for using my cat Gypsy for this story. He was the biggest cat I ever knew and was a feral. I'm glad to know his picture is now shared with all my cat lover friends.

Apr 05, 2010 New Jersey Cat Law
by: BJ

If indeed this is true it is a horrible law. I believe a lot of these laws are proposed by people that came from other countries. They come to America for a better life,(Don't get me wrong,a lot of them are good people) There a lot of bad ones that sneak into our country, form groups of their own kind and then try to change our laws and rights.

Killing cats for food, fur, or sports. What will be next on the list? All animals have to eat, so does that mean that every animal that eats someting living is going to be put on a list to be killed.

Everyone needs to contact their congressman or representative and let them know how we feel about these issues.

Apr 05, 2010 Not a joke
by: Elisa Black

The articles began appearing around mid March. The trouble is did one person see it and take it as truth and a rumor took off or are we dealing with a cover up by the Council. Hopefully someone will come forward who knows about this.

If not the council minutes will be available online after the meeting and we'll be able to see what all was discussed at the April 13 meeting.

Apr 05, 2010 I hope it's an April Fool
by: Ruth

This didn't come out on April 1st by any chance did it Elisa ?
I truly hope it IS an April fool, if it is it's a very stupid one, but if it isn't it's a very very worrying matter which UK troops will help you fight if you need us.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Apr 05, 2010 Great research
by: Michael

Thanks Elisa for some great research and bringing this to our attention.

It seems that some Americans want to create a new type of cat - the indoor cat. If all cats were solely indoor cats for a thousand years the dometic cat would change into something else.

I think that some Americans see other animals (and we are animals too but a lot of people don't get that) as creatures that are there solely for our benefit.

Surely some simple regulations that governed cat "ownership" would be a better answer. Indeed it may be the time to think about that as irresponsible cat owners will not improve on their own. But why convert what could be simple regulations into an excuse to shoot at cats?

There are far too many guns in America and people who like to use them. As people can't use them against other people they have to shoot animals instead. I hate it.

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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