The law had been debated and agreed (A 2778/S 1081). It only required the signature of Governor Cuomo for this bill to become law which would formalize trap-neuter-return programs (TNR) in New York state and which would have made provision for some state funding of the TNR programs.
This law would have been a major endorsement at state level of this much debated and somewhat controversial but humane method of controlling feral cat populations. But unless some legislative steps are taken to overcome Governor Cuomo’s blocking of the bill it will not become law.
Guess who convinced the Governor to reject the legislation? A damned ornithologist, the Director of Invasive Species Programs for American Bird Conservancy whose name is Grant Sizemore. He said:
“By vetoing this proposed legislation, Governor Cuomo has acted with vision and courage to protect the wildlife of New York,” commented Grant Sizemore, Director of Invasive Species Programs for American Bird Conservancy, noting that studies have shown that free-roaming cats kill billions of birds in the U.S. each year.
“This bill was an effort to legitimize the systematic abandonment of cats,” Sizemore continued, “and to inappropriately require that public funds prop up a failed TNR strategy. We hope that other law-makers draw inspiration from this decision and recognize TNR is a ‘lose, lose, lose’ scenario for cats, wildlife, and people.”
By the look of it, these are the words of a dyed-in-the-wool bird lover and cat hater who has a distorted view on feral cat predation and who actually believes the poor and inaccurate studies on feral cat predation of native species. He is misinformed and he is providing misinformation to the Governor in my honest opinion although I am speculating of course.
When conducted properly (and funding obviously helps a lot) TNR works well. It is the only humane way of controlling feral cat populations and increasingly we read about effective TNR programs being adopted by local authorities.
One of the sponsors of the bill, Assemblyman James Tedisco says he will fight on and try and convince his colleagues to override the Governor’s veto at the next session. He is very disappointed as will be millions of people involved with TNR.
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