New York State’s legislators have been debating two pieces of draft legislation (bills) that will be a huge step in formally legitimising the trap-neuter-return (TNR) process of managing feral cat colonies (better described as community cats). This is because once passed into law the legislation provides state funding to groups who are involved in TNR programs. In other words the state is formally recognising that TNR is the best way to humanely manage community cats which are perceived as a health risk and a problem by many.
Twenty percent of the state’s Animal Population Control Program Fund with be paid to selected TNR groups.
Most major animal advocacy charities such as Alley Cat Allies and the ASPCA support these bills. Of course they do. PETA does not as they believe in killing feral cats as the most humane method. That is considered to be an extreme viewpoint.
The bills, AB 2778 and SB 1081, have been passed by the law makers of the state and they await the signature of Andrew Cuomo, the 56th and current Governor of New York for them to become law. I can’t see him not signing them off. If so, this must be hailed as great news for TNR advocates.
I hope that this is the beginning of a trend and that other states will follow. For TNR to work well it needs to be as comprehensive as possible and for that to happen it really needs state funding rather than being reliant upon the kind deeds of good individual women dotted over the state.
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