New York State defends the feral cat in court against the American Bird Conservancy (ABC)

The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) had decided to sue, in the New York federal court, the New York Department of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (NYS Parks) over the presence of cats at Jones Beach because they allege in their complaint that the cats threaten the existence of the piping plover birds who also live in the area. They claim that NYS Parks are in violation of the Endangered Species Act.

Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

In their defence of ABC’s legal action, New York state made an application to dismiss their complaint. What New York state are saying in their application to the court (a “motion” in America) is that there is no evidence that cats living in Jones Beach State Park are a threat in any way to the piping plover with whom they share the park. Therefore ABC have no interest in the matter. They have nothing to say. In short New York stated that “no potential interest of [ABC] is being harmed.”

They state that there is no causal chain of events between the cats and birds. In addition, we are told that the piping plover has made a huge recovery in population numbers since it was listed under the Endangered Species Act in the 1980s. The trend in numbers has been upwards of this bird species at Jones Beach over the past several years.

How, therefore, could ABC even think about suing the state of being in violation of the Endangered Species Act is beyond me. No doubt they failed to provide any evidence to support their claim. In addition, as mentioned, it must have been impossible to provide evidence because the bird population has increased!

Surely they would need to provide evidence that the bird population had decreased and then they would have to establish a link between a decrease in bird numbers and the cats living in the area. They have abjectly failed to do this. I would expect the court to find in favour of New York State and dismiss ABC’s complaint. That should be the end of this legal process in this instance. I hope so.

Alley Cat Allies President Becky Robinson is very happy that New York State are challenging the application by this bird society. She said:

“In pushing back against baseless assertions ABC made about NYS Parks and its management of Jones Beach State Park, New York State is sending a strong message to ABC, to park officials, to city governments, and to cat advocates across the country… We hope that the court will follow New York’s request and dismiss this lawsuit. The sooner this is behind us, the sooner the NYS Parks can return to its full focus to meeting the diverse needs of all the creatures that live in and enjoys parks.”

Jones Beach is a very popular area for both people visiting the area and for wildlife such as seagulls, foxes, raccoons, cats and birds. They live in harmony and New York State should be praised for their success in ensuring that this occurs.

ABC, like other bird societies and associations, have a “thing” about feral cats and at any opportunity will seek ways to have them destroyed or relocated. Their over-zealous approach has resulted in an inappropriate application to court wasting court time and their own money. I hope the members of ABC complain to the club’s management.

Source: Alley Cat Allies – News

8 thoughts on “New York State defends the feral cat in court against the American Bird Conservancy (ABC)”

  1. Truthfully this inner combat is why so little gets done for real animal welfare. A united front would accomplish far more.

  2. Agree with the above comments. It’s good that there’ll be documentation that the particular bird’s population increased in size and hence cats don’t present a danger to them.

    Actually, given rat problem in NYC, I think the cats do public service there. My friend’s car was damaged when a rat chewed threw the pipes.

    • Yes, I agree Kitty. If the court dismisses the case it will be a feather in the cap of feral cat caretakers and cat lovers and a blow to the bird people 😉

  3. righteous do-gooders with tunnel vision. Without predation a species will over breed. That allows weak, deformed and the genetically stupid to pass along their defective genes.
    A question not answered is what is the coyote population in the area. And they are everywhere. The coyote would prey not only on the birds but the cats as well. If the population is increasing they there is a healthy balance even if the overachievers get their panties wadded over a few birds being eaten.
    It’s not just feral cats these groups attack. There is a faction that wants your domestic cat banned. Inside or out.
    I have witness numerous encounters over my life in state, national, and even wildlife sanctuaries of off leash dogs doing more damage in one day than a cat could in a year.

    • I agree ME. There is indeed a fiction that feral cats are a major threat to birds and that they decimate bird populations. It is not true. Humans are the biggest bird killers through a wide range of activities.


  4. The only species that exterminates another species is the human species. I’ve had cats and dogs and birds all together in one house and the birds and cats and dogs made peace and in some cases were friends. Had one cat who would lay on top of the birdcage and lower his tail into the cage to play with the birds.

  5. I love that there will be legal documentation that cats, feral or not, aren’t the cause of bird population decline, because this potential ruling can be referred to in any other cases down the road.


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