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.
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