I have given this some thought and it is clear to me that the people who support trap-neuter-release programs (TNR) as a way of reducing the population of feral cats are more decent than people who wish to ‘remove them from the environment’ (a euphemistic phrase from mass slaughter!).
You may have noticed that New York state legislature is debating the introduction of a statute (law created by the government) in which they fund large-scale TNR programs across the state. It is quite an important moment in the United States with respect to the ongoing debate on how to deal with feral cats. It may kick start something bigger.
There are a lot of interested parties. This is made apparent by the fact that the New York Assembly members are receiving lots of memos from people who wish to lobby the lawmakers into making a decision in their favour. For example, Sen Cathy Marchione, the bill’s sponsor, said:
“One of my colleague said to me, ‘I’ve gotten more memos on your cat bill than anything else.'”
What is evident to me is that the decent people who support TNR have the welfare of feral cats wholly in mind. They understand the big picture and the reasons why feral cats exist. They support TNR because it humanely diminishes the population size of feral cats. It is currently the only and best method of doing that.
In contrast, the people who are against TNR are people who have their own interests at heart, by which I mean the hunting groups and organisations such as the New York Sportsmen’s Advisory Council. They are making a decision based upon what benefits them not what is the right thing to do. That is an important observation I feel. It should be noted by the lawmakers because their job is to do the right thing.
Good veterinarians also support TNR programs. For example, the professor Emeritus at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine lobbied the state government in a memo which said:
“So the choice is to live with the status quo and watch cat populations grow or to enhance the (trap-neuter-release) efforts currently working to reduce feral cat numbers in many areas. I choose to support (trap-neuter-release) efforts until more effective population control measures become available.”
That sort of statement is extremely sensible and the correct way to proceed. If the New York Sportsmen’s Advisory Council penned a memo to the lawmakers of New York state it would say something like:
“We are against the funding of TNR programs because we believe that it leads to native wild species being killed by feral cats and we prefer to kill animals ourselves, if you don’t mind!”
You can see the difference can’t you? One of the lobbying groups is a course the people who support the bird species of America – America’s ornithologists. They don’t support TNR because they believe that feral cats kill a lot of birds and they want to protect America’s birds. I understand that. At least that argument is better than the one presented by America’s hunters. However, it still falls short of the arguments presented by people who support TNR as the most humane way of diminishing the population size of feral cats. This is because the ornithologist do not have the humane treatment of feral cats at the heart of their argument. They just want rid of them. It’s a case of speciesism. They want to support birds over cats. That is a false argument.
PETA is also against TNR. They wish to totally eradicate feral cats. They are simply wrong. You can’t just kill all the feral cats. It is impractical, putting aside from a minute that it is inhumane. It does not work. In fact it is illegal, in my assessment, to do it.
I conclude, therefore, that as stated in my opening paragraph, supporters of TNR programs are the most decent people in this debate currently taking place in New York state. And they are thinking more profoundly.
New York state is also debating the banning of declawing. Good for them.