March 7, 2005

Cat hunting season in Wisconsin.

There are 1.4 million feral cats in Wisconsin, and they kill, we think, 7.8 million birds a year:
Those numbers are why this April the Conservation Congress will be voting on a proposal to identify feral cats as an unprotected species in Wisconsin–basically meaning they could be hunted.
I really find it hard to picture people going out cat hunting!

UPDATE: More here.
Sheri Carr, senior humane officer at the Dane County Humane Society, said the group has not yet taken a position on the proposal, but wants cat owners to abide by their local ordinances and not let their animals roam.

Shoot a neighbor's cat? "I would hate to think that tame, owned cats who happen to slip out would be at risk of being deemed a wild, unprotected species," Carr said. "It's a delicate (ecological) balance out there, but does that mean people should be able to shoot their neighbor's cat? Probably not."

Mark Smith, the man who brought the proposal, said he is not a cat hater and has owned cats in the past.

"They don't belong in the environment. All I want is for people to be responsible for them," Smith said. "If I catch a cat in the yard in a live trap, I should be able to put that animal down."

Smith added, "There needs to be something to protect the average guy. Cruelty to animals is one thing. Dispatching them is another . . . What I'm trying to do here is make a distinction between a domestic cat and a feral cat. Domestic cats are under the ownership of an individual. If you open the door and kick your cat out at night, you've changed its status."

Karen Etter Hale, executive secretary of the Madison Audubon Society, said the society favors education as the best solution to bird predation by cats.

"I'm not sure redefining cats and having an open season on them is the best way to address the issue," she said. "The Madison Audubon Society believes all cats should be kept indoors. We might make an exception for working farm cats."

The DNR is concerned about the killing of small mammals and birds by pet and feral cats, said Bill Vander Zouwen, wildlife ecology section chief for game management.

"We urge owners to prevent their cats from roaming. That's always been our approach, rather than ask for authority to let hunters shoot cats," he said.

O'Donnell of the Wisconsin Cat Action Team said Smith's proposal "is a callous response to cats."

"There's more humane solutions," he said. "We as citizens should step up and solve the problem humanely."

Though I don't think this proposal will be passed, I do think that the proposal can have a positive, educational effect. An awful lot of people let their cats roam, and don't seem to get the ecology angle -- and that's true here in Madison, where people think so highly of their sensitivity to environmental matters.

ANOTHER UPDATE: This made me laugh.

YET MORE: Alicublog sees into my dark, dark soul.

7 comments:

Kandie said...

I found your post thru google and I am doing a persuasive speech on cat hunting in Wisconsin and I was wondering, that since you lived in Wisconsin, I was hoping that maybe you could give me some information on how that is going. I live in Minnesota, so there for, I do not have most access to this topic. I am thurally against cat hunting and it is very wrong. But getting back to the topic at hand, if you have any information for me, it would be greatly appreciated. You can email me at lonely_stardust_baby69@yahoo.com. It would help me greatly if you could get back to me before monday september 29, 2005. Thank you very much in advance.

FCHuntMaster said...

These guys are actually hunting feral cats.
www.feralcathunt.com

Lord Spanky said...

yes .. cat owners should be made aware of the hunting season so that they do and will obey all state or city ordinaces concerning their pets .. but the ones that are already feral should be exterminated .. there is no hope of turning 1.4 million cats into domestic pets .. and if left unchecked they will only continue to multiply .. bottom line is that there are not enough resources to deal with that many cats in a humane way .. pet owners that let their cats run free (although they shouldnt), or at least owners whose cats have the occasional opportunity to escape, should have their cats wear a collar with identification .. simple as that .. the population must be checked somehow .. and this is the only realistic solution .. im sorry to say it .. but its true ..

Lord Spanky said...

yes .. cat owners should be made aware of the hunting season so that they do and will obey all state or city ordinaces concerning their pets .. but the ones that are already feral should be exterminated .. there is no hope of turning 1.4 million cats into domestic pets .. and if left unchecked they will only continue to multiply .. bottom line is that there are not enough resources to deal with that many cats in a humane way .. pet owners that let their cats run free (although they shouldnt), or at least owners whose cats have the occasional opportunity to escape, should have their cats wear a collar with identification .. simple as that .. the population must be checked somehow .. and this is the only realistic solution .. im sorry to say it .. but its true ..

Lord Spanky said...

yes .. cat owners should be made aware of the hunting season so that they do and will obey all state or city ordinaces concerning their pets .. but the ones that are already feral should be exterminated .. there is no hope of turning 1.4 million cats into domestic pets .. and if left unchecked they will only continue to multiply .. bottom line is that there are not enough resources to deal with that many cats in a humane way .. pet owners that let their cats run free (although they shouldnt), or at least owners whose cats have the occasional opportunity to escape, should have their cats wear a collar with identification .. simple as that .. the population must be checked somehow .. and this is the only realistic solution .. im sorry to say it .. but its true ..

Lord Spanky said...

yes .. cat owners should be made aware of the hunting season so that they do and will obey all state or city ordinaces concerning their pets .. but the ones that are already feral should be exterminated .. there is no hope of turning 1.4 million cats into domestic pets .. and if left unchecked they will only continue to multiply .. bottom line is that there are not enough resources to deal with that many cats in a humane way .. pet owners that let their cats run free (although they shouldnt), or at least owners whose cats have the occasional opportunity to escape, should have their cats wear a collar with identification .. simple as that .. the population must be checked somehow .. and this is the only realistic solution .. im sorry to say it .. but its true ..

misskitty said...

SO LORD SPANKY IF YOUR KICKED OUT OF THE HOUSE AT NIGHT SHOULD YOUR STATUS CHANGE?