Bird lovers who hate cats, debate

jessicaromano

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I cant post in the Debate section, so hopefully it's ok here.

This debate is over Bird lovers who think all except indoor cats should be killed.

I belong to a nature site and I read a debate going on over someone who found an injured bird that was attacked by a feral cat.

Some bird lover who works for Audubon society (which is all about birds) made a remark that all indoor cats should be declawed and all wild cats should be trapped and euthanized. He said cats are an invasive species and kill multiple species all over the World and hunt birds and dont eat them they just kill for fun. We know this is not true, they hunt to survive and eat. The issue is like so many other invasive species, people brought them, and they will never be eradicated, especially cats, they are here to stay.

Because cats are so sucessful and thrive in all climates people have a hatred for them over most invasive species due to them being everywhere.

But in areas like the US (where this person lives) most people are cat lovers/owners and if your not your used to seeing cats. Of course this person lives in Montana and I bet laws there are probably not like in the city, where you can kill animals on your property. Sure there are some people who hate cats just for being cats, but now bird lovers hate cats becuase they eat birds. I dont see them complain about eating mice, only because birds are "pretty" so these bird lovers care if they die. Meanwhile pigeons and sparrows are considered pests, and dogs kill as much wildlife, but no, dont go and trap them and kill them, only cats need to die. i've seen dogs eat rabbits,squirrels,chipmunks,snakes, and some slow moving birds they can be just as deadly.

Yet this person has the nerve to say "killing as many cats as possible is the only way to save the birds".

It's people like this that make others think killing cats is ok when it's not. We should not "play god" and decide what species die or live, especially when people keep those animals as pets and god knows you could catch someones pet by mistake and sent it to death if the pounds dont check for microchips.

This sickens me, I would never kill any animal, when clearly cats catch birds to eat, it's that simple. Birds arent going extinct in most areas, clearly nature balances itself out.

Here is the debate you can reads yourself, at least some cat lovers tried to help. http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/7384322
 

sk_pacer

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The man is what we call a citiot around here: moves to a bedroom community then howls about anything that disturbs his birdwatching and lifestyle. These people not only bitch and moan about cats but farms, farmers, cows, dust, farm smells, kids, horses, goats, stoats, wildlife that isn't pretty. They never have cats but usually an assortment of ill-behaved nasty dogs and think everyone should love said dogs that they turn loose on the countryside to harrass livestock, wildlife and people. They also think feeding deer is a great pasttime so they can watch Bambi frolic in their yards.

The concept they have of 'wilderness' is pretty much an endless stream of pretty birds (they loathe less pretty species and noisy birds) and Bambi frolicking in their yards. They think farmers should keep their cows, pigs, chickens, etc. quiet between sundown and whatever ridiculous hour they roll out of bed. They also think farms should be restricted to 9 to 5 working hours and gravel/dirt roads should not be driven on. Tractors and other farm equipment destroys birds with diesel fumes and make disturbing noise.

Now I beg to differ with this fool - I have barn cats and during summer, I have all kinds of song birds. Do I find feathers sometimes?? Of course, and the feathers are usually from rats with wings....er pigeons, grouse, and maybe the odd blackbird or mourning dove, and once, a duck. People forget that most song birds are very aggressive little buggers, with the worst being robins, barn swallows and wrens. Ever try picking berries in a bush where wrens nest? Well, it is almost impossible - they dart, dive and peck you. I have seen my cats chased by a variety of birds ranging from robins to barn swallows, wrens, almost any small bird except what we lump into the category of blackbirds. They don't even bother with the ground nesting kildeer (ever see kildeer babies, cutest thing ever, cotton balls on stilts). My cats have learned to go after the 'bad' birds - pigeons, blackbirds, sparrows (read non-agressive birds) and leave songbirds alone.

Sorry, rant against citiots over......we are NOT going to change our ways for them, and we are stuck with the fools.

For the record, almost every farm around here has many, very well cared for, farm/barn cats who work for their generous supply of cat food and table scraps: they keep mice and rats out of grain bins and out of hay storage areas. They keep the gopher population down to a resonable level, in many cases NO gophers. Unfortunately, some do get taken by coyotes, owls, large hawks and the occassional eagle, but indoor cats only negate the reason for farm cats.
 

larussa

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I didn't read the link but from what you said, this guy doesn't know what nature is all about. Every animal is prey to another. Yes cats may go after birds to survive, that said...birds eat worms. Are we going to kill the birds because they are eating worms??? C'mon people let Nature take it's course.
 

amandak21

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People like that make me so angry!\t
i don't like to see any animal injured but at the same time animals ARE animals, they are wild creatures some of which we domesticated.

Those cats are doing what any other creature does and is just trying to survive on what they can find. This is also another reason i would never let my cat outdoors i can't trust people anymore, too many crazies!\t
 

mrblanche

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The real kicker is that in almost the entire U.S., there were cat species in place before the domestic cat arrived, and most of those species have been largely displaced. There aren't many places in the U.S. that didn't have a bobcat or lynx population (and many places still have a few). Does the Audubon society advocate wiping out those native species?
 
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jessicaromano

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You guys make some valid points, I'll probably send this person a message with your thoughts just to show how his thinking is wrong.

By the way most People in Audubon aren't like this guy. Yeah they might dislike cats, some people anyway, but most articles I've read from Audubon are tips how to hang feeders/houses so cats ( and other animals) can't get to them easily and ti suggest keeping cats indoors if possible. The bell on the collar to let bitds know a cat is coming was dis-proven, cats still hunt with bells on. The magazine articles are fine, nothing about killing cats that's for sure!
 

sneakymom

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I am the owner of 3 cats. Yeah- they go outside. Only because the male cat will spray EVERYTHING if he doesn't get to go out for a while.

I also feed the birds. I've got feeders hung on poles. Because the outside "critters" ie squirrels, raccoons, deer will get into the feeders.

I've had a cat catch a bird. But only because the bird was either sick- or had hit my bow window (and I still haven't found a good answer to stop that). BUT- if we hadn't replaced the windows with more energy efficiant windows- our AC bill in the summer would be obnoxious AND we'd be hurting the environment. So what do you do?

One of the cats will sit directly UNDER the feeder
Like the birds are stupid enough not to see this 13lb grey cat


I've had more song birds caught by hawks that sit on my trees and use my feeder as their "fast food" station. So are we supposed to kill all the hawks? IMHO no because they're just as beautiful as the song birds.

And what does this person think about House Sparrows? They're an invasive species. They get into bluebird boxes and destroy bluebird eggs/ kill the babies. And starlings who are just IMHO "pigs with wings". They're an invasive species too.

Cheryl
 

sk_pacer

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I also wonder about the man's thoughts on sparrows. I wonder if he hates cowbirds, starlings and grackles as well since all three will knock eggs out of a newst, layy THEIR eggs and leave the territory so some other bird will hatch and raise the hatchlings. I would also be interested in his thoughts about barn swallows since they make nests under eaves and leave a huge mess. While they are pretty and very usefull, he sounds like the type that knocks swallow nests down because of bird poop. I bet he likes pigeons though, since they are attractive, make nice sounds and are fairly tame AND destructive as H-E-Double hockey sticks.


Just a side note - one raccoon will destroy more songbirds than dozens of cats as coons will get into nests and eat eggs and hatchlings.
 

ldg

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Feral cat advocacy, especially the issue of cat predation, is a passion and something on which I have invested significant time. I publish articles and research (most of my pieces address claims made by organizations like the American Bird Conservancy (ABC Birds) and The Wildlife Society). The person having a problem in that thread refers people to ABC Birds' propaganda. Refer them to someone who does a terrific job addressing the bogus claims of ABC and others: Vox Felina. http://www.voxfelina.org

(FYI, the cat predation section of my website is http://www.straypetadvocacy.org/cat_predation.html).

Unfortunately, those taking the "cats are an invasive species" stance tend to be unbending. Because cats are a non-native species, the argument goes, their predation is not natural. However, cat predation on continents needs to be distinguished from cat predation in isolated (island) environments. As Mike points out, in North America, our birds evolved in the presence of predators.

The anti-cat crowd loves to throw out large numbers related to bird and other wildlife kills. But the reality of the situation is that there are almost no scientific studies done on cat predation (other than in isolated island environments) that indicate the cat predation is affecting bird populations. Some cats are great bird hunters, but cats are rodent specialists. Cats are primarily opportunistic, and who's to say that Blue Jay wasn't already injured? Sick? Cat predation is not, by definition, "additive." All cat predation studies fail to take this into consideration.

Further, as others have pointed out, the House Sparrow is the most populous bird in the U.S. It is a non-native, invasive species. As is the Starling. When a cat kills one of these birds, is it doing us a service?

As to TNR. Given that the traditional method of animal control IS trap and kill, it's rather pointless to argue against TNR, as trap-and-kill has resulted in escalating numbers of homeless cats. Yes, we need access to low-cost spay/neuter, we need educational programs. People should keep their pet cats indoors or confined to their properties. But even if every single cat owner kept their cats indoors, the feral cats are out there. Cities and townships don't have budgets to hire enough animal control officers to trap the cats. They would then have to be taken to shelters, where they would take up valuable space for the required 3 - 7 day holding period usually legally mandated (in case it's a scared stray that may be reunited with its owner), and then the city/township has to pay to have a licensed vet euthanize the animal. All of this is very costly. Are you going to get volunteers out there, trapping cats and taking them to shelters to be euthanized? No, or there wouldn't be so many homeless cats.

The bird and wildlife conservationists may want to argue against TNR. But they never provide an alternative. What, exactly, is their plan to REMOVE the cats that are already out there? The reality is that people volunteer their time and resources to TNR, and this stops the breeding. Most TNR programs include an adoption component, where kittens and friendly strays are adopted into homes. This has the same impact on the environment as killing the cats - they are removed as predators. So while the TNR component for the feral cats may not remove the cats as quickly as the bird and wildlife conservationists would like, at least it is taking action to end the homeless cat population problem.

There are several threads on TCS discussing this very thing:

Doc Zone: segment on feral cats

And you don't have 100 posts, so you can't add to the discussion, but you can read the threads in IMO:

OK, this is the cat site. What are your thoughts on predation and TNR?

USFWS official position on the cat
 

arlyn

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While there are no TNR programs out here, and really, no much in the way of animal control beyond picking up strays, stray and feral cats are, for the most part, looked after by their communities.

Why?
The greatest predator of scorpions is cats, they almost specialize in it, add to that that they keep rodent populations under control, which, in turn, keeps snake population under control.

Although out here, we do have a good many songbirds and wetlands species, however, the greatest number of birds here are grackles, starlings, house sparrows and feral collared doves, all of which I'm sure most people would love to see in fewer numbers.

I've never understood birders' perspective on stray/feral/free roaming cats.
 

catbehaviors

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That guy sounds like an absolute...
I don't know. So if we kill the cats that kill the birds, that means someone else should kill us, right?

I live in Montana and from what I know about people who live here, usually we prefer that animals just do what they've always done. But a lot do think that we should kill wolves if they're killing our pets or livestock. And I can see that...

Yes, here in Montana we actually can kill animals on our property. But here in the city, I don't think we can shoot squirrels. Strangely enough though, it was okay for my neighbor to shoot my cat.


Hopefully people like that don't get many followers.

ETA: Oh and yeah, once Wessie killed a bird. Plus he ate it, did not do it for fun.
 

sk_pacer

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]That about says it for most areas in the 'wild' west. In what passes for town is a fair large feral cat population - the grain elevators alone have probably 0, fed and cared for by the agents and in turn, the cats keep the area as rodent free as possible. There are also 'downtown' cats, fed by the businesses - even the bar has a couple. With few exceptions, farmers and ranchers have cats, lots of cats, all fed, some indoor only, others strictly outside, and others allowed in for the night and back out in the day. When one considers the amount of available feed for rodents, without cats, we would be overrun by mice and rats very quickly - a few years ago, the outside cats killed os many mice, there was a ring of dead mice around the house yard and still some got inside although they didn't live long before a housecat got them.

As I said previously, there are many songbirds here, we all encourage them as most eat harmful bugs. Most cats with half a brain will only go after a robin, wren, barnswallow, kingbird, shrike, etc. once and rarely twice because these little darlings are pretty vicious. They WILL go after the general population that we term blackbirds here, that including grackles, cowbirds, starlings and a few others that destroy the nests of useful birds and when one of mine catches a blackbird, they get praised mightily as that means one less blackbird to destroy eggs of maybe a robin so the poor robin can raise a family of something black, noisy and destructive. I do keep a log of sorts of birds on my yard in summer and await the return every spring. I do NOT welcome 'blackbirds' as they destroy crops, gardens and fruit and crap on everything. I also do not like sparrows who never leave but try moving into the barn in winter; the cats welcome them with open mouths, thankfully. About the only song bird the cats get are mourning doves as they are slow and fairly dimwitted and almost as dirty as their breatheren, the common pigeon and those, I shoot and give to the cats. When one gets a slow grouse or partridge, I try to get the breast meat for me and let the cats have the rest - share and share alike.

I can't say anything about scorpions as they are not this far north but I am certain a cat can learn to hunt almost anything small enough. They learn what is acceptable prey and what isn't and what is dangerous, too big, not worth the effort and so on.

I really have no patience for the people of the world that are such a lover of something that everything else should be killed to preserve the object of their affection. Perhaps they should take a lesson from the cats - live to the best of their abilities and don't destroy almost all around you to have only what you want around. Too much of the 'good' allows the good to strip its environment of a means to survive - look at the invasive native species such as the snow goose and whitetailed deer both of which are rapidly destroying their own means of survival, decimating other species. The deer are sort of self controlling as too many means CWD which kills them but which also infects other cervids, the geese not so much, they just spread and eat. Over controlling predators, including human hunters, has caused us many problems - we now have moose here in the south, complete with warning signs along highways saying Beware of Moose. This is not moose range, wide open prairie, but they are adaptable as are elk and this combination is driving my favourite animal to watch, the pronghorn antelope, out of the area. There is little good to be had by exclusivity of certain species over others - diversity is needed to maintain balance and there is no reason why birders and cats cannot co-exist peacefully. Maybe we should exclude the rabid birders with warped sensibilities from our population??
 

my4llma

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I have a surveillance system, that I check every day. The only birds I've seen killed, were killed in fights with other bigger birds. So does that mean all bigger birds should be killed? after all they attack and kill smaller birds.
 

duchess15

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Originally Posted by sk_pacer

I also wonder about the man's thoughts on sparrows. I wonder if he hates cowbirds, starlings and grackles as well since all three will knock eggs out of a newst, layy THEIR eggs and leave the territory so some other bird will hatch and raise the hatchlings. I would also be interested in his thoughts about barn swallows since they make nests under eaves and leave a huge mess. While they are pretty and very usefull, he sounds like the type that knocks swallow nests down because of bird poop. I bet he likes pigeons though, since they are attractive, make nice sounds and are fairly tame AND destructive as H-E-Double hockey sticks.


Just a side note - one raccoon will destroy more songbirds than dozens of cats as coons will get into nests and eat eggs and hatchlings.
Yes, many birders do not like cowbirds because they are a very invasive species that has caused many species of warblers and vireos to either become extinct or endangered. They exhibit a behavior of parasitism and often causes a clutch to fail because the cowbird will either throw the other birds out or outeat them. It is only by trapping cowbirds that the Black-capped Vireo and the Golden-cheeked Warbler has been able to be saved.

On another note....squirrels are very destructive and will eat bird eggs and steal feeders.

Nature will be nature. There is a food chain that is followed, but sometimes human intervention is needed because nature can get out of control.

I do not agree with what this man has said about a solution to cats, but also, I often hear complaints about how the feral population is out of control and people refuse to spay/neuter if they personally own any outdoor cats.

I think the only way a solution will be found is if both sides come together to find one instead of always pointing fingers in the other direction.
 

ldg

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Originally Posted by My4LLMA

I have a surveillance system, that I check every day. The only birds I've seen killed, were killed in fights with other bigger birds. So does that mean all bigger birds should be killed? after all they attack and kill smaller birds.
Ah, but that is "nature," and "natural." Cats are not native to North America, European settlers introduced them. So cat predation isn't natural (according to the rabidly anti-cat birders/wildlife conservationists).

Originally Posted by Duchess15

On another note....squirrels are very destructive and will eat bird eggs and steal feeders.

Nature will be nature. There is a food chain that is followed, but sometimes human intervention is needed because nature can get out of control.
See above.

Originally Posted by Duchess15

I think the only way a solution will be found is if both sides come together to find one instead of always pointing fingers in the other direction.
Some are. There are ornithological societies in a number of places working with TNR groups, where both are compromising on their positions, and finding appropriate places for TNR colonies. The NJ Audubon society is part of a coalition of wildlife/cat welfare groups working together in similar ways. Last year we all worked together to relocate a colony of (TNR'd) feral cats living in an area with a bird "species of concern."

But for the most part, there are several very large and vociferous wildlife/bird advocacy groups (The Wildlife Society, The American Bird Conservancy, and the Audubon society at the National level) that simply work to make dialogue completely impossible. They portray all TNR/cat welfare people as psychologically deranged. For instance, This past spring, The Wildlife Society published a Spring Special titled: Outdoor Cats or Wildlife: Pick One. There is no "talking" to these people.

The Urban Wildlands Group sued the City of Los Angeles to stop a city-wide low-cost spay/neuter program, because they were going to allow the vouchers to be used for feral cats. They sued on the basis that an environmental impact study must be conducted, and won. No city-funded low-cost spay/neuter program. EVERYONE LOSES. But ABC Birds, The Wildlife Society, and Audubon (and the Urban Wildlands Group) are happy. Go figure.
 

sweetpea24

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Originally Posted by Sneakymom

I am the owner of 3 cats. Yeah- they go outside. Only because the male cat will spray EVERYTHING if he doesn't get to go out for a while.

I also feed the birds. I've got feeders hung on poles. Because the outside "critters" ie squirrels, raccoons, deer will get into the feeders.

I've had a cat catch a bird. But only because the bird was either sick- or had hit my bow window (and I still haven't found a good answer to stop that). BUT- if we hadn't replaced the windows with more energy efficiant windows- our AC bill in the summer would be obnoxious AND we'd be hurting the environment. So what do you do?

One of the cats will sit directly UNDER the feeder
Like the birds are stupid enough not to see this 13lb grey cat


I've had more song birds caught by hawks that sit on my trees and use my feeder as their "fast food" station. So are we supposed to kill all the hawks? IMHO no because they're just as beautiful as the song birds.

And what does this person think about House Sparrows? They're an invasive species. They get into bluebird boxes and destroy bluebird eggs/ kill the babies. And starlings who are just IMHO "pigs with wings". They're an invasive species too.

Cheryl
You can get these window clingers that look like spider webs and put them on your Windows to help prevent birds from flying into them.

This guy doesn't understand anything. Why would cats need to be declawed? I guess one could argue that there is an imbalance in terms of the feral cat population but killing them isn't the answer. I don't know enough about ferals or the related issues but I don't think killing and declaring are the way to go. I really hope this guy is a.vegetarian because if he knew how animals were.slaughtered, he'd call for the death of carnivorous humans. While I don't think this guy.is representative of the Audobon society, he is unfortunately representative of the population of short-sighted, narrow-minded and simple-minded people whose solution to everything is to shoot something. I don't see how declawing and killing cats will help the ecosystem.
 

duchess15

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Originally Posted by LDG

Ah, but that is "nature," and "natural." Cats are not native to North America, European settlers introduced them. So cat predation isn't natural (according to the rabidly anti-cat birders/wildlife conservationists).

See above.

Some are. There are ornithological societies in a number of places working with TNR groups, where both are compromising on their positions, and finding appropriate places for TNR colonies. The NJ Audubon society is part of a coalition of wildlife/cat welfare groups working together in similar ways. Last year we all worked together to relocate a colony of (TNR'd) feral cats living in an area with a bird "species of concern."

But for the most part, there are several very large and vociferous wildlife/bird advocacy groups (The Wildlife Society, The American Bird Conservancy, and the Audubon society at the National level) that simply work to make dialogue completely impossible. They portray all TNR/cat welfare people as psychologically deranged. For instance, This past spring, The Wildlife Society published a Spring Special titled: Outdoor Cats or Wildlife: Pick One. There is no "talking" to these people.

The Urban Wildlands Group sued the City of Los Angeles to stop a city-wide low-cost spay/neuter program, because they were going to allow the vouchers to be used for feral cats. They sued on the basis that an environmental impact study must be conducted, and won. No city-funded low-cost spay/neuter program. EVERYONE LOSES. But ABC Birds, The Wildlife Society, and Audubon (and the Urban Wildlands Group) are happy. Go figure.
That's awesome, Laurie!
Unfortunately, Texas is a very conservative state so nature takes a backseat along with animals. At least the area I live in, which is a military town, it is really bad because soldiers are often moving or being deployed and many animals are abandoned because they may have no one else to care for them or simply don't care. That isn't to say that all people do it, but it seems more prevalent here. So, for where I live, there may never be an agreement to a solution because people can be so thick headed.

On a side note, I feel that there are always extreme outlooks in any organization and it shouldn't be used to determine the organization as a whole. Unfortunately, those minor outlooks will often create more problems than solutions and overshadow the good of that organization.
 

ducman69

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Originally Posted by jessicaromano

He said cats are an invasive species and kill multiple species all over the World and hunt birds and dont eat them they just kill for fun. We know this is not true, they hunt to survive and eat.
Cats are an invasive species in some ecosystems, such as North America, and many pets will kill just for fun, its instinct. Its well known for example that the best mousers are well fed and cared for cats, as they just have that much more energy to hunt and hunt regardless of hunger, for the same reason that Wesley and Buttercup get so very excited when I pull out their fake mouse toy or da bird to chase.

When population levels for almost any animal are very high and near out of control, they can begin to be viewed as pests. Considering the population size of cats, its actually quite surprising that they are not considered pests by most, and I think its just because they are so much cuter than most other animals so humans have a natural soft spot for em. If the cats looked like possums or racoons or vultures in those numbers, I think the response in general would be more harsh.

Regarding "playing God", cats are not a native species, they were brought over by man, and if you feed feral cats, provide them shelter, or let your cats outdoors to hunt all day then that is as much "playing God", and if its near a bird sanctuary then I can understand the concern to protect endangered animals from an invasive "pest species" on the part of the bird lovers. So I keep Wesley and Buttercup indoors where they eat non-endangered chicken, beef, lamb, and the like and can watch the birds safely. There is a neighbor a few houses down though that has several cats that roam the neighborhood all day and only come in for feeding and at night, and another woman at my office that feels sorry for the cats and kittens that hang near the food court and dumpster and constantly feeds them on paper plates with no plan to TNR. Good intentions, but it clearly results in a great population of predators that when combined with human's destruction of endangered bird habitat does negatively impact certain wildlife.

As seen in Australia though, nature does not "balance itself out" without first causing loss of species and destruction of habitat, as the rabbit and cat population is out of control and has even turned once fertile land into desert. Nature takes time to adapt to change, and that can be thousands of years, not a few hundred.

As a compromise, I believe it would be wise to implement leash laws as we have for all other pets except cats, and capture, neuter, and relocate cats that are caught near bird sanctuaries. Just as the practice of feeding pigeons has been made illegal in parts of Europe due to their overpopulation, it would also be wise to ban that here if not done as part of a TNR program.
 

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Hmm..... I like the fact that he saved a bird from bering attacked by another animal, but I don't agree about what he said about killing a cat.

I love all animals and I don't know who to agree or dissagree!
 

resqchick

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I Love birds. I do. I was raised with all kinds of birds, especially many, many pigeons that my dad kept on our rooftop in the Bronx when I was very small.

We raised probably close to 100 wild bird babies, and I have always had a pet bird or two.

With that being said, how can anyone who claims to be an animal lover of any kind, advocate killing ANY animal? Perhaps I should lobby against Red tailed Hawks since they have wiped out the pigeon population out here! Maybe I should lobby against Raccoons since they killed my turtles in my pond? No. Animals do what is instinctive, and most cats will catch the weak bird on the ground, before going after the healthy one in the tree. That's called survival of the fittest and it is a basic quality to life on earth. It is also called culling, which is necessary for a species to produce stronger and healthier young, making it easier for that species as a whole, to survive at all.

People like this remind me of PETA, who advocates FREEING laboratory animals, (who WILL die!) and killing of domestic pets because death is preferable to being kept in a house which is unnatural.

GRRRRRRR. This stuff just burns my behind.
 
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