Article against TNR - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-24-2015, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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Article against TNR

Hi all!

After doing some research about TNR (for some community cats in my area) I came across this article

I wondered what you think of the case 'against' TNR, if anyone has any opinions?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-24-2015, 02:03 AM
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Yes, cats kill lots of birds every year. They also kill a lot of mice and rats and other undesirables, but no one complains about those! But, consider the alternative. All those birds don't get caught or eaten by cats. We will be over run by birds and those cute little birdies will "birds plop" all over cars, property, and heads! Mother Nature does her job with ecosystems to regulate populations. When I taught grade 7, we did many simulations on what would happen if you removed a predator from an area. We learned about actual experiments doing this. In every case, the "prey" was able to rapidly reproduce until, lol and behold, there were too many and the food source became depleted. Then they starved...the predators returned for "easy pickings" and things balanced out again.

TNR manages to cut back on the undesirable parts of feral cats....noise, spray, and poop. But the feral cats still have a role in the ecosystem. No, we will never get all the freaks TNRd, but those we do mean that we are helping.n
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-24-2015, 03:34 AM
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Dubai sadly has a stray and feral issue. The municipality have a regular schedule each year to clear out larger feral colonies from areas through euthenasia and not through TNR. What proves it doesn't work is that they have to go round again and again because of the breeding by not having done the TNR step.
In comparison one of rescues shelters in Abu Dhabi in conjunction with a hotel chain and constuction company built a cat cafe and colony area and moved a big feral group while also having them all neutered. The group is healthier, calmer and of course not growing except when a new cat is added and even that goes better. So, if used properly it can be the answer. Of course you won't see the immediate results because cats live for a number of years, so it takes time to see the reduction.

I also agree with Mochas Mommy that it is easy to blame cats for all the bird killings etc. Here the smaller restaurants ( even some of the hotels) like to have a few ferals around to help with vermin control.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-24-2015, 03:42 AM
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I agree with Jenny when she says that results won't be seen for years because cats live long lives. Eventually, there will be a reduction.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-24-2015, 05:25 AM
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In my opinion, TNR needs to be more widespread to be effective in the large scale. But that statement should only bolster the growth of TNR efforts, not be cause for them to give up. The evidence supports the fact that cities that empower and grow their animal control departments to become colony overseers and implement TNR have seen marked decreases in the population.

But those cases are still too few. We will get there. These things aren't accomplished overnight. It's no different than any betterment movement. It takes people willing to do the hard work to grow the effort.

The enactment of population control laws allowing the killing of certain quotas of feral cats is a very slippery slope one should be wary of.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-24-2015, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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Jenny_bf, we have the same problem here (SE Asia). There are so many stray and feral cats, you would see one on every other block. Though there is also a lack of awareness about animal welfare, and because of other problems such as poverty, corruption etc. animals are often overlooked.

Also agreeing with you all who've said it's a long term solution. Because truly the euthanizing of cats is not a long term one, it is impossible to euthanize ALL the feral cats - both practically and financially (if by the government). TNR is more realistic but indeed the results will take longer to manifest.

On another note, our local government here passed a stupid ordinance that says you can only be a guardian of up to 4 pets. Any one exceeding will have their pets taken by the city pounds and have to pay a fee. (May be disclosing my location here hehe) But what a ridiculous law! Apparently in attempts to control rabies and pet overpopulation! Nonsense! It became a very heated issue over here and thanks to some animal welfare organisations they have made amendments to it already. Thankfully, now many local councils are now implementing spaying and neutering for low cost or for free, not many but there are some out there, which is positive.

Hoping to get some feral cats spayed where I work, which is why I am doing some research

I really appreciate everyone's opinions, thank you very much for taking the time to share!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 12:17 AM
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Hey I have a novel idea. If people didn't dump their unneutered cats, maybe we wouldn't have this problem. Cats do kill birds. It is sad but hawks, those big black birds and owls also eat birds. What type of society would just dump animals, let them breed without consideration to overpopulation and then just kill them to control the population. I applaud those who take the time to TNR We have had some large feral colonies in San Diego and yet I don't hear of much rabies. Each year there is a bat caught with rabies or another animal but no outbreaks.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 08:57 AM
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NabraskaCat, you are right on the money!
Cape Town is a port city about the same age as NY and we have several natural spaces within the city (not counting Table Mountain national park that sits pretty much right in the middle).
We have several feral colonies in the CBD and quite a few in the surrounding older suburbs and lets not forget: we are a Third World country.
But with all that said, you will hardly EVER see a feral cat on the streets. We have a very well run TNR programme that's been ongoing now for several years and the numbers have come down. This includes the number of cats that test positive for FIV.
I don't agree with the author of the article at all. Like many have already stated - cats don't kill nearly as many birds as for example hawks and other wild predators. They would much rather hunt mice and rats, which is essential in a port city. And how many cats are themselves killed by predators??
Cape Town also has By-laws that limit the number of animals one can keep within the city limits to 4 dogs and 4 cats. Our welfare organisations now concentrate on the rural areas where they educate people and help with sterilization and general vetcare. It is an uphill battle, but they run completely on donations, so the waste of money thing doesn't apply.
Without those ferals in the CBD, we would be overrun by rats within a week!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 06:42 PM
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We don't have city-supported TNR here but a nearby city recently did bring forth the issue and of course bird populations were a big concern. It's just hard for the uninformed to agree to anything that might injure the bird population. It seemed like everyone appreciates birds but cats are vermin. The plea for city-sanctioned TNR was shot down. In my city we have a limit of 5 animals (cats and dogs- you could have a thousand hamsters) and we are not allowed to "feed" or do anything that would attract wildlife- of course i do feed ferals and have bird feeders- technically attracting wildlife!

I've been in my house which came with ferals and birds since December and there has only been one bird killed. Here they argued that we don't see the birds getting killed because we aren't in the garden in the early am when the birds are out in force feeding- nonsense! My garden is my second passion so I am up with the birds looking out into my garden watching them until I go to work- and I can tell that on my days off I see them pig out all day long.

I'd say this article was written with a great deal of bias and it is based on a poor example of a TNR effort. It IS true that to be really effective in stabilizing numbers a high proportion of cats need to be TNR'd- that I will give the author. But this is why those involved try to educate and get the community involved.

I find the rabies argument to be preposterous! I don't know of any TNR's that don't vaccinate and at least in our area they designate caretakers who are responsible for future medical care. Not to mention the argument that there is no hard evidence that cats will lose immunity after the "life" of the vaccine (because it has not been tested past the three year vaccine mark). The author also seems to have forgotten that spayed/ neutered cats are less likely to come into contact with a rabid animal since they are no longer hormonal and territorial they are less likely to engage in fighting with other animals.

What I find actually insulting is where the author states that TNR "enables animal shelters to put on a happier face for donors: “We’re a shelter, not a slaughterhouse.” Since I work at a no-kill I can tell you that we are a no kill because we believe in being a no-kill! We are not a no-kill to please anyone else and because we are a no-kill we have expenses that other kill shelters do not deal with. Every cat we take in has a chance of costing us a lot of money. Each cat is a gamble but we deal with it. How insulting that the author would insinuate that we are trying to put spin on the issue!
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