Thanks to a workshop presented by US Fish and Wildlife, it may become increasingly difficult for citizens to advocate for TNR laws and funding.
On November 5th, at the Wildlife Society Annual Conference in Waikoloa, HI, two representatives from USFW will facilitate the all-day workshop, “Influencing Local Scale Feral Cat Trap-Neuter-Release Decisions.” During their presentation, they plan to arm the participants (biologists and conservation activists) with facts, training tools, and literature they can bring home with them to assist in their mission “to advocate for wildlife in the decision making process by providing the best available scientific evidence in an effective manner.” In short, this means these individuals will be much better prepared to advocate against non-lethal solutions for managing the free-roaming cat population.
The workshop description cites that 1.4 million birds (and at least as many small mammals and herps) are killed each day by free-roaming cats. They liken this number to bird mortality caused by building collisions and indicate the number far exceeds death by oil spills. And, most disturbingly, they plan to end the workshop with role-playing and discussion/design of local strategies.
What can we do to help leverage these initiatives?
- Contact USFW and tell them how you feel about their efforts.
- Spread the word about the benefits of TNR by talking to your friends, sharing e-mails, and providing links on your Facebook wall. Share a link to this post!
- Find out about laws in your area and attend any council meetings where TNR legislation is the subject of discussion.
- Learn more about TNR by attending local classes and perhaps becoming a colony caretaker. Some classes are currently scheduled in Warren, MI, Manhattan, NY (tomorrow), West New York, NJ, and you can contact Project TNR in NJ to schedule a class in your town. Alley Cat Allies is a great resource for TNR education and a helpful contact to locate TNR training near you.
It’s more important than ever to advocate for our feline friends. Even if it’s sharing a link to a great TNR article or an upcoming training session…it’s something. They are counting on us to do the right thing!