Letters to the Editor

Stop the spread of bird-killing cats

A report out of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, puts the annual loss from feral cat predation on birds in the USA in the millions. The cats kill an estimated 480 million birds every year. Studies also showed that 43 percent of the 80 million owned cats added with the feral cats kill a billion birds every year.
The report also analyzed decades of research on the USA feral cat population estimated to be approximately 60 million and growing, concluding that they are invasive and pose a serious threat to native wildlife. The extinction of at least 33 species of birds can be attributed to cats.
A key finding of the report was that trap, neuter, release is ineffective at controlling feral cat numbers. In fact the report was unable to find any single real world example of eliminating a feral colony.
Feral cats also pose a serious health risk as 80 percent of feral cats carry the parasite responsible for toxoplasmosis, a real concern for pregnant women.
The report also concluded that supplemental feeding of feral cats should be done away with as no matter how well fed, the cats still kill wildlife. Also feeding encourages them to congregate, which increases the chances of disease being spread.
Vern Conover
Oak Harbor

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