The Federation of BC Naturalists is calling for the licensing of all cats following a devastating report labelling cats as serial killers of birds and mammals.
BC Nature, an amalgam of 52 naturalist clubs, calls for cat licensing and the leashing of felines unless they’re on their owner’s property.
BC Nature calls on the Union of BC Municipalities “to implement cat licensing,” and urges that “cats must be confined to their owner’s property or physically restrained when off the premises.”
The recommendations are in line with the findings of a provocative new U.S. study that claims the often-beloved domestic felines are responsible for billions of deaths.
“We estimate that free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.4–3.7 billion birds and 6.9–20.7 billion mammals annually,” reads the report, entitled ‘The impact of free-ranging domestic cats on wildlife of the United States,’ published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. “Scientifically sound conservation and policy intervention is needed to reduce this impact.”
B.C. Nature president John Neville, whose group represents legions of birders, said quick action is needed to save endangered species – songbirds have decreased two per cent per year for 40 years, with no end in sight.
“It’s a big problem now, and it’s growing exponentially,” said Neville. “It’s mind-boggling.”
Neville said the problem is simple math – left unchecked, cats breed like rabbits:
“If you take two feral cats, allow them to breed freely, and allow their offspring to breed freely, if they all survive at the end of seven years you’ll have 420,000 cats. We have to neuter these cats.”
Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Regina already have pet-control regulations for cats, and Neville applauds Creston as the first B.C. community he knows of to regulate cats.
The new study, authored by Scott Loss, Tom Will, and Peter Marra, paints a disturbing tale of those lovable kittens turning into wildlife wreckers.
“Free-ranging domestic cats have been introduced globally and have contributed to multiple wildlife extinctions on islands,” write the authors. “ Our findings suggest that free-ranging cats cause substantially greater wildlife mortality than previously thought.”
Neville said previous studies vastly under-reported cat kills – estimating that each cat kills just one bird per year.
He knows criticizing kitties won’t win him friends, but hopes reason will prevail.
“I hope that responsible cat owner will encourage other cat owners to be responsible,” said Neville. “We want cats to be looked after, not end up in the woods.”http://www.theprovin...l#ixzz2JcKIfsSI
Edited by Wetcoaster, 31 January 2013 - 09:10 PM.