I live in a city, and like most cities there is an aggressive spaying and neutering program to keep the cat population from becoming unruly. Many rural areas do not spend money on domestic pet control.
I'm beginning to suspect that the residents in rural areas believe that "getting back to the land" means they needn't assume any social, or more accurately, societal responsibilities. They want the freedom to do anything they desire on their land, but they want to be left alone when it comes to inconvenience. I read complaints from ruarl-folk that city-folk (that is, the people who pay the majority of the taxes to keep America running) shouldn't be passing laws that infringe on their rights to kill game or live freely on their slice of rural utopia. To some degree, I agree with them: they should be allowed to kill game on their land.
Some country folks in Wisconsin have put forth Question 62 which illustrates the city vs country life styles.
Question 62 will amend the hunting laws to designate domesticated, but now feral, felines (tabbies, angoras, and the like) as small game. So, Mr.-and-Mrs.-I'm-Getting-Back-To-The-Land will be able to take pot shots at any kitty-cats that trespass on their land!
Hunters are allowed to kill birds and mammals already; but they now want legislation so that only they themselves get to do the killing. They must be angry that the kitty-cats are doing a better job at it, so they want to kill the kitty-cats, too!
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Question 62 reads:
Studies have been done in Wisconsin concerning effects of free roaming feral domestic cats. These studies showed free roaming feral domestic cats killed millions of small mammals, song and game birds. Estimates range from a minimum of 47 million up to 139 million songbirds are killed each year. Free roaming feral domestic cats are not a native species in Wisconsin. The above mentioned cats do however kill native species therefore reducing native species.
At present free roaming feral domestic cats are not defined as a protected or unprotected species. Thus Wisconsin should move to define free roaming feral domestic cats, as any domestic type cat which is not under the owner's direct control, or whose owner has not placed a collar on such cat showing it to be their property. All such defined free roaming feral domestic cats shall be listed as an unprotected species. In so doing Wisconsin would be defining and listing free roaming feral domestic cats.
62. Do you favor the DNR take steps to define free roaming feral domestic cats by the previously mentioned definition and list free roaming domestic feral cats as an unprotected species?
Feral cats are not small game! They are domesticated cats who have been abandoned -- they need to be helped, not shot! Are we supposed to believe that hunters will check to see if the kitty-cat is wearing a collar before shooting it? Nobody willing to shoot kitty-cats is going to check for a collar!
I do not object to hunting. I think we should avoid killing endangered species, and I think killing should be done in a quick and clean manner. I object to fox hunts and clubbing baby seals, and I object to shooting kitty-cats. Let's get real! Shooting kitty-cats? Has it come to this? Have hunters become so drunk and lazy that they won't go and hunt real game, they want to shoot their neighbors' kitty-cat?
If Wisconsin is having trouble with feral cats, they should institute policies that require the spaying/neutering of feral cats. Let's interfere with nature by ending the reproduction cycle, not by hunting and shooting them!
Don't shoot the cat
Greater Milwaukee Today article
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Alley Cat Allies
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