By Wayne Pacelle
You know the ad slogan—“what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” Let’s hope that’s true for the heartless bunch that’s assembled there these past few days to plot their strategy to expand horse slaughter in America.
George Knapp of KLAS-TV 8 News NOW in Vegas sniffed out the plans of horse slaughter enthusiasts who not only want to continue to allow cruel exports of live American horses to Canada and Mexico for slaughter, but also want to open up plants to kill horses in the United States.
It’s a predatory industry, causing untold suffering for so many healthy and young horses funneled into this international meat trade, to satisfy the palate of gourmands in Belgium, France, and Japan. These horse-slaughter mercenaries claim they’re helping horses by killing them, but we know they’re just out for more profits for themselves.
Last month I wrote about another terrible idea—mass killing of feral cats. I was prompted to write after seeing a troubling report out of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which suggested that feral cats be shot or be captured in body-crushing traps as a means to “control” them. Readers had some strong reactions to the cat-killing plans, and I wanted to share some of your thinking.
It makes me very upset as an animal lover to hear of wanting to destroy feral cats in such an inhumane manner. This is animal cruelty and should be forbidden. The solution would to be to spay and neuter to reduce more litters of kittens. —Fran
I 100 percent agree! I am an avid bird watcher and I have cats. I also work with a local feral cat nonprofit and feed feral stations on my way to work. Many of these cats ended up not being feral, just unwanted and dumped in a field. Please spay and neuter ALL of your animals. In the United States approximately four million animals are euthanized each year… —Kim O., San Luis Obispo, Calif.
When I saw the news release on this report, I couldn't even believe it actually came from an educational institution. I saw the info about shooting the cats but am glad I missed the part about body crushing traps—what a horrific way to kill something! Have these students watched too many horror movies? And where does it end? How do you know if you're killing a feral cat, an abandoned cat left behind after a move, or somebody's pet? TNR does work! … Killing feral cats is a solution to nothing. Better pet parenting and pet education/parenting classes and pet population control are better solutions. —Stacey in California, mom to two cats
Control the humans who do not spay or neuter their cats—the humans who let their cats wander, and the humans who abandon their cats because they do not know how (or want to) to care for them or deal with problems. Man"kind" is, in too many cases, an oxymoron. —YTKarashinski
The "cat" that kills the most birds is the Caterpillar bulldozer that indiscriminately knocks down and destroys whole forests. The birds are displaced and have to compete for nesting space with other birds in smaller habitats. … Cat "predation" is nothing compared to what humanity is doing! —A. Attura
This just makes my skin crawl and my heart ache. I have been taking care of a colony of feral cats for over seven years now. When I started there were more than 300 cats. To my surprise (I was new to it, I'm not surprised by it anymore), most of the cats were friendly, but scared. They had been dumped and were not ferals. I have had all but three altered (they're smart little buggers) and more than 100 have been adopted into wonderful homes. This problem is created by people, due to negligence, lack of compassion and just plain cruelty. I recently went and trapped a small family of cats out of town because I heard that people were actually setting out bowls of antifreeze for them to drink. Turns out, three of the five are very friendly and I am currently trying to locate homes for them as well. The fact that anyone can somehow justify in their minds that killing these beautiful cats is acceptable is beyond comprehension to me. The traps that are discussed is nothing short of torture. —Myndi
It’s clear from this “report” that its authors have little understanding of the key issues surrounding TNR—never mind the relevant science. … How this ever got out the door (peer-reviewed, apparently, by somebody) with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s approval is beyond me. —Peter J. Wolf, www.voxfelina.com
My heart is totally torn on this one. Every year, we have six to eight new stray cats killing our already small in number wildlife, birds, squirrels, and rabbits. I don't want to hurt the cats and don't want the wildlife killed. It does anger me when I see baby squirrel tails and robin heads lying around the yard. Irresponsible people anger me. They create this killing. —Barbara Fleming
Killing of feral cats to protect wild birds is ridiculous. I have had five feral cats living in my barn for the past three years and have yet to see them kill a bird. I have several wild bird feeding stations on my property as well. … These cats are all spayed females which I trap annually for their vet check and shots. They are as beautiful and fun to watch as any wildlife living here in the country. Shooting or body-crushing traps are completely cruel and sadistic. —Terry Berns, Massachusetts