Incendiary Book Calls For Killing Cats In Order To Save Birds
A book published by Princeton University Press contains dangerous and inflammatory content that advocates for the murder of cats.
Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer, by bird advocate Dr. Peter Marra, head of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, and writer Chris Santella is a tirade against outdoor cats.
The book’s extreme pro-bird and anti-cat views can be summarized in one horrific quote:
“From a conservation ecology perspective, the most desirable solution seems clear—remove all free-ranging cats from the landscape by any means necessary.” (Cat Wars, pp. 152-153)
This proposal flies in the face of decades of animal rights and welfare legislation, giving carte-blanche to animal abusers who would kill cats and claim they were doing it to protect bird populations.
Americans own about 86 million cats, or one cat for every three households, the American Pet Products Association reports. Up to 75% of those animals are your sweet, harmless, cuddly housecats, which seldom set foot outside, the Humane Society reports, and pose more threat to house pests than birds.
The book even recognizes that it is “difficult to identify with any precision the relative impact of a mortality factor, such as the free-ranging cat, to all birds that make these journeys over such large spatial areas and wide expanses of time […]” (p. 57).
Despite a lack of concrete evidence indicating cats are the sole or even primary reason for the decline in bird populations, Cat Wars advocates for the destruction of outdoor cats.
As reported in Scientific American, bird populations have declined around 29% since 1970 across nearly all habitats, owed large in part to habitat destruction.
“A lot of migratory habitat for shorebirds and wintering habitat has been lost,” says Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center T. Scott Sillett. “…we have a lot more work to do in terms of habitat protection.”
This unregulated, “by any means necessary” approach ignores the effectiveness of Trap, Neuter, and Return (TNR) programs for managing feral cat populations and the important role they play in preventing a “vacuum effect” of prey species overpopulation. According to Cat Wars, any cat found outdoors is a problem and should be “removed.”
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