Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Polarized opinions approach on Feral Cat Management

Lorden, R. (2016). Polarized Opinions and Shared Goals: Feral Cat Management in an Academic Community in Kentucky. In Companion Animals in Everyday Life (pp. 183-200). Palgrave Macmillan US.

Although there is general agreement among government agencies, conservation groups and animal welfare organizations that cat populations need to be managed, the management of cats is frequently a topic of debate between biologists/environmental groups and animal welfare/animal rights advocacy groups. The two groups’ beliefs are polarized in regard to impacts on wildlife, management strategies and efficacy of trap-and-neuter (TNR) programs. Concerns of conservation biologists relate to cats as predators, but welfare proponents feel that humans must take responsibility for free-ranging house pets and their feral offspring. It is not surprising that discussions of feral cat management become volatile. Much of the debate hinges upon whether management solutions should use lethal or non-lethal control strategies. Conservation biologists largely support cat euthanasia, while animal welfare activists support non-lethal treatments such as TNR for free-ranging cats. The issues of this larger conservancy/welfare debate framed the discourse of the cat problem and guided solution strategies at Eastern Kentucky University, where a population of cats has existed on the campus for many years. A tentative agreement has been forged between an administration that subscribed to a trap and remove policy, and a network of TNR volunteers. Both sides have focused on the common goal of a reduction in the number of campus cats. In addition, both sides have realized that each setting has its own particular constraints and that solutions must be tailored to those situations. Instead of resorting to invective, data are being collected. When well-meaning people meet and focus on solutions to a shared goal, positive outcomes become possible.

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