Letters: Langley feral cat program just a trap

Dear Editor,

Your article [Jungle Kittens strike a chord, Jan. 8, Langley Advance] described local TNR (trap, neuter and return) programs ongoing for feral cats in Langley.

The development of TNR programs was based on several premises, including the beliefs that TNR would decrease feral cat populations, that re-abandoned feral cats would remain healthy and in good condition, and feeding of feral cat populations would prevent them from preying on wildlife. 

The Wildlife Society, an association of wildlife biologists and researchers, in 2011 reviewed the effects of TNR programs as demonstrated by the results of research on feral cats. Available data revealed that TNR programs are not effective at reducing numbers of feral cats, and that feral cats continue to prey on wildlife even when they are being fed by volunteers.

The Wildlife Society concluded, “TNR does not live up to the many promises its proponents make: it has been shown to fail at decreasing feral cat populations, protecting native wildlife, addressing public concerns, controlling pests, and reducing costs.”

An article in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medicine Association expressed concerns about TNR programs and questioned whether re-abandonment of feral cats can be considered either humane or ethical.

Wildlife biologists and conservation scientists are increasingly protesting the use of TNR programs in the United States.

Those concerned with protecting Langley’s biodiversity and with developing solutions for feral cats that are both effective and humane should carefully consider the ramifications of the programs they choose to support. 

L. Andrusiak, Langley

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