BUNYIP ANIMAL RESCUE NETWORK
TRAP — NEUTER — RETURN
Why TNR ?
Because the most humane solution is also the most effective !
Meet some of our local felines below and learn about TNR.
- the feral cat problem in Australia has been caused by humans
- habitat loss – not predation by feral cats – is the biggest threat to our wildlife
- wild-born cats can be successfully rehabilitated and can become great companions
- the TNR program is far more effective than “trap and kill” at reducing populations of feral cats
The Secret Cat Society (Community Cats Australia)
Animal Active TNR News (Australia)
Busting Cat Myths (Australia)
Queensland Wildcat Rescue (Australia)
Desex And Return As An Alternative Cat Control Option by Joan Carr BA (Hons) PhD
The Great Australian Cat Dilemma (Australian Report)
Cat Crisis Coalition (Australia) www.catcrisis.com.au
Catchy little tune promoting feline desexing
Cat Defence (US): Desex – do not destroy
Alley Cat Allies (US)
Feral Cat Coalition (US)
Kittens born in the wild are the innocent victims of a much larger problem.
The TNR process is a simple but effective solution for wild cats
TRAP NEUTER RETURN
ASHA – trapped in Bunyip South, desexed locally, returned to her original home where she became an exceptional rodent catcher
PUSS – trapped and desexed locally, returned into the loving care of Beryl from Bunyip North
LEROY – trapped and desexed locally, returned to his place of trapping in Bunyip where he enjoyed six happy months with his new family before succumbing to sudden organ failure
ATHENA – trapped in Ripplebrook, desexed locally, returned to a happy home with John in Ripplebrook
NINJA GINGER – trapped by Jacquie with his two female siblings near the Bunyip township, desexed locally, rehabilitated in Bunyip South by Chris and Lina… Ninja and his sisters, Mousey and Tigger, were then required to find a new home when their carers moved overseas. TIGGER, MOUSEY & NINJA – desexed locally, rehabilitated in Bunyip, successfully rehomed to a family in Bayles
PEANUT – trapped by a 91 year old lady in Garfield, desexed locally, rehabilitated in Bunyip, she was then taken into foster care at Tall Oak Farm in Longwarry
KITTY – trapped by Deb in Bunyip South, desexed in Drouin, and brought back to the farm where her carer continues to oversee her daily care and feeding. Kitty’s four kittens were also trapped, and after one week in rehab they were accepted into the feline adoption program at the Blackburn Vet Clinic.
HOWEVER – there are some ocassions when trapping may not lead to TNR …
FLINN – trapped in Ripplebrook, he was a perfect example of why intervention is crucial. It is highly probable that Flinn had been struggling with a long term FIV infection. He was transported to the closest vet clinic, and was found to be suffering from malnutrition and cat flu. He had mites in his ears and lesions on his face. His fur was soiled and he showed obvious signs of discomfort. The kindest outcome for Flinn was immediate euthenasia. This took place at the Drouin vet clinic. The lethal injection was delivered to Flinn in a quiet room, by a gentle hand. His passing was swift and peaceful.
CATS AND WILDLIFE
A website created by the Invasive Animal Cooperative Research Centre states: “Feral cats have occupied tropical Australia, Tasmania and Kangaroo Island for well over 100 years but there have been virtually no extinctions of native animals on which feral cats prey in these areas.” (IACRC Website, accessed July 2011)
The Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH) developed a “Threat Abatement Plan” for feral cats. Their literature states: “Convincing evidence that feral cats exert a significant effect on native wildlife on the mainland, or in Tasmania, is scarce…. There is no evidence of feral cats causing extinctions in mainland Australia or Tasmania.” (DEH website, accessed June 2006)
An extensive document on Cat Population Management (page 32) has revealed the following results: “Over 60 studies on feral cats have been written from different continents throughout the world–all showing three very important points:
1. Cats are opportunistic feeders, eating what is most easily available. Feral cats are scavengers, and many rely on garbage and handouts from people;
2. Cats are rodent specialists. Birds make up a small percentage of their diet when they rely solely on hunting for food;
3. And, cats may prey on a population without destroying it. (Understanding Cats and Predation, Alley Cat Allies, 2003).”
Research collected by Alley Cat Allies (page 18) has exposed the following: “Overwhelming evidence shows that human activities which threaten (wildlife) covers a vast range, including logging, crop farming, livestock grazing, mining, industrial and residential development, urban sprawl, road building, dam building, and pesticide use… Those who claim cats are a major threat to wildlife use misleading language to evade human accountability; by lumping thousands of human activities and damages into the single category of “habitat loss,” they make other, inconsequential issues appear more important.”
On a comprehensive website entitled The Truth About Cats and Wildlife, it is stated: “Environmental groups and councils often call for the confinement of cats to prevent their predation on birds and other wildlife. Cats do kill birds and small wildlife species, but there has been a great deal of misinformation and propaganda about the true harm they cause… If given the opportunity, cats actually mainly prey on rodents and rabbits, the so-called pest species that humans have spent millions trying to control.”
The Neighbourhood Cats website states: “If ferals are killing off wildlife, the answer is fewer feral cats, and TNR alone has been shown to achieve this. No other method, such as trap and kill, has ever done the same.”
ADDITIONAL BENEFITS OF TNR
• TNR cats control rodent populations. In controlling rodent populations, cats also curb the spread of disease
• TNR managed colonies teach compassion, non-violence and tolerance, as reported by Alley Cat Allies
• TNR programs are cost-effective for the community and for governing council bodies
• TNR reduces shelter intake and euthanasia of healthy cats, which also reduces stress on shelter staff
• TNR ensures no breeding of wild kittens, which is of course the ultimate goal
• TNR allows resources to be directed toward more serious animal issues, such as animal cruelty
• TNR leads to an improvement in public perception of cats, and more agreeable neighbourhood relationships
CATS AND FIV
For more details on living with FIV positive cats, click here.
ASSORTED NOTES & QUOTES
Knowing that feral cats are either abandoned animals or the descendants of abandoned animals, The Feral Cat Network in the USA says of the overpopulation problem, “It’s time to take responsibility for the tragedy we have created”.
Frankie Seymour, in her essay The Great Feral Cat Con Job, writes: “When I first began work on environmental issues twenty five years ago, the pressures of introduced species that had returned to the wild and become naturalised were recognised for what they are: a marginal extra, potentially, in some really extreme circumstances, when added to all the other things humans are doing to the environment… Ironically, the Department (of the Environment and Heritage) has compiled all available research on the impacts of these animals – and has thus revealed to anyone who wants to go look, how astonishingly little evidence there is of any threat at all!”
John Kinsella writes: “I would not shoot a feral cat these days, and haven’t since my teenage years when, quite frankly, I didn’t know better… And, fundamentally, it doesn’t stop the problem. Returning land to bushland, cessation of the farming of hooved animals which chop and destroy the topsoil, the end to chemical abuse, the abandonment of genetic modification, the winding down of polluting industries — these are all part of what’s necessary. Do these things and get back to me. Otherwise, it’s not even worth broaching as a subject.” Sourced from his article Scapegoats and Feral Cats, Vegan Voice magazine, 2001.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature has recentlypublished a study called the Red List of Threatened Species. It reports that around 50 species of mammals, birds and amphibians are moving closer to extinction every year. “The list provides the most comprehensive evidence yet about the pressure modern humanity is putting on the natural world. Around 25,000 species have been assessed and one-fifth of them are threatened with extinction.” The toll of human development can now be clearly measured and the results are staggering.
Sarah Hartwell, in her article Why Feral Eradication Won’t Work, writes: “Eradication methods, even if implemented in the most humane manner possible, cannot solve the feral cat problem… Trap-neuter-return programmes may be time-consuming and seem like a drop in the ocean, but offer the best hope of a long-term solution to the cat population problem, giving healthy ferals the chance of a decent life and freedom from the otherwise endless cycle of breeding, while those which cannot be re-released should at least be given a humane and painless escape from their predicament.”
Nathan Winograd writes: “The fact is the cats are there. And once there, killing them is not ethical. The goal of the environmental movement should be to create a peaceful and harmonious relationship between humans and the environment. Not to propose a mass slaughter because they value one species more than the other. (This is) not about saving birds. It is about scapegoating and killing cats. If they really wanted to reduce cat numbers, they would support their sterilization. They have misled the court about the extent of bird predation by cats. And they have caused mass killing of cats without helping birds.” From an interview sourced at the AR Zone website
Vivienne Ortega writes: “We adopted a feral kitten about 3 weeks ago. My son caught her from under a friend’s house. At first she was terrified and hid behind the washing machine. Now she has attached herself to one of the dogs, and the other dog is frightened of her! It’s amazing how such a little animal has changed the household and integrated itself within the power structure of the house! She’s almost “top dog” and has everyone under her command. Quite a personality.”
The website Who’s For Cats? , set up by the Victorian Government, states: “Research shows that there are currently around half a million unowned (stray and feral) cats in Victoria. Annually, 50,000 cats are impounded and 35,000 of these have to be euthanased (at a cost of around $5 million per annum)” …. This State Government campaign is encouraging anyone who is feeding a stray cat to do the right thing and take full responsibility for that animal — catch the cat, desex the cat and give the cat a proper home!
An ABC fact sheet from the television show The Animal Attraction states that “Many men in particular seem to have a problem with the little creatures (cats). Little do they know their bias simply reflects a 2,000 year old fear of women.”
An American document on Cat Population Management states that: “Intentionally killing a cat is a criminal offense in all 50 states… regardless of ownership… Anti-cruelty laws apply to all cats: companion, abandoned, lost, and feral.”
DID YOU KNOW…
A person who has a strong aversion to cats is called an “Aelurophobe”.
Cat enclosures are a perfect solution for our feline friends – keeping them safe and happy, and preventing them from preying on smaller creatures. Here are some wonderful photos of cat enclosures to assist with your own projects. There’s no better way to ensure cats integrate into our communities without causing any negative impact at all.
Photo: Well designed enclosures keep our feline friends safe, comfortable, stimulated and entertained.
Photo: The indoor cat enclosure at Animal Aid, Coldstream
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