I’ve been following the discussions about feeding wildlife and I’m alarmed that city councilors are considering including feral cats in a proposal to make feeding wildlife illegal.
I was Greenhill’s Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) Coordinator for 8 years. During that time we neutered thousands of cats and assisted people in Eugene neighborhoods caring for cats around their homes and businesses.
Decades of research show that TNR is the only way to lessen feral populations and their nuisance behaviors. The keystone of TNR rests on feeding cats in managed colonies, trapping them and getting them fixed.
Cats cannot be trapped without providing food as bait. Colonies cannot be managed for breeding, health and humane care without feeding them. Cats that are not fed continue to breed and are subject to disease and starvation.
From my experiences with Eugene residents managing feral colonies and caring deeply about cats’ well-being, I predict that if a law is enacted that prohibits feeding, there will be hundreds of law-breakers, and cats and their caretakers will suffer greatly.
This law will inadvertently cause feral populations to increase, and contradicts research and programs that are successfully decreasing feral cat populations in humane communities worldwide.