According to a Canadian newspaper, Hamilton Speculator, “a former president of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club (HNC) is asking its 700 members to mobilize against a proposed animal control bylaw that could see stray cats neutered then put back on the street. Glenn Barrett, who notes that he and his family love their indoor cat, Millie, says it’s wrong to let domestic cats outside where they attack birds, get into fights, risk being hit by cars and spread disease.” He also argues that neutering feral cats does not reduce population numbers and says TNR is cruel.
“Barrett’s views appear in a full-page article in the HNC’s March newsletter, the Wood Duck. In it, he encourages members to write Mayor Fred Eisenberger and ward councilors to oppose the neuter-release section of a proposed new, harmonized animal-control bylaw that would replace varying policies in the old city of Hamilton and its former Wentworth county suburbs.”
He also opposes classing feral cats as wildlife; he does not want them to be treated like raccoons and coyotes, which are not normally subject to being impounded and euthanized. Under the newly proposed law, cats picked up in response to complaints and not claimed could be neutered and released.
“Debbie Spence, speaking for the planning and economic development department, said the aim [of the bylaw] is to reduce the number of feral cats, ‘because current measures are not doing that and we know we have to do something different.’ She said staff continue to consult with animal interest groups in an effort to improve the draft bylaw, clarify intentions and deal with any misunderstandings.”
Plans are to present a revised version to council’s economic development and planning committee March 23rd. A council vote is not expected until sometime this summer.
ACR urges our members to help protect the practice of TNR in Canada by contacting Mayor Fred Eisenberger and telling him to support the proposed bylaw. Explain to him the effectiveness and importance of TNR and similar sterilization programs. Tell him individuals do not wish for feral cats to be killed, but rather treated humanely with respect.
Mayor Fred Eisenberger
Office of the Mayor
Hamilton City Centre
77 James Street North, Suite 230
Hamilton, ON L8R 2K3