Cynthia - these aren't cats in shelters! Florida is pondering what to do about their terrible feral cat problem, and many residents are raising heck about the endangered species problem - and trying to blame the cats for it, not the rapid growth of the population taking over the land those animals populate...
Here's the artice to which the link leads:Agency wants cats off public lands
By Don Wilson | Sentinel Outdoors Writer
Posted March 27, 2003
Florida wildlife officials are proposing a tough policy of ridding public hunting areas of feral cats and also cracking down on feral cat shelters anywhere near threatened or endangered species of wildlife.
At the same time, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's wildlife chief intends to send a strong message to local governments to get their feral cat populations under control.
And Wildlife Division Director Frank Montalbano wants a program to educate domestic cat owners of their responsibilities for keeping their animals under direct control when outdoors.
The aim is to end the killings of millions of small mammals and birds by these cats.
"We estimate there are 5.3 million feral and free-ranging domestic cats in the state," he said.
The proposals are still in the rough-draft stage and must be approved by the full commission when it meets in May.
"We're going to take an aggressive policy to eliminating the feral cat impact on lands this agency manages," Montalbano said. "Those cats roaming free on the commission's wildlife management areas will be taken into captive management or euthanized. It's going to be a hard pill to swallow for a lot of people."
He said one person asked about creating a feral cat hunting season on the management areas, a suggestion Montalbano labeled absurd.
Montalbano also said he wants to eliminate controlled populations of neutered feral cats near colonies of endangered animals.
"We may have to get involved in euthanasia in situations where corporations are maintaining colonies of feral cats near populations of native endangered species," he said. Montalbano was referring to group of wild cats kept by condominium owners on Key Largo, home of the Key Largo Wood rat.
He said the proposed policy would "let local governments know they are responsible for controlling domestic animals. But part of the policy would be to send a more clear message to local governments' responsibilities for controlling free-range cats including colonies of feral cats within their boundaries, he said.
Montalbano's comments came at the end of the first day of a three-day commission meeting in Tallahassee. He said only eight or 10 people spoke -- all in favor of eliminating the feral cat problem.
Don Wilson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org