Animal Balance Statement on DLNR proposal to allow killing of community cats in Hawaii
We at Animal Balance are actively opposed to the recent proposed legislation by the DLNR that would allow feral cats to be systematically killed as a means of managing the population.
This method of population control is not only cruel, but is also ultimately ineffective. We believe that by using humane methods, we can effectively manage feral cats and reach a balance of wildlife on the Hawaiian Islands that aligns with our mission of saving all species and maintaining the human-animal bond.
Last week, we held a MASH style spay/neuter campaign in Hilo, during which 683 cats were spayed/neutered. Many of these cats were feral cats that were trapped, neutered and returned to their location, where they are managed by caretakers from the community. This process is referred to as TNRM. The project received strong support from the community and Hawaii Mayor Harry Kim, as well as grant funding from the County of Hawaii, Alley Cat Allies and Hui Pono Holoholona. We believe that future TNR efforts will receive the same level of support and that TNRM is the only sustainable, humane solution for managing feral cat populations on the islands.
Animal Balance has been working with island communities for 14 years to assist with the humane management of cat and dog populations. Our TNRM efforts, along with the continued efforts of our island partners, have proved to be successful and have gained widespread acceptance on islands throughout the world.
We ask that the DLNR listen to the community and local animal welfare groups who are urging them to halt efforts that will allow the killing of cats on the island and prevent colony caretakers from feeding cats in their communities. We hope that they will consider humane options, such as TNRM.
Animal Balance will continue to support our Hawaiian island partners and fight to protect the cats that we believe have a right to live peacefully on the islands.