U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service continues its anti-cat campaign:
Since 2010, Best Friends Animal Society has been monitoring U.S. government agencies to determine if any official policy about free-roaming cats is being considered. Members may recall our 2011 blog post and action alert urging the director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to prohibit key personnel from promoting an unauthorized and misguided anti-cat policy.
Recently, USFWS staff submitted a letter, on official letterhead, to policymakers in Escambia County, Florida, claiming that the “agency strongly opposes free-roaming, domestic or feral cats” and trap/neuter/return (TNR) programs. The letter also threatened possible legal action if the county does not “eliminate free-ranging feral cats.”
As a result, elected officials removed the community cat program discussion from the Board of County Commissioners’ meeting agenda at the last minute.
This is not an isolated incident. USFWS has repeatedly covertly promoted the killing of cats, while insisting publicly that the agency has no official position on the issue.
The promotion of an unsanctioned policy is a violation of the public’s trust. Any official policy requires legal notice informing the public that the policy is being proposed and inviting public input, commentary and discussion — a process essential to democratic government. Unless and until the agency actually adopts an official policy, USFWS should not be injecting itself into local affairs to advocate for lethal roundups.
Please use Best Friends’ action alert linked here to speak out against this violation of the public’s trust, and help protect the lives of cats.