Letter: Cats, pet rats can harm bird species

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jul 10, 2015 in Rat News | Subscribe

Regarding the response to my original letter dated June 22, I’ll start by saying I have no issues with responsible cat owners or any other responsible pet owners, whatever the species.

The Alley Cat Rescue agent states that feral cats prefer to be outdoors and we should allow their presence there. I completely disagree. They are an invasive species not native to North America and don’t belong there. They are on the 100 Worst Invasive Species list as published by the ISSG (Invasive Species Specialists Group), a subsidiary of the World Conservation Union. This list consists of both flora and fauna and includes just 14 mammals.

The fact remains they are a danger to native bird populations, although the experts from both sides will argue numbers forever. Some people keep rats, another mammal on the list, as pets – but no issues from me if done responsibly. The wild ones are also incredibly harmful to native bird species. We trap and poison them as fast as we can.

I don’t know of an Alley Rat Rescue organization that advocates TNR (trap-neuter-return to wild) for the feral rats. Why, you ask? It’s because they are not cute and cuddly. I ask the letter writer, does the feral rat have less right to live than his cats?

Terry James

@ Copyright 2015 Squamish Chief

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