October 7, 2019 - Dozens of cat advocates streamed into a public hearing in Los Angeles on Monday to express their concerns over the City’s proposed plan to begin supporting TNR activities again after more than a decade of frustration. The city was forced to stop supporting TNR by a Court injunction in 2005, and ordered to produce an Environmental Impact Review (EIR) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The good news is that the City’s Draft EIR states that it wants to return to a policy where, “TNR is the preferred method of dealing with the free-roaming cat population.” Unfortunately, as Alley Cat Welfare’s Dale Bartlett testified, the proposed plan includes elements designed to protect the city’s Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA) that would make TNR practically impossible in certain locations.
The city has proposed a feeding ban in all Environmentally Sensitive Areas and a one-mile buffer zone around the areas. In those areas, which comprise a huge portion of the city, feeding would only be allowed as bait inside traps, limited to 30 minute increments, would be required to be monitored at all times, and could only occur during limited daytime hours when many cat advocates are busy at their day jobs. The restrictions are far too stringent and would make the trapping of free roaming cats who live in or near an ESA impossible. As a practical matter, regularly scheduled feeding prior to trapping is necessary in order to acclimatize cats to the feeding schedules which eventually lead them to enter traps. Thus, limiting feeding to the baiting of traps will lead to fewer cats captured, which is clearly not the desired outcome.
ACR asked the city to remove ESA’s from the proposal, and our comments were echoed by other leading local and national TNR supporters. We were the only group to suggest that, if for legal or political reasons the city remains insistent on keeping the ESAs in the proposal, they should at least amend the language in their proposal to allow feeding when it is a necessary component of an active TNR effort, rather than restricting feeding to the actual baiting of traps. As we explained to the City’s representatives, “Efforts to manage any free roaming colonies that exist inside or adjacent to any Environmentally Sensitive Area should be prioritized and certainly shouldn’t be hamstrung by well-intentioned restrictions.”
The deadline for written comments on the City’s proposed program is October 28, 2019. We need all cat advocates to email the head of the program and tell them that you strongly support the return of TNR to Los Angeles, but with the removal of ESA’s from the proposed program. Please send your comments by October 28 to:
Dr. Jan Green Rebstock
firstname.lastname@example.org and please cc: email@example.com
Additionally, please feel free to use the template below:
Subject: Reintroduce TNR to Los Angeles; Remove ESA restrictions
Dear Dr. Jan Green Rebstock,
I strongly support the reintroduction of TNR into the Los Angeles community and the humane reduction of the city’s population of feral cats. Communities throughout the country have shown that TNR programs result in fewer cats entering and being euthanized in shelters, fewer cats on the streets, and a decrease in neighborhood complaints. However, these programs are only successful when they are allowed to operate freely and without unnecessary restrictions.
Unfortunately, the proposed Citywide Cat Program currently includes a feeding ban in Environmentally Sensitive Areas and a one-mile buffer zone around these areas. These areas comprise a significant portion of the city, and the proposed restrictions on feeding within these areas would make trapping feral cats living there nearly impossible. Failing to trap cats living in these areas would prevent them from being spayed or neutered, leaving them to breed indiscriminately and continuing to add to the feral cat population. Therefore, in order to establish a robust and successful TNR program in Los Angeles, I respectfully request for the removal of Environmentally Sensitive Areas and the related exclusion zones from the proposal.
Please support the reintroduction of TNR in Los Angeles in all capacities and ensure that the program is designed for successful management of community cats throughout the entire city and without unnecessary restrictions.
[Your city, state, zip]
[Your email address]
For more information on the proposed program, including the 1400+ page Environmental Impact Report, click here.
Alley Cat Rescue is leading in the way in promoting humane and compassionate care for ALL cats.