Hawaii’s House and Senate are hearing bills that put community cats at risk and violate citizens’ privacy. House Bills 606 and 454 and Senate Bill 637 allow the state to enter private properties and eradicate who they deem pests, which includes community cats, in non-humane ways.
Unfortunately, the next step for bill 606 is for Gov. David Ige to sign or veto the legislation. We urge our supporters to contact Gov. Ige at 808-586-0034 and tell him you vehemently oppose any legislation that discourages humane treatment of America’s favorite animal.
The Department of Agriculture or the county will give the resident five days notice “to enter the property for the control or eradication of a pest,” according to the bill, whether the resident likes it or not.
Invading people's’ homes and properties would fail to get to the root of overpopulation. Cat populations can be managed with Trap-Neuter-Return, as proved by an Alley Cat Rescue Survey that found more than 50 percent of feeders cared for colonies less than 20 with the help of TNR in 2016. Before TNR was as prevalent, in 2012, only 35 percent of feeders cared for colonies less than 20.
Officials who eradicate feral cats don’t consider that once they eliminate a colony, another will take its place. If there are still cats who aren’t spayed and neutered, they will simply replace an eradicated colony with its own population. It’s an endless, fruitless cycle that harms human and cat lives.
But Hawaii has considered TNR as well. House Bill 191 would establish feral cat overpopulation programs in high schools, which includes TNR, the most effective and humane way to reduce feral cat populations. House Bill 122 similarly supports TNR and would allot government money toward TNR.
Though bills 191 and 122 aren’t close to reaching the governor’s desk, they properly address community cat populations, and Hawaii’s House should further consider them.
Perhaps Hawaii’s government should listen to their own Invasive Species Council when it suggests to spay and neuter cats to help manage the population, rather than inhumanely eradicate community cats.
To act, mail Gov. Ige at:
Office of the Governor
The Honorable David Y. Ige
Governor, State of Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Alley Cat Rescue is leading in the way in promoting humane and compassionate care for ALL cats.