I'm surprised at the misconceptions in this article. First of all, please explain to me how 'stray animals are a health hazard'. Seriously, what disease are animals known to spread that they constitute a 'health hazard'? Anyone? I'm sick and tired of hearing this statement made, without anything to back it up.
Secondly, there's this nonsense about community animals rummaging in the rubbish bins, unlike birds. First of all, I don't know where Mr Lee is watching his birds, but I've seen birds rummaging in garbage. In fact, if you have a garbage spill on the side of the road, chances are that its the birds that are going to get to it first. Also, the problem of animals rummaging in garbage is a problem 'in Singapore'? I'm pretty sure animals getting into trash is a problem anywhere in the world. In the US, you have to be careful because you might get bears in the trash. So what's the solution? How about just securing your trash?
Again, why beat up on cat feeders? Should they be stopped if they sterilise, manage and feed responsibly? How on earth are they the same as litter bugs if they clean up after themselves? That's like saying that heroin abusers and people prescribed antibiotics for an illness are all drug abusers and should be locked up.
There is a good reason not to feed monkeys (basically the same reason as the bears). Monkeys are having their environment encroached into, and if you lure them OUT of their environment with food, they're at a disadvantage, especially when people complain about them (ie they get killed). You basically don't want them to get too near people because they're not domesticated. Surprise! Cats have not only been domesticated for the past couple of thousand years, they are already IN the environment. It's not like you walk into a forest and find a cat - they live on our streets, in our void decks and just about everywhere we live. In fact, if you want them OUT of your trash, then feeding them is probably a good way to go about it.
I'm also surprised that Mr Lee would suggest letting pet cats out at all. In fact, Mr Lee is the exact reason why the HDB is probably not allowing people to keep cats if this is what he is suggesting. It's also in direct opposition to what he just said earlier in the article about how easy it is to keep cats indoors.
Pet cats and community cats are NOT the same thing. I find it extremely hard to believe there are estates with NO community cats. If there is a vacuum effect, there will be cats - why? Because of territory, not food. If they are territorial, yes they may be boundary incursions but newcomers will be chased out anyway if the area cannot support more cats.
Let's take Seletar Estate for one. Mr Tan has said that he has trapped more than 300 cats over the years. Say that for some reason the estate must be home to someone who really, really like cats and enjoy bringing them all home. Now knowing that you neighbour has been trapping and killing these cats, who on earth would bring MORE cats in and let them roam around for your neighbour to kill, especially when he is so well known? So where are these cats coming from? How about the fact that they're community cats - and they are bringing removed and killed, then there is a vacuum which is then being filled up again, and so the cycle continues.
I know someone who lives in the estate and she does TNRM there. She didn't even like cats to begin with, but felt sorry for them. She's not the only one who has tried to run programmes there. When they removed the cats FROM the streets so that they would not be trapped and killed, guess what happened? If you guessed that new cats come in, you'd be absolutely right.