Friday, February 26, 2010
Now I can understand the need to protect other wildlife - though I hate the fact that 'native' wildlife is supposed to be more 'important' somehow than other wildlife. If we're talking about 'native wildlife' than nothing is less native than us humans. Australia, Singapore, the US and many other countries are nations of immigrants - the animals were there way before us, and if we left the area untouched, I think ALL the animals would fare better. In addition, look at the native kangaroo and the damage it causes - somehow I doubt it's 'native' status will protect it if economic interests are involved in the long run.
As I said though, I can see that damage to animals and property may be an issue. For example, I love foxes and have some in my yard - but I don't have animals that may be hunted by the foxes. I do have a friend who has chickens though - and he doesn't want the foxes to get at his chickens. The farmer I just met has the same issue - foxes got at his ducks. The solution? Not to kill the foxes - but both installed electric fences that keep foxes out.
Now I'm sure Australia's wildlife issues are vast and there are many concerns that we may not be familiar with, having not lived there. However, I don't see how killing the feral cats will help. If trapping for a TNRM programme is intensive and time consuming, what about trapping to kill?
Furthermore, while the Invasive Animal Co-Operation Research Centre states that cats threaten certain species of wildlife, on another website also managed by them, it also states that 'well quantified evidence of their impact on native wildlife on the Australian mainland is lacking'.
It further goes on to state that 'Feral cats have occupied tropical Australia, Tasmania and Kangaroo Island for well over 100 years but there have been virtually no extinctions of native animals on which feral cats prey in these areas. Feral cats may become an important factor when other factors such as land clearing and other forms of large-scale habitat degradation have restricted remaining populations of native wildlife to small island populations.' (bolding mine).
Note also that it states that the feral cat population is self-sustaining and stray and home cat populations add almost nothing to the feral cat population.
So what is really the problem here? The feral cats, which have caused virtually NO extinctions - or the land clearing and large-scale habitat degradation?
I hope that this article has just been mis-reported. Should more studies be done on the impact of cats? Absolutely. But should they be skewed or demonised without any solid evidence? Also, shouldn't a long term solution be found - removing and killing the cats, whether by toxins or any other method isn't going to solve the issue of cats reproducing.
Then she very nicely asked if she could reimburse me for my travel expenses at least. No one has ever asked me that before - perhaps they assumed that since I was an employee of CWS that I had a transport allowance (I didn't) - nor has it happened anytime I've volunteered either :)
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Some of you may remember that I mentioned reading a book, Eating Animals, that left an impact on me.
I've never been into food just because it's organic or free range - mostly because those terms are so badly defined/regulated that they really don't mean anything, except to mean you pay more in the supermarket.
I'm fortunate to find myself living now within access of some farms so we went down over the weekend to visit one of those farms and pick up eggs. It's too snowy for the chickens to come out and walk around on the pasture right now (and the clear path that the cats are lying on are because the path was cleared), but they were allowed out around the egg-mobile. We picked up some eggs - and farm fresh eggs really do taste the best.
One of the other interesting things was that the farmer and his family had feral cats that lived in the barn - they were moved there by a cat rescue. Here are the cats rolling in the sun - I also got to see a cat dig and bury in snow for the first time :)
Monday, February 22, 2010
We cat-sat for a friend this weekend and I saw this sign, which made me laugh. It reminds me of all the people who give up their cats because their children are 'allergic' - ie people who give up their cats 'just in case' even if their children haven't been shown to be allergic to cats.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
Also, the Minister mentioned that often in private disputes, it is one person's word against another's and that it is often not clear who is in the wrong. In addition, he mentions that it is not possible for the HDB to resolve private disputes between residents.
I wonder what then is the rationale for the bylaws that ban cats - considering that it affects such a tiny portion of the HDB population and based on the fact that the Minister has said that the HDB doesn't step into private disputes. I agree that it is not HDB's job to step in when it comes to private disputes - but what can be more private than your decision to own a cat?