The Western Governors' Association (WGA) has just gone all out to criminalize animals and plants whose only crime was to be born or sprouted as a result of human oversight, laziness, or idiocy. The WGA is even planting misinformation and stirring hatred against our nation's beloved community cats. Its representatives cannot get away with taking potshots against our four-legged friends. We must tear down WGA's hateful "wanted" poster against cats!
WGA member states include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. The organization claims it works "for bipartisan policy development, information exchange and collective action on issues of critical importance to the Western United States."
The WGA just released its first ever Top 50 Invasive Species in the West list, which includes 25 aquatic species and 25 terrestrial species. Surprisingly, humans aren't number one on the list. In fact, humans don't appear anywhere on the list, which is outrageous considering that we humans have by far the hardest negative impact on native wild animals and plants. Sickeningly, cats are posted on the detestable list — at unlucky number 13. WGA calls them "feral" and has the nerve to even include community cats who have been "fixed" through a trap-neuter-return program.
This is a slap in the face to those of us who love community cats, work to protect them, and ensure their numbers are humanely reduced through trap-neuter-return programs. Also, since no animal protection groups were consulted or asked for input on WGA's list — the scientific basis for the inclusion of "feral" cats is dubious at best.
Scapegoating cats and other animals gets them killed and it's not just community cats whose lives are at stake. Companion cats have been killed thanks to the demonization of "feral" cats. The grotesque killing of Tiger the housecat with a bow and arrow by a veterinarian triggered righteous condemnation from the international community. She posted a picture of herself holding Tiger's body up by an arrow through his head, proclaiming, "The only good feral tomcat is one with an arrow through it's [sic] head. Vet of the year award... gladly accepted."
Labeling cats an invasive species and claiming, as WGA's Bill Whitacre did in an interview with the Associated Press, that, "They have huge impacts to native bird species," is simply misleading. Cats are pretty far down the list of things that have a significant impact on native bird species in the US. In fact, habitat destruction and habitat loss; collisions with windows, communication towers, high tension lines, cars, and wind turbines; pesticides; and pollution, each alone kill far more birds than cats could ever harm. All of these are human-caused killers of birds that WGA is blatantly ignoring.
We must take responsibility for our own impact on native species and stop blaming the animal victims who we are ultimately responsible for creating instead. Act now to stop the WGA spreading false information and encouraging vigilantes to harm community cats!
Please contact the representatives from the Western Governors' Association by phone and by email and ask for the removal of feral cats and the addition of humans to the top of the list of invasive species.
1) Please make brief and polite phone calls. You can simply say,
"Since we humans cause way more damage than any animals or plants including feral cats, I am requesting that you take feral cats off the list and additionally that you put humans at the very top of the list."
Deputy Executive Director, Policy Director
Director of Strategic Initiatives
2) Send our letter
Replace "Feral" Cats with Humans on Your Invasive Species List
Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
If you take action and have not already registered, you will receive periodic updates and communications from In Defense of Animals.
© 2018 IDA