Letters to the Editor

Facts are out of fashion for you

I know facts are currently out of fashion with the folks who make up your editorial crew, but the “alternative facts” cited in the trap-neuter-return program editorial have no basis in reality. You claim cats in the U.S. kill a few hundred million birds and more than a billion small mammals a year. According to what source? There are a few small, bogus studies floating around in academia that anti-trap-neuter-return zealots like to drag out, but they are not facts.

Common sense tells me that if the cats were bagging that many birds, there soon wouldn’t be any birds left. I can assure your editorialists that in my neighborhood, there are numerous cats, birds, squirrels and rabbits co-existing as they have for centuries. Anecdotal evidence to be sure, but probably more accurate than the study based on 69 birds that was hyped by the Smithsonian Institution and from which some of your numbers were conjured.

Claims that feral cats pose a disease threat to pets and humans are equally false. Nearly all feral cats are healthy, disease transmission to pets is nearly non-existent, and there hasn’t been a case of cat-to-human rabies in the last thirty years. I invite your readers to visit the website of the organization Alley Cat Allies if they want the real facts about feral cats, and to toss your fact-free editorial into the recycling bin.

Trap-neuter-return has succeeded in stabilizing and reducing feral cat populations in countless locations. Hats off to the volunteers and county employees trying to initiate the local trap-neuter-return program, and best wishes to their future success.

Kevin Kious, Collinsville

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