Monday, March 14, 2016

Musings: Special Interest Shenanigans

If one is a curious, like a cat, one might wonder why Basil Scott is so keen to “open up” the meetings of a committee that is helping Councilman JoAnn Yukimura craft a county ordinance on dealing with Kauai's feral cats.

Basil, president of the Kauai Community Cat Project (KCCP), offers a clue to his motivation in his comment to The Garden Island, which obviously wrote its “closed-door discussions” story on the committee at Basil's request:

"JoAnn has set up something that can’t possibly have a positive result.”

By which he means a result that goes his way, as in no eradication of the thousands of wild cats that roam the island, preying on endangered native birds and other creatures. Basil instead advocates spaying, neutering and then returning the cats to managed colonies – an approach that KCCP uses to raise money.

On its website, it offers people a chance to become a “Kitty Kahu” by donating anywhere from $50 to “provide food and supplies for one day for one month” to $500 to “provide shelter for 12 cats removed from a dangerous area.” It states, “We survive solely on contributions from caring people like you.” So the KCCP would obviously be adversely impacted financially by any program that moved to limit managed cat colonies.

No one knows exactly how many feral cats live on Kauai, but the population has been estimated at 15,000 to 20,000. A July 2015 TGI editorial reported that KCCP had increased the number of cats it works with from 300 in 2012 to 510 cats in 2014. Yet in today's article, Basil claims the group works with about 3,000 cats annually. That's quite a jump in just a year – if it's true.

In any case, if KCCP was spending $80,000 to manage just 510 cats, one can imagine how much it's spending on 3,000 cats. And then from there, how much kala might be required to manage 20,000. Empire building, anyone?

The nine-member feral cat committee, which has been working on the ordinance since last August, is reportedly within a month of producing a draft bill. JoAnn would introduce the proposed ordinance, which would then go through committee meetings and public hearings, providing ample time for comment.

But Basil wants to redirect the process his way now, by bringing in his own supporters, some of whom — to put it nicely — have a hard time considering other points of view. We've already seen these same people, including Basil, launch a vicious attack on Kauai Humane Society Director Penny Cistaro, who is also a committee member. They are dead-set on turning KHS into a no-kill facility.

In taking his case to TGI, Basil whines that “the committee has representation from bird and other nature conservancy groups.” Yes, but it also has representation from cat groups, including Basil and Judy Dalton, as well as Penny, who sees the big picture of feral and unwanted animals on Kauai.

If KCCP wants to rescue cats, that's fine. But it's fooling itself, and others, by pretending the outrageous feral cat problem on Kauai can be resolved through spay-neuter-release-manage alone. Kauai has unique native birds that exist nowhere else in the world. As an introduced, invasive species cats are a proven threat to these birds. Serious efforts must be taken to protect these birds by reducing the feral cat population, regardless of whether it hurts the bottom line of KCCP.

We also need to look more realistically at the whole fantasy of no-kill. While these no-kill shelters tug at the heart strings — and thus purse strings —of animal lovers everywhere, the reality is quite a bit different. Consider this essay by a woman who adopted from a no-kill facility:

The promise of life often leaves cats or dogs languishing in cages or transferred from foster home to foster home for years. Animals are given out sick, with minimal to no prior medical care. While numbers are still hard to come by, hardly a day goes by when a rescue or foster home isn’t exposed for overcrowding, neglect or, notably, hoarding.

Even the animal rights group PETA has serious reservations about cat colonies:

PETA has in the past  trapped, neutered, returned, and monitored feral cats (and still does, in favorable situations) but not without hesitation and serious concerns. Our experiences include countless incidents in which cats suffered and died horrible deaths because they were forced to fend for themselves outdoors, whether “managed” or not, and have led us to question whether these programs are truly in the cats’ best interests.

Moreover, free-roaming cats also terrorize and kill countless birds and other wildlife who are not equipped to deal with such predators.

Having witnessed firsthand the gruesome things that can happen to feral cats and to the animals they prey on, PETA cannot in good conscience oppose euthanasia as a humane alternative to dealing with cat overpopulation.

Returning to the essay:

In a sea of no-kill shelters that turn people down, PETA will euthanise your pet for free. But this policy outrages its opponents. ‘We get threats of physical violence, we get animal organs sent to us in the mail. We got a deer head thrown on our front parking lot, all sorts of nastiness.’

The essay concludes:

Perhaps our focus on keeping pets alive, no matter the consequences, is really more about us humans than about a desire to spare animals suffering.

No one wants to see cats suffer — or wild birds, either. The feral cat committee is working on an approach that couples a limited number of managed colonies with an aggressive eradication program akin to what is already in place in other island nations, such as Australia and New Zealand.

It's important to keep the big picture in mind, and resist the efforts of a special interest group to derail and direct the process.  


Anonymous said...

Rat over population would probably start immediately thereafter.

Anonymous said...

Heard Hooser also supports cats. Somehow I suspected he was behind this conspiracy also.

Anonymous said...

The cats are afraid of rats. When we feed the cats they won't go after rats. What is the difference with the rat population? Fat cats don't eat fat rats.

Anonymous said...

Another trust fund baby that don't understand Kauai but as long as I eat poi, surf, drink green beer and know a few Hawaiian words then I one local is so juvenile.

Anonymous said...

Peter Adler was also in charge of the county's feral cat study. Waste of our tax dollars x2. Don't they eventually ban consultants who continually fail?

Anonymous said...

Kill the damn ferals.

John Kauai said...

12:14: LOL! "Hooser is responsible for feral cats!" ROTFL!

12:40: Maybe we need bigger cats. There are Mountain Lions around Santa Cruz. I came across one while bike riding. We stared at each other for 10 minutes until I decided to go back where I came from. Quickly. The bigger cats could control the pigs too.

On a more serious note, what's the difference between too many cats and too many people? Sea Level may rise as much as 20ft by 2100. Seems like both problems may be taken care of rather violently. (NOTE: "may")

I'm "sure" Bindschadler is only concerned with his ego.

Unknown said...

Want some glaring evidence of TNR's efficacy in reducing cat populations? The whole concept of TNR was invented in the UK. They have been practicing TNR in a concerted and relentless nationwide effort for over half of a century now. Along WITH still destroying cats in animal shelters and also shooting them to death by using animal-depredation control laws. Using all these methods all this time, here is the results of how much their oft-spewed "magic" TNR solution has managed to help reduce their vermin cat populations since its nationwide inception over half of a century ago:

"...the UK cat population is estimated to have risen from 4.1m in 1965 to 7.9m in 2014"

Quoted from this article:

They have managed to DOUBLE their vermin cat populations since TNR has been implemented there as a NATIONWIDE program.

All those in the UK who have managed to pull this blatant TNR scam on the rest of the world have now managed to make blathering fools out of every last cat-licker on earth and everyone who buys their blatant lies.

Here too are the results of what you can expect from using any species-conservation policies that have come from the UK populace (the originators of that TNR lunacy):

England's lost world: 421 species - including mammals, birds and plants - have become extinct over the past 200 years

That's more than 2 species PER YEAR **MADE** **EXTINCT** by their cultural beliefs!

For a bonus, add-in the last handful of UK's one-and-only native cat species, the Scottish Wildcat, presently being made extinct with their very own invasive-species "moggie" house-cats. The irony is laughable if it weren't so pathetically sad.

It looks like the people in Australia have the strength-of-heart, wisdom, and intelligence to do what is right instead of what the inhabitants of Great Britain have caused from their own self-absorbed ignorance, spinelessness, foolishness, and stupidity. Now it appears that the bambi-cartoon-educated cat-licking imbecilic law-makers (like the Mayor of Hawaii who proclaimed an imbecile's "AdvoCats Month") who swallow the unsubstantiated claims of every last mentally-ill cat-lady on earth are wishing to do the very same to all the rare and amazing native wildlife of Hawaii by following what the UK has managed to do to their own ecosystems. (You know, the very same culture that invaded your own islands and stole them right out from under from you.)

If you don't manage to make-extinct the European's house-cat then may Pele condemn you to the same kind of death and eventual extinction to which you have condemned her own beloved and exist-nowhere-else-on-earth life-forms -- by your screeching and writhing to death after being being disemboweled-alive and skinned-alive for an uneaten play-toy, no other reason. Your karmic fate would be truly justified, equitable, and complete.

Unknown said...

March 14, 2016 at 9:17 AM Anonymous said... "Rat over population would probably start immediately thereafter."

The myth about cats being good rodent control has been disproved on every island where cats were imported to take care of the imported rodents. Hundreds of years later and there's nothing but a thriving population of cats and rodents -- all the native wildlife on those islands now either extinct or on the brink of extinction -- even those native species which are better rodent predators than cats (such as many reptiles and shrews which destroy rodents right in their nests), the cats having destroyed them directly or indirectly.

The rodents reproduce in burrows and holes out of the reach of cats, where they are happy to reproduce forever to entertain cats the rest of their lives, and make your own lives miserable, on into infinity. On top of that, when cats infect rodents with cat's Toxoplasma gondii parasite, this hijacks the minds of rodents to make the rodents attracted to where cats urinate.

Cats actually attract disease-carrying rodents to where cats are. The cats then contract these diseases on contact with, or being in proximity to, these rodents. Like "The Black Death", the plague, that is now being transmitted to humans in N. America directly from cats that have contracted it from rodents. Yes, "The Black Death" (the plague) is alive and well today and being spread by people's cats this time around.

Cats attracting these adult rodents right to them further increasing the cat/rodent/disease density of this happy predator/prey balance. It has been documented many many times. The more cats you have the more rodents and diseases you get. I even proved this to myself when having to rid my lands of hundreds of these vermin cats by shooting and burying every last one of them. A rodent problem started to appear about the same time the cats started to show up, 15 years of it. And, if you check the history of Disney's feral cat problem, their rodent problem also started to appear at the very same time their cats showed-up. Coincidence? Not at all. (BTW: All cat-lickers' beloved Disney's TNR cats are no more, they've all been destroyed by hired exterminators this last year.) All rodent problems around my home completely disappeared after every last cat was shot-dead and safely disposed of. All the better NATIVE rodent predators moved back into the area after the cats were dead and gone. Not seen one cat anywhere nor had even one rodent in the house in nearly six years now. (So much for their manipulative, deceptive, and outright lie of the mythical "vacuum effect" too.)

Cats DO NOT get rid of rodents. I don't care how many centuries that people will claim that cats keep rodents in-check, they'll still be wrong all these centuries. Civilizations of humans have come and gone in great cities like Egypt, yet their cats and rodents remain in even greater pestilent numbers.

No cat population anywhere has ever been able to control rodents effectively, in fact cats only attract a rodent problem. But native predators can get rid of rodents -- easily.

Anonymous said...

Nature Advocate said "Cats actually attract disease-carrying rodents to where cats are." Incorrect. T. gondii is responsible not the cat! Don't you read your own links?

Anonymous said...

And there are many other examples of his failures.
But he keeps getting hired, and paid.

Peter has his own agenda and if you don't believe it, talk to one of the many participants in his exercises in futility. Or become one yourself.

Anonymous said...

Is this not illegal and is Joann Yukimura losing her fricking mind?

Public not allowed at Kauai committee meetings on feral cats

Mar 15, 2016 04:28 AM

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) - A Kauai committee tasked with coming up with solutions for the island's feral cat problem has been holding its meetings behind closed doors, which Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura says allows members to express their ideas more freely.

The Garden Island reports that Yukimura brought the committee together to help draft a feral cats bill that she plans to introduce to the County Council. The nine-person committee has been meeting for more than a year without allowing members of the public to join in.

Basil Scott, who is a member of the committee and president of the Kauai Community Cat Project, says the meetings are being kept under wraps because of the contentious subject matter.

Yukimura says there will be room for public debate once the feral cats bill is introduced.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Joan Conrow said...

9:54 -- Did you even read my post? It's about this. And no, it's not illegal.

But it is unfortunate that AP picked up something that is bogus to begin with and then failed to provide any elucidation.

Anonymous said...

Cats eat rats and every other critter that is smaller and catches their eyes. That includes endangered species. Why are cats entitled to protection? What about the animals that they kill? I'm a cat owner but let's be realistic. There's only one way to control feral cats and the question is how humanely do you want to do it.

Anonymous said...

The Kauai Humane Society (KHS) has more than enough cats looking for a home. Those that want a cat as a pet, please go to the KHS and adopt one, or two...

Kauai, no place for feral cats.
Feral cats, an invasive species...the only solution, eradication!