To the Editor,
The Bylaw Officer has made some serious allegations in her interview for the newspaper article about cat disappearances/killings yet she gave no statistics nor references to support her statements.
The BO informed me months ago that cats are a known predator attractant; when a cougar was seen downtown this summer residents were reminded to watch their small pets.
In the paper she states that if coyotes were killing cats we would be aware of it because they make so much racket when they kill. I had never heard this - none of us farmers heard them vocalize when they were killing our livestock.
I did some research and found lots of articles on coyote vocalizations, I couldn't find even one that said they make a racket when they kill. This quote is from Wildlifehelp.org "While coyotes howl for a variety of reasons, it is not likely because they have downed prey. Doing so would draw attention and might attract competing coyotes or other predators to their location, which is not something a hungry coyote would want to do."
So stating that all the dead cats were killed by a person because there was no noise is incorrect and highly inflammatory, designed to stir community fear. This is a divisive tactic that could result in a 'witch hunt.'
The Bylaw Officer states, "The remains of a dead cat would be found in Lillooet once or twice or three times a month but this is like every day..." Then she states it happens "2 or 3 times a week." Does she not have statistics? What killed them? Who is examining the bodies to determine cause of death? Who is finding all these remains and where? She is making some very serious allegations so she needs to support them.
The Bylaw Officer states that feral cats are very hard to trap so cats being trapped and relocated are all people's pets. Yet the previous BO trapped feral cats and they were sent to the SPCA. This information is available online in the District's writeup about its Leash Law.
The BO mentioned her plan for trapping local feral cats a couple of times to me; at that time she believed it was a good approach to the feral cat problem. There is information online, provided by cat protection societies, on trapping feral cats for neuter and rehome programs, as trapping seems to be an effective and humane solution to the feral cat issue.
When I talked to Rod Pleasance about the stray cats that are a problem for so many gardeners and bird lovers, I was told that "cats are special," that “perhaps we shouldn't be attracting birds to urban areas where they will be preyed on by domestic cats,” and that the District is looking at revising its bylaw. The bylaw currently requires that ALL pets be under their owners’ control. Perhaps people should be letting the District know their wishes regarding cat control.
Let's see some factual, rational discussion of the feral and stray cat issue.