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Thursday, February 21, 2008

H.R. 767 Passes House — feral cats will be KILLED! If passes in Senate may become law! Action Alert!

H.R. 767: Refuge Ecology Protection, Assistance, and Immediate Response Act

To protect, conserve, and restore native fish, wildlife, and their natural habitats at national wildlife refuges through cooperative, incentive-based grants to control, mitigate, and eradicate harmful nonnative species, and for other purposes.

We need to write, call or email our reps! (A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate and then be signed by the President before it becomes law.)
Click here to find your senator

Alley Cat Allies has sent a letter, also signed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of the United States, urging Senator Barbara Boxer to oppose proposed bill H.R. 767. As we informed Senator Boxer, H.R. 767, officially titled the Refuge Ecology Protection, Assistance, and Immediate Response Act, seeks to eradicate “harmful nonnative species” in federal wildlife refuges and adjacent private lands. Although the word “cat” does not appear anywhere in the proposed bill, the broad definition of “harmful nonnative species” could leave hundreds of species open to target—cats among them. As a result, many wildlife and animal groups are concerned that this bill, if enacted, could lead to the wholesale slaughter of numerous species, subsidized by citizen tax dollars.

Senator Boxer is generally favorable to animal issues, and her office was apparently concerned to learn that this bill, which on its face does not seem to apply to cats, could have such a devastating impact on them. The witnesses who testified in support of H.R. 767 focused mainly on the negative impacts of invasive plants; there was virtually no mention of mammalian species, and none of cats.

Alley Cat Allies has spoken with Senate staff members, who report that the Committee on Environment and Public Works will take no action on this bill before the winter recess at the end of December. For now, we aren’t calling for any citizen action, but we will do so if the bill progresses any further.

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