Animal charities secure stay on feral cat cull

| 22/02/2018 | 134 Comments
Cayman News Service, Little Cayman

A Little Cayman rock iguana, one of the species under attack by feral cats

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Humane Society and Feline Friends have secured an injunction against the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environment to stop the government officials from culling stray cats on Little Cayman this week. The charities were not consulted on the proposed cull and so applied for judicial review of the decision, and received a temporary injunction from the Grand Court until the matter is heard by a judge. The case is due to be heard Thursday morning by Justice Williams.

The Humane Society posted a statement on its Facebook page stating that the charities were “acutely aware of the hardships faced by indigenous wildlife”, which is understood to be the motivation for the cull.

“We strongly believe that the homeless cat population on Little Cayman can be managed though a well-handled, organised and systematic trap, neuter, vaccinate and release programme, known as TNVR. The Cayman Islands Humane Society and Feline Friends are ready, willing and able, together with the support of local veterinarians to assist the DoA in developing and implementing a TNVR plan,” the Humane Society said, offering an alternative to killing the wild cats.

The charities said they remain committed to working with the DoA to finding humane and considered solutions and hope to work collaboratively to address such matters going forward.

The planned cull was organised as a result of the rising numbers of feral or stray cats that are killing the indigenous rock iguanas and raiding eggs from brown-footed booby nests and other birds.

Recognition of the harm outdoor cats pose to the bird population is growing around the world and experts estimate that the toll on North American birds in a single year is significant, with around a billion birds every year being taken by feral and free-running cats.

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Category: Land Habitat, Science & Nature

Comments (134)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The department of agriculture ranks all animals as future meat. There is no protection for the inedible.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    Look it’s not just our indigenous species that are at risk, but also my fricking shoe laces. I fed and befriended a few feral cats and before you know it, they are inside chewing the sh!t out of my laces – work shoes, trainers – they don’t discriminate. I simply fail to see how chopping off the nuts of a Tom or fiddling with a Sheila’s fairy is going to prevent the continued evisceration of perfectly good shoe laces.




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    • Anonymous says:

      This is a serious issue and serious debate, nobody is interested in your shoe laces. If you want my view, you should get a spray ‘Keep Off’ I think it’s called. Definitely don’t spray catnip on your shoes or you’ll be really XXXXX.




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    • Anonymous says:

      That’s really sweet of you to befriend feral cats, they are so loving in their own rough and tumble way. I currently feed five feral cats and since they’ve been around they have totally eradicated the green iguana problem I had. Before the cats arrived each morning I’d look out at the balcony, patio and pool and just see pile after pile of iguana poo. Not anymore, with five cats now in the area I haven’t seen one of those green pests around for ages. (And I have had them all neutered / spayed, the cats that is.). Good luck with your shoe laces, bless.




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  3. Anonymous says:

    They did the exact same cull 30 years ago on little cayman and guess what happened!!!
    There was an infestation of rates and Vermin!!




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    • Anonymous says:

      That’s true! I remember the rat Infestation on Little!




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    • Anonymous says:

      YES! I was just saying now we will have the rats back again




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      • J says:

        Rats are an invasive species and need to be culled considered for culling too. You are right you can not just take out a species (feral cats) without thinking of the trophic effects- but does not justify leaving invasive populations to go unchecked.




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    • Kadafe says:

      your sure its not inflation of rates? 🙂




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  4. Anonymous says:

    This is not an easy situation to resolve unless you are one of the unpleasant posters in this thread. I see both sides though I am one of these people that carefully feed neutered cats and make sure no other non neutered cats come into my community. I would suggest, though, that the head of the Department of the Environment, Gina Ebanks Petrie put aside that “merchant class knows what’s best for Caymanians” attitude that she grew up with. Her father is a great Caymanian but it was that arrogance that allowed Jim Bodden and his followers to cast him aside. Gina should have spoken to the public at large about the programme and explained its necessity. But, damn it, she has that “ they won’t understand the issues” thing which so pisses people off with DOE and so she just goes ahead and rides roughshod over peoples legitimate worries. Gina, you work for us, not some small group of, alas, mainly expat environmentalists.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Amen, amen amen 6:43!




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    • Anonymous says:

      So well put! This is exactly it the “thou shall not question government departments” attitude. It is the duty of the judiciary to keep checks and balances on them.

      Just work WITH people and within the law! You are civil servants!




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    • Anonymous says:

      DoE did meet about this in Little Cayman. Where the cull was asked for. – Next made up complaint please.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe if the doe wouldn’t be so secretive people wouldn’t be so suspicious of them! Where there’s smoke there’s fire




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    • Anonymous says:

      Nothing civil or servant about the civil service anymore these days- just delusions of grandeur.




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  5. Kadafe says:

    Lets cull them for meat, would that make everyone happy then? We could even sell the meat with proceeds going back to the Humane Society, it could be similar to the lion fish cull where local restaurants cook and sell them. Registration fee to enter the cull, training and even a t-shirt. It’s acceptable to kill animals for the purpose of food right?




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  6. Nah michael says:

    As usual the expat community and private sector will have to sort it out.




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  7. Anonymous says:

    Cayman Islands Humane Society, these cats aren’t “homeless”. They are feral. Born in the wild, never touched or cared for by a human. Unable to ever be tamed. And they are causing countless deaths to our native animal populations. This is fact. A science based fact, proven sadly time and time again in island ecosystems around the globe.

    You can “strongly believe” all you want that your concept of a trap neuter release programme is the answer, but unfortunately you are only getting in the way of attempts to stop one of the largest threats to Cayman’s wildlife. There’s no such thing as a sustainable population of feral cats in the wild. Neutered or not, feral cats still need to eat every day and worldwide, they are killling between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds a year. That’s billion.

    Feral cat eradication is the only way to give our native birds and iguanas the chance they deserve to continue surviving amidst all the other human imposed challenges they face.

    Please, Cayman Islands Humane Society, stay in your lane, and stick to your mission, “to provide shelter, care and attention to all unwanted companion animals, and seek out responsible and loving homes for them.”

    You’ll be hard struck to find a bigger cat lover than myself (I have three indoor spoiled rotten fur babies myself) but I am also a great lover of the wild. And I hope that the rest of you cat lovers can understand this complicated difference, and the sad complexity of this yet another human created problem.

    You’ve lost a longtime financial supporter with this one single action. As a non-profit organization who relies heavily on community support, you may want to pay attention to what people are saying about this issue because public opinion sure doesn’t seem to be on your side on this one.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Me thinks you don’t like the cats….and you don’t really care about the other wildlife either.




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    • Anonymous says:

      What kind of person are you? A monster? Why would you not support charitable organisations because they take stand on a single issue you don’t agree with? I have a feeling you have a hidden agenda.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Because, commenter, I believe in voting with my dollars and don’t want my money going towards the death of Caymans Wildlife.

        My agenda isn’t hidden at all. Carefully reread the 6 paragraphs I’ve detailed above. I equally love companion animals and wild places and deeply understand that the two are in completely different and incompatible spheres.

        For now, my charitable donations will go instead to those that are aiming to protect our wild places and not aiming to reintroduce non native predators into them. No hidden agenda here I’m sorry to say.




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        • Anonymous says:

          So your answer is to punish companion animals in need? I’m glad I love all animals- you clearly don’t




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        • Anonymous says:

          Pretty sure the $ go to helping animals in need. You’re not voting for anything. Why don’t you try a friendlier approach you’re coming off as extremely hostile and aggressive. Maybe you could use your energy in a positive way and communicate with them and share your thoughts positively. Just a thought. This isn’t war.




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    • Anonymous says:

      We have adopted many feral cats and they all became tame and even come in the house and hang on the sofas, it is a myth that feral cats can’t be tamed BS hogwash




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      • Anonymous says:

        Totally agree- the best cats I have were so feral when I met them- hissing and scared. Biggest cuddle bugs in the world now. Maybe this could have all been addresssed years ago by gov- they should have been asking the charities for help years ago then this might have a happier ending for everyone and all the animals.




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      • Anonymous says:

        the fact that you said “even come in the house” implies that you let the cats roam free- only adding to the issue of cats killing native wildlife. Feral cats are one of the greatest threats to island wildlife across the world. Native wildlife have no behavioural strategies to defends themselves against feline predators because they never evolved with any. Do you value a cats life more than a native animals? Most people do because they are mammals and show some affection, if you want to have a cat keep it indoors! If not, let the conservation managers protect native animals in what ever way they can. I have been to Little Cayman and have seen cats running around with baby iguanas in there mouths – it is sickening.




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        • Anonymous says:

          I bet you have… *rolls eyes*




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          • J says:

            ..Do you not believe that the feral cats eat hatchling iguanas?




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            • Anonymous says:

              On one hand they are aparently starving and on the other feasting on boobies and iguanas.. what is it now?




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              • J says:

                if they were all starving the cat population would not be growing. Birds would make a hard catch, ground nesting birds possibly a bit easier, hatchling iguanas (born every summer) are naive and are probably a good food source – snakes are fair game (so are all other small reptiles), and their are rats. The cats will eat anything- they do not discriminate. There have also been reports of certain residents who feed the feral cats further supporting the population. Culling may not be an easy solution, probably only effective if majority are culled and follow up culls ensure their is no recruitment. Registering and neutering domestic cats is also essential so they do not mate in the wild.

                We all agree the lionfish have to be culled because it they eat juvenile fish and reproduce rapidly. This situation is not dissimilar. Any decision taken will be the wrong decision by someones perspective – but from the perspective of native wildlife it is a matter of life and death. We need to be good stewards of islands and its species that were here long before us. It is also required by law that the government protects native wildlife.. The rock iguanas on Little Cayman are CRITICALLY ENDANGERED ….

                http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/6043/0




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    • West bay Premier says:

      Anonymous 9:38 am , I believe you too , that the charities are looking another program to manage and don’t see the importance of the other wildlife survival on the Islands .




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    • Anonymous says:

      As a human being maybe you should reevaluate how you speak to people that spend all of their free time helping animals in need. Very sad that you’re so hateful that all you can do is blame a charity.




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    • Anonymous says:

      My public opinion is that you probably don’t support charities anyways so just go on your merry way and stop being so obnoxious.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Such an animal lover that you will stop donating to homeless animals? You realize that’s what their money is used for right?




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      • Anonymous says:

        Did you read the article these comments are attached to? That’s not all they are spending their money on which is my whole point. They should stick to their mission which I do wholeheartedly support.




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    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      Exactly. Well said, although I differ with you one one small point: Feral cats can and will become domesticated if they choose. I have two that did.

      This whole issue seems really simple to me. IF a group want the feral cats protected, then they should gather the financing to have them trapped, fed, spayed and neutered, and caged fed and watered until they can be adopted.

      Otherwise — and this is important — the feral cats should be considered an invasive species, not unlike the green iguanas, which are distressing protected species, namely the native Rock Iguanas.

      Sometimes we need to make hard decisions for the betterment of the nation and the environment. I feed nine cats. All of them have been trapped and neutered. Three of them sleep with us at night, and the rest keep the place free of rodents. I love cats. If they are invasive, they must be culled. Culled = humanely killed.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I am also sure that Cayman Animals Law (2015 Revision) states the government must control any feral animal populations if they get out of hand. Hopefully this does not hold up in court.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Go ahead- read it one more time- slowly.




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        • J says:

          The conservation law (2015) most definitely says the government has a responsibility to protect native species – and to control alien species (defined as any species whos native breeding grounds are not in the Cayman Islands).




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  8. Anonymous says:

    Estimates are that there are a few hundred feral cats on Little Cayman now, and their population is rising because TNVR enthusiasts are feeding them and the fertile cats are reproducing faster because of that.

    Australia studies show that neutered or not, one feral cat kills up to 1000 native animals a year, and each week will kill three to 20 animals, ranging from crickets to lizards and birds.

    Supposing there are 200 feral cats on LC, that equates to 200,000 killed wild animals per year.

    If you want to minimize suffering, humanely euthanizing 200 cats is much kinder than releasing them back into the wild to torture, maim, and kill, and exterminate our local threatened species.

    Our brown boobies nest right on the ground, making them super easy targets for cats, and their numbers are dwindling.




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  9. Anonymous says:

    little cayman seems to have more of a drugs problem rather than cat??????




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  10. Anonymous says:

    They are a large number of stray cats in here as well!!!




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    • Anonymous says:

      If you mean on Grand, then I guess we should ask the Humane Society how their master plan is working on Grand.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Listen, It is NOT the responsibility of the HS to do this alone. if government weren’t failing to do their part none of our island would be having this issue in the first place. Don’t blame the only people trying to make the world a better place. Blame your government for failing to take timely initiatives and offer support to these charities who work their back sides off every single day!




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        • Anonymous says:

          Well according to this article government WAS trying to do something and then a couple charities had a temporary injunction ordered so they couldn’t…just sayin




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          • Anonymous says:

            Trying to do something like killing sue to gross negligence of addressing it all these years doesn’t qualify the doa or doe for any medals. Typical gov depts!




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            • J says:

              I am pretty sure some years ago there was another attemp to cull the cats but the charities complained and they had to do a TNR program ….




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  11. Anonymous says:

    The Cayman Islands Humane Society and Feline Friends should be sent a monthly bill for the management and maintenance of the stray cats.




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    • Anonymous says:

      You are seriously twisted- do you understand these are charities and they pay so much money to help make this a better place. What is wrong with some people? Get a grip, a life and do something useful with it instead of bashing those who do!




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  12. West bay Premier says:

    That iguana look more like an alligator. But it sounds more like a big money program, rather than one talking to the others and coming up with a amicable solution to the cat problem . Then is going tie this up in Court while these cats are producing and over populating and becomes a much bigger problem . I think that this is the same thing that happened with the iguana problem, see where they are today running the Islands.




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    • Diogenes says:

      The gestation period for Felis Catus is around 2 months
      A couple court hearings isn’t going to have any drastic effects on the population
      We can save the hyperbole for another occasion, though I know you love it

      Diogenes
      As I always say, better cats than rats




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      • West bay Premier says:

        Diogenes , do you know the number of cats on Island now ? The Cayman Court system is very backed up . Even though it was to be heard this morning , it could still go on for years in the Courts .




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    • Anonymous says:

      There is no amicable solution. you either kill them and save the native animals. Or you trap/neuter a few and release them to keep eating wild animals while the ones you didn’t catch keep producing more feral cats. (And the little secret Feral Friends are keeping from you is that they are feeding the wild cats, which just makes them reproduce more. So adding to the problem they supposedly want to solve.)




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      • Anonymous says:

        You have no idea what you’re even talking about- but its clear you lack not only brains but also a soul.




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      • Anonymous says:

        “Feral (sic) Friends are not, repeat not, feeding any “wild cats” which can make them reproduce more. They only feed neutered cats which in case you don’t understand what that means refers to cats which have had their sex drive and reproductive capabilities removed. Please stop talking and writing idiocy about “little secret” 1:48. You are one of Trumps prime examples of fake news.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Spot on- you really have to wonder who these butters on here are. What the heck do these people think that these charities have some evil plan for cats to take over the world? Jeez! No wonder the world sucks- look at these mean horrible hateful people!




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        • Anonymous says:

          So how do you prevent the non-neutered cats from eating the food that you leave for the neutered ones?




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          • Jah Rules.Creation says:

            LMAO, I’d like to know that too..Some of these hippie expats are totally bonkers!




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            • Anonymous says:

              And what are you, ahem, Jah Rules.Creation? Totally……what? I suggest readers fill in the blank.




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          • Anonymous says:

            I watch them eat until it is finished and then leave. There is none left for other animals such as feral dogs, iguanas or chickens. Was that so difficult for you to figure out, you and Jay Rules below?




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            • Anonymous says:

              So if a non neutered, half starved cat shows up, you take away the food and let them all go hungry? Just want to be sure I have got your story straight.




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              • Anonymous says:

                They trap them when that happens. Moron.




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                • Anonymous says:

                  This sounds like “making the story up as you go” rather than what actually happens. Do “they” always have traps when they go to feed strays, how do you avoid trapping the neutered cats, and do all stray cats go into traps? As a moron, even I can figure out that neutering strays then releasing them is superficially kind but in fact outrageously cruel to native wildlife.




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  13. Anonymous says:

    Lets talk about the dogs running wild in GC too…they definitely need culling. If CIG is not going to deal with the issue and punish the owners, then there is only one solution.




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  14. Anonymous says:

    The feral cat population didn’t grow by itself. How about pet owners become RESPONSIBLE pet owners and spay and neuter their pets instead of leaving them to roam free and/or abandoning them when they no longer wish to care for them. This goes for Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

    The level of animal cruelty, neglect and irresponsibility, on a Island that prides itself on being the 5th largest financial center in the world, is absolutely disgusting.




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  15. SSM345 says:

    More cats in Little Cayman than solja crabs.




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  16. Bertie :B says:

    Hey ! don’t throw hippies under the bus , they don’t all love cats , I know I don’t lol




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  17. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t they cull the absolutely disgusting, pool and roof crapping iguanas if they want something to cull..

    The divers did a great job of getting rid of the lionfish, why don’t we have group in different areas of the islands once a month that will assist in culling these nasty vermin..




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  18. Anonymous says:

    Ignore the humane society and get on with the cull! I would be more concerned about saving the rock iguanas and Little Cayman birds than some feral cats.

    All the humane society is doing is providing the feral cats with more time to expand their population and cause more damage to the fragile environment.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t only ignore the Humane Society, stop supporting them! And let them why you’ve stopped. My days of donating clothes, housewares and books to them are done, and forget the Furball. No way will my dollars support prioritizing the lives of feral cats at the expense of Cayman’s wildlife. Shame on you Humane Society – stick to what you do best ~ finding homes for adoptable companion animals, NOT releasing feral cats back into wild areas.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Couldn’t agree any more. Time for you to have another look at your mission statement, do a little soul searching, and get out of the way, CIHS.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Huh? Heaven forbid somebody gives a damn about cats and animals and questions why this is being done so secretively by gov and why theynlet it get to this stage.




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        • Anonymous says:

          It wasn’t a secret. They had a public meeting. ‘Everyone’ on Little Cayman knew about it. Including the round of chip-your-pets before the cull began.




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  19. Anonymous says:

    Why is there an outrage over culling cats but not iguanas?




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  20. Anonymous says:

    would love to see the official report on the cat problem in cayman brac……zzzzzzzzzzz




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  21. Anonymous says:

    Chickens and cats are nothing compared to green iguanas. They are huge like dinosaurs on LC. I would prefer all efforts be focused on getting rid of them.




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    • Anonymous says:

      With your advice we’d be eliminating the Sister Islands own Rock Iguana and missing the few greens that unfortunately are getting into Little Cayman.




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    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      Thank you. That is or should be the prime focus for both LC and the Brac. Green iguanas are being culled by a volunteer effort on both islands and they could use support in the form of more volunteers.




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  22. Janitor says:

    The indigenous Iguana is more IMPORTANT by far…How about all of you kitty lovers catch all of the feral strays an give them a home or just take care of them yourselves..Can bet that you wont?…Disgusting!!!




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    • Anonymous says:

      We do!




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      • Anonymous says:

        Oh you do, do you? Well I’ve been involved in Trap Neuter Release Programs on other islands and I can tell you first hand that wild born, adult feral cats are NOT tameable. They his and spit and snarl and slash and will bite right through the fleshy part of your thumb if you aren’t careful. I’d love to hear more about these success stories of yours. And if you do, then offer to do that then. NOT release them back into the wild. Get your story straight, and stick to it.




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        • Anonymous says:

          I have multiple “feral” lovable house cats that once hissed and growled. What are you even talking about?




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          • Anonymous says:

            I’ll buy your ticket to lil Cayman so you can go collect all the wild cats over there and you can keep them.




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        • Anonymous says:

          9:29 you have an agenda, bobo and I call bullshit on your claim of being involved with trapping etc on other islands. You’re a phony through and through.




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          • Anonymous says:

            Catalina Island, California, 2001-2002. And you are totally right. I do have an agenda. Isn’t that the entire point ?!?




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        • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

          Your experience, while unfortunate, is not universal. There are two formerly feral cats that sleep with us at night. Yes, we bled during the growing pains. I think it was worth it. They are still excellent ratters even though they are well fed.




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  23. Anonymous says:

    Now if only we could do something about the feral human population…




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  24. Tut alors!. says:

    Can the Humane Society also direct it’s attention to reducing the population of feral chickens which far outnumbers the cats.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Also please do something about the feral iguanas roaming around.




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      • Anonymous says:

        And earthworms! Eeesh. They are disgusting and they are like little snakes. Even god hates snakes, and probably earthworms. Can we not just dig everything up and kill everything and then just pave it all over into a luxury (high end!) low maintenance environment where we can get drunk and grow old? I say ‘yes we can!’




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  25. Anonymous says:

    This is uttering disgusting, the culling of felines. I do believe TNVR is byfar a better method, and I’m sure numerous people are willing to help in the endeavor. If the motion is ever granted for the culling of these creatures you’ll be sure to find me in Little Cayman culling the humans that are trying to kill them.




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    • Anonymous says:

      U should go now




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    • Anonymous says:

      A car hit a feral cat the other day, can you please get an injunction against driving cars as well




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    • Jah Rules.Creation says:

      Culling the humans??? You’re an idiot. So.let me get this right, you hippies would rather the wild cats to eat all the young iguanas and other natives birds and species into extiction? That’s goes against your all whole big picture “love all animal” thesis/motto. Don’t be daft! You can castrate all the cats you want but if you’re releasing them back they are still gonna eat for duration of their lives. Don’t really know how long wild cats live but I guarantee you its longer than a couple of years, and that my friend is a disastrous havoc to Little Caymans wildlife.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Stop name calling you moron. Humans do far and away more damage to the environment than any animal. And stop pretending you care about the well being of young iguanas and native birds. You know they are messy and dirty and their poop gets into your progenies’ sandbox.




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        • Anonymous says:

          You are a real dumb ass. This is a human problem, humans introduced the cats now they must remove them. Feral cats are disgusting, spreading E. Coli, fleas and ticks, infections and disease. Just like the feral cats you don’t belong here so please shoo shoo!




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        • Anonymous says:

          Uh… how do you think the cats got here? So you’re saying instead of taking responsibility for it that we should punish the pre existing wildlife? Your logic is severely flawed.




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    • Here Pussycat says:

      You are an ignoramus of the lowest order, one rung below cat feces and most probably quite a bit smellier.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Feral animals are essentially invasive scavengers and should be put out of their misery if only to spare the many vulnerable nesting birds – some of whose populations are still struggling to re-emerge after Ivan over 13yrs ago. Sterilization doesn’t fix the underlying predation issue. This should be an easy decision.




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      • AZOTH says:

        It’s called natural selection. No need to interfere with natures cycle, even if you think you’re superior to make those decisions.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Supplementing the feral cat diet with kitchen scraps and milk is not natural selection either – those boneheads are creating an artificial human-supported carrying capacity that the cats then breed to fill, while ignoring the nesting native endangered bird species that actually draw tourists from around the world. Human-introduced and sponsored feral house cats aren’t part of the natural ecosystem on any of our islands.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Wow CNS, are we allowing people to openly post threats of committing murder on this site now ?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Ooooh we got ourselves a “militant vegan”!! They’re so so scary with their broccoli and empty threats.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Is TNVR really a humane way to treat excess kittens produced by our own inability to properly care for our pets? Do the various societies promoting dumping cats into the “wild” have permission from the owners of the land to do so?




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      • Anonymous says:

        Is poisoning animals humane?




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        • Anonymous says:

          It is when done by a vet. (Note, no one has been suggesting paraquating, i.e. poisoning with horrible chemicals, pets. Just putting the nasty feral ones to sleep.)




          10



          1
          • Anonymous says:

            You clearly know more than the rest of us because gov hasn’t even said how they intend to cull them.




            0



            1
            • Anonymous says:

              They did. At the meeting in Little Cayman. Where the cull is happening. So the people who needed to know, knew.




              3



              0
    • Anonymous says:

      You might believe it, but you are completely mistaken. It is a “feel good, try to be kind response” that has not been thought through to the inevitable consequences; suffering and death to our native wildlife, and a miserable existence for the wretched cats.




      13



      3

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