New Jersey Considering Making Feral Cat Hunting Legal


beautiful feral cat pic

photo: Troy Snow

Feral cats may face the risk of being the target of hunters in New Jersey. The state officials in N.J. are considering ending Trap-Neuter-Return programs and allowing hunters to shoot cats. The Fish and Game Council is proposing to legalize feral cat hunting.

Jeannette Vreeland, acting chair of the Fish and Game Council, asked in 2007 if feral cats could be added to the list of animals that could be hunted, according to council meeting minutes. This week she defended the 2007 resolution.

“When a cat is left to roam outside the house it becomes a character who kills birds and small mammals — rabbits, chipmunks,” she said on Thursday. “It’s really not a natural, native animal. They are exotic and not meant to be outdoors.”

You can read the full story here.

If you can help urge the Council not to allow this to happen, you can contact them at the following address or online contact form:

Many animal welfare organizations have sent letters to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildfish condemning this outrageous proposal, but their voice may not be loud enough. If you could help, here is the address:

N.J. Division of Fish and Wildlife
P.O. Box 400
Trenton, NJ 08625-0400

Here is their online contact form.

Updates:

Thanks to Andrew Parkes for sharing the response he got from the New Jersey Fish and Game Council with us. Here is what they said in regard to this issue:

Thank you for your concern about feral cats.

Neither the Fish and Game Council (Council) or the Endangered and Nongame Species Advisory Committee (ENSAC) is proposing anything allowing the hunting or trapping feral cats.

The Council and ENSAC have passed a joint resolution acknowledging the detrimental impact of free-roaming cats on wildlife. Recent studies have indicated that feral cats prey on over 1 billion wildlife each year. The resolution strongly states that TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) is not an effective means of reducing the feral cat populations and thus not an effective means of addressing the impacts of cats on wildlife.

The Council and ENSAC also state that feral cats should be treated as dangerous exotic animals. The Fish and Game Council is considering formally “listing” feral cats as “dangerous exotic” animals under a statute that gives them the responsibility and authority to do so. If this were to happen it would allow the Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) to regulate the release of feral cats without a permit. This would give the DFW some leverage in addressing the proliferation of TNR.

Again, there is no proposal to open a season or allow hunting or trapping of feral cats. PT

Paul Tarlowe, Wildlife Education Specialist
NJFishandWildlife@dep.state.nj.us
The N.J. Division of Fish and Wildlife is a professional, environmental agency dedicated to the protection, management and wise use of the state’s fish and wildlife resources.

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29 Responses to “New Jersey Considering Making Feral Cat Hunting Legal”

  1. sherryl-annette snyder says:

    When my granddaughter lived with me she discovered the new kits in the garage. We took the kits and placed them in the dog cage. Melissa sat a long time waiting before the mama cat felt safe enough to go to her kits. We carried the cage into the house. The kits grew and I sold them for $5.00 each. Then when all were gone I let the feral cat loose in the house. I let her know she had food and safety and could do as she needed.

    Eventually she made friends with the Golden Lab. A few more weeks she worked herself into my lap.
    Then I found another feral kit hiding place. No granddaughter so I put the kits in the cage with the cage door about 10 inches from the screen door. When she went in I caught her by opening the screen and that closed the cage.

    I ended up with two very adorable, no longer feral, cats that followed me around all the time.
    We can never own a cat. They own us as do all pets. But The TOUCH OF THE MASTERS HAND can change our lives to saving lives of very adorable cats.

    • Andrew Parkes says:

      What a wonderful story ! I have a feral manx which was found by my Dad at work in a packking crate that was sent from england to south Africa he was a true manx torti and was so small he couls fit in my pocket and he grew up to be one of the most loveable cat I have ever had sadly he go bitten by a snake, de came home and passed away in my lap , I still have a photo up in my Room even after 30 years I will always miss him !

  2. Heidi says:

    I don't believe my eyes! Are they going backwards????? This got to be stopped!

  3. Marcie McDonald says:

    what this woman is proposing is complete and absolute BULL (i'm ashamed to share the same name with her as Jeanette is my middle name)!!!

    “When a cat is left to roam outside the house it becomes a character who kills birds and small mammals — rabbits, chipmunks,” she said on Thursday. “It’s really not a natural, native animal. They are exotic and not meant to be outdoors.”

    it is humans who are to blame for owning cats they allow to roam outside the house not spayed or neutered! cats are just as much "natural and native" as the next, they're NOT exotic and yes, they can and should be allowed outdoors if they're properly fixed so that they will not populate. what's a cat to do who is left to fend for itself? every animal on Earth should be cruelly hunted and killed if this woman is saying cats kill birds and small mammals. they're ANIMALS!!! and they rely on instinct when they must.

    if this passes, i think Ms. Jeanette Vreeland and anyone else responsible should be charged and convicted of cruel and inhumane treatment of animals! what's more, you will see not a penny of my money go toward anything to do with New Jersey.

  4. My letter is on it's way to NJ as of this morning. Thank you for helping to spread this news so that others may join in protest. As someone who volunteers with a TNR group, to hear they want to make TNR illegal, but make it legal to shoot feral cats enrages me.

  5. Old Kitty says:

    What?!?!?! What on earth is going on? What idiot thought this stupidness up??

    I'm still trying to scrape my jaw off the floor at such a thing?!?! What?!?

    I hope that there will be enough outrage from sensible people to stop this very dangerous nonsense.

    Fingers and paws crossed!

    Take care
    x

  6. Julie Hopper says:

    I sent the email – what ELSE can I do?????????

  7. Carolyn Borliska says:

    I think it is thoroughly disgusting that they want to legalize killing feral cats. Haven't the brains of the state have anything better to do. Who's senseless idea ?

  8. Mike S says:

    Are they F@#&^%ing kidding? why doesn' the government allow you to use animals as a tax deduction. This way it will incourage non-pet owners to adopted animals, and pet owner to get more. buy doinf this, this will help the population control. P.S. New York should do the same

  9. Nina says:

    Horrible. I hope they won't even try to do that… What kind of sick people could do something like that?!? You monstrums…

    just read sherryl-annette snyder comment :)

  10. Boom says:

    I am over in the UK, but I have still voiced my concerns to NJ. I really hope we manage to help do something about this. please, keep us updated, I'd love to be able to rally up lots of support from my friends over here in England! xxx

  11. Jeanette says:

    IF NJ GOES THRU WITH MAKING IT LEGAL TO SHOT FERAL CATS..I WILL PERSONALLY TAKE CHARGE AND SUE THE SHIT OUT OF THAT NASTY PATHETIC STATE!…ARE YOU CRAZY?…MURDERERS!…THAT'S OK…THE HEARTLESS GO TO HELL…DON'T TEST ME!

  12. Dee says:

    And then what? after they hunt the ferals they will eat their meat? then what's the different with chinese people in China who like to eat cats and dogs?? reading something like this make me feel sick!!!!

  13. Andrew Parkes says:

    Here is the relpy that I got from Fish and Game

    Thank you for your concern about feral cats.

    Neither the Fish and Game Council (Council) or the Endangered and Nongame Species Advisory Committee (ENSAC) is proposing anything allowing the hunting or trapping feral cats.

    The Council and ENSAC have passed a joint resolution acknowledging the detrimental impact of free-roaming cats on wildlife. Recent studies have indicated that feral cats prey on over 1 billion wildlife each year. The resolution strongly states that TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) is not an effective means of reducing the feral cat populations and thus not an effective means of addressing the impacts of cats on wildlife.

    The Council and ENSAC also state that feral cats should be treated as dangerous exotic animals. The Fish and Game Council is considering formally "listing" feral cats as "dangerous exotic" animals under a statute that gives them the responsibility and authority to do so. If this were to happen it would allow the Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) to regulate the release of feral cats without a permit. This would give the DFW some leverage in addressing the proliferation of TNR.

    Again, there is no proposal to open a season or allow hunting or trapping of feral cats. PT

    Paul Tarlowe, Wildlife Education Specialist
    NJFishandWildlife@dep.state.nj.us
    The N.J. Division of Fish and Wildlife is a professional, environmental agency dedicated to the protection, management and wise use of the state's fish and wildlife resources.
    http://www.NJFishandWildlife.com

    >>> <andrewparkes1965@hotmail.com> 3/16/2010 7:35:35 AM >>>
    Internet E-mail from the Fish & Wildlife web site

    • lovemeow says:

      Thank you Andrew.

      "Dangerous exotic" animals??? what? Animals that are associated with the word "dangerous" normally end up in death. That's why many people suspect what this may lead to. "hunting" is definitely a possibility.

      • andrewp65 says:

        We are more dangerous the "exotic Cats" this is an easy potion but not a moral one as I now Live in the UK it would never be aloud to see the Light of Day over here! Don't you have any right as far as imposing new laws in Local or State Law to ban such Pratices.

      • Andrew Parkes says:

        Poeple have caused this problem and do not shift the blamed onto the defenseless cats this is the easy was out Cowards ~!!!!!

    • lovemeow says:

      Still can't believe they are calling these innocent animals "dangerous." The problem with feral population is really a people problem. If people did not abandon their pets in the first place and if the government could support T-N-R programs more proactively. TNR is working in so many states, why not NJ. To me this sounds more like they have made up their mind to do something that they want as opposed to what's right.

  14. Piper says:

    So NJ Fish & Wildlife have resolved that "… TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) is not an effective means of reducing the feral cat populations." Well why not? It works fine outside of Jersey, right? Is there any proof to back up this "strongly stated" resolve?

  15. Fat Cat says:

    This is utterly stupid. How do you tell the difference between a feral cat and someone's outdoor cat by looking at it? If someone's cat get shot by some trigger happy dumbass can they even sue if this goes into effect?

    As for dangerous, I've never been attacked by a cat before. I'm glad I moved out of that state to California when I was 2. Besides, I thought New Jersey was so polluted that it couldn't support any sort of wild life anymore.

  16. Liana Silva says:

    So if we were left on our own and we had to figure out how to eat and we beganhunting rabbits and birds are they going to open a huntingseason for us too? What a crock of shi!!!!

  17. Sarah says:

    We must contact NJ Fish and Game!! Click on this link to write them a message. Don't call names or they will just think you are a cook! State some legitimate points.

    http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/contactform.htm

  18. p atsie hatley says:

    I think that idea is insane. there has to be better ways to handle the feral problem than to just destroy them and surely we can come up with kind and sane ways to handle the feral cat problem if only all of us just adopt a feral cat ourselves and all do this. eale

  19. Terrie says:

    This must not be allowed to pass. People should nueter their cats or take them to a no kill shelter.

  20. Laura says:

    Time to get a petition going! And if it hasn't already been done, I would strongly recommend contacting Alley Cat Allies & getting them involved. You need a big animal welfare org(s) to get these backwoods thinking, redneck morons to listen

  21. edwardo says:

    Thia has got to stop!!!! why not catch and spad or nuter and let them go? I have done this for 4 cat in the past. what's wrong with this world!!!!! Very Sad world we live in!

  22. edwardo says:

    Why can't we all live in harmany! They have the right to be here to!! Leave them alone or even help them.

  23. nicole bernardo says:

    that's not right :(

  24. Claudiaa ;D says:

    Wow ;(. I Wish I Can Stop Thiss! I Wanna Make A Difference ;D! This Must Be Stopped (;!

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