In the United Kingdom, a conservation officer for the Royal Parks in London believes the time has come to ban pet cats from going outdoors due to avian deaths and injuries.
The Telegraph reports that Officer Tony Duckett, who has overseen Regent Park’s rare birds since 1978, says that cats are a great danger to birds and one of the leading causes of avian deaths. Brian and Patrick Barker, farmers in Suffolk, England, believe that pet cats are far more of a threat to bird life than farmers with shooting licenses who shoot birds and other wildlife which are eating their crops in response to licenses recently being revoked.
The Barkers suggest that people should need a license in order to keep a domestic cat and that the animals must be kept inside at all times due to their damage to the bird population.
Duckett says that he agrees, and he is equally annoyed by other people’s pets.
“I agree, these so-called pets shouldn’t be allowed to roam freely, s—ting in other people’s gardens, killing birds or just putting them off. The owners have no right spoiling other people’s enjoyment. I’d love to take their s— back and scatter it over their owners garden.”
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) April 27, 2019
The Mammal Society estimates that in the U.K., domestic cats kill 27 million birds a year, with the most amount of deaths being among the house sparrow, blue tit, blackbird and starling population.
A representative for the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, a London animal shelter, says that they disagree and would rather rehome a cat to a location where it will have outdoor access so they can have the benefits of a warm home and a place to explore.
“Outdoor access provides great opportunities to display natural, normal feline behaviors including roaming and hunting to help stimulate and engage cats and support their emotional and physical well-being.”
A recent Op-Ed in Gizmodo suggested that it’s not just an issue in the United Kingdom, but also in the U.S., where writer Ryan Mandelbaum suggested that cats never be allowed outdoors and that there should be an “Isle of Dogs-style roundup of feral cats, a mass adoption drive and cat cull, and outlawing outdoor and community cats.”
He adds that cats are an extension of our destruction as humans because we bring them with us wherever we go, and what once was about keeping down the vermin population has now gotten out of control.