Don't Feed the... Cats? Brookhaven May Ban Feeding Feral CatsPublished April 1, 2010
It is highly possible that Brookhaven National Laboratory located on Long Island, N.Y, presently owned by the United States Department of Energy but formerly by the Atomic Energy Commission may still be leaking out some strange and unusual rays which cause a rare form of madness to some of the legislators and residents of the town upon the ground this laboratory is located. At one time the laboratory was operated by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) until 1998 when AUI lost the contract due to a scandal after tritum leaked into the Long Island Central Pine Barrens groundwater. According to a March 2010 article I recently discovered, published on Newsday.com, the town of Brookhaven is in the process of taking action, which will make feeding animals on most of the town land, illegal. Presently, Brookhaven has a ban, which forbids residents from feeding pigeons and waterfowl on beaches and parks, but they plan to take this a step further, which in this writer's opinion is totally crazy. At the scheduled June 1 public hearing, the town will present their plans to broaden the ban to include all" wildlife and domestic animals" which will apply on all town's "nature preserves and designated open space", according to documents filed at the Town Hall. It will be against the law for Brookhaven residents to help any of the feral cat colonies by feeding them cat food or table scraps within town boundaries. Punishment for breaking the law could result in a fine of as much as $250 and 10 days in jail for each offense. These proposed stronger additions to existing laws have been designed to lessen the impact made on other species by predatory animals. Jane Bonner, a town Councilwoman said that the changes were proposed by the town's Feral Cat Committee created in 2008 when the nesting site for the rare pippin plover bird was threatened by "wild" cats at Cedar Beach. However, at this time the feline population is under control in this location. Nonetheless, town officials are concerned about the cats remaining a problem in other parts of the town. Bonner feels that stronger laws will help protect the wildlife, but that law enforcement would be difficult, and said, "We're not supposed to bring domesticated animals into our parks and beaches anyway, but we do. Quite frankly I don't know how we're going to enforce it." But folks who truly understand the nature of feline are surely cognizant of the underlying negative implications, which will negatively impact these feral cats. In my opinion Brookhaven legislators and residents are using "tunnel vision" in implementing these more stringent laws. How could this plan in any way protect the wildlife? I don't get it! To prevent starvation, which could also result in serious illness, feral cats of course will prey on a greater number of local and migratory birds. And while "pesky" rodent populations may be reduced, the justification of these laws to preserve other wildlife is corrupted. If feral colonies are not cared for by responsible folks, their population will explode. The safe and sane way to handle feral cat colonies is to utilize a highly successful Trap/neuter/spay/return program and not let these cats starve to death. For those who wish to get involved and help, please sign the petition posted on the Care2 site. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/482/petition-to-stop-brookhaven-towns-law-banning-feeding-feral-cats What do you think about Brookhaven's "Feral Cat Proposal"? Leave a comment and share.