This controversial measure would have allowed hunters to hunt any cat that was found free roaming, meaning it did not exhibit a collar or other signs of domestic ownership. At the Monday, April 11, 2005 meeting of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, those in favor of the feral cat hunting proposal approved the measure by a vote of 6,830 to 5,201. This approval was then forwarded to the state Natural Resources Board for consideration. Proponents of the measure suggest feral cats expose domestic animals to disease and endanger native songbirds. Opponents of the measure counter that such a law would be cruel and archaic, putting domestic cats who have escaped from their homes at risk of death. On May 25, 2005 at the Natural Resources Board regular spring meeting, a representative of the Congress indicated that the Executive Committee has declined to pursue the issue any further. (See the official meeting minutes at page 5 at http://dnr.wi.gov/org/nrboard/minutes/M05/0505%20minutes.pdf ). Feral cat advocates claimed a public relations victory, as the measure gained national and even international criticism. (See Alley Cat Allies at http://www.alleycat.org/wi.html ). (For more on the procedural history of this measure, see the "Long Summary" under the "Statute Details" above).
Question 62 - Feral Cats
Studies have been done in Wisconsin concerning effects of free roaming feral domestic cats. These studies showed free roaming feral domestic cats killed millions of small mammals, song and game birds. Estimates range from a minimum of 47 million up to 139 million songbirds are killed each year. Free roaming feral domestic cats are not a native species in Wisconsin. The above mentioned cats do however kill native species therefore reducing native species.
At present free roaming feral domestic cats are not defined as a protected or unprotected species. Thus Wisconsin should move to define free roaming feral domestic cats, as any domestic type cat which is not under the owner's direct control, or whose owner has not placed a collar on such cat showing it to be their property. All such defined free roaming feral domestic cats shall be listed as an unprotected species. In so doing Wisconsin would be defining and listing free roaming feral domestic cats.
62. Do you favor the DNR take steps to define free roaming feral domestic cats by the previously mentioned definition and list free roaming domestic feral cats as an unprotected species?
Derived from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/nrboard/congress/sh/cca/index.htm