Cats Should Be Kept Indoors

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
Please note: this is an opinion piece; I have no formal qualifications but I do have thoughts.

Cover Image: Pixabay.com

Submitted: April 30, 2019

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Submitted: April 30, 2019

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Cats Should Be Kept Indoors

 

In the UK newspapers yesterday, Tony Duckett, a Conservation Officer for Royal Parks in London, openly stated that pet cats should be banned from going outside. This is to prevent the many avian deaths they are purported to be responsible for.

Other campaigners for this measure to be introduced include farmers, who want things taken even further, with both indoor confinement and licensing. Of course, this could be in response to a successful campaign to stop farmers being granted gun licenses specifically to shoot and to kill birds that are causing damage to their livestock or crops. The farmers could well be feeling that as they are not permitted to kill the birds, the cats should be prevented from doing so too.

I have four cats that live outdoors, and yes, they do hunt. At the same time I have plenty of species of birds in the garden, including goldfinches, wrens, relatively rare tree climbers and others too numerous to mention.

The decline in bird numbers can be put down to a lot of reasons; all of which are human in nature, not feline.

1/ This is by far the most serious cause of decline in not just birds but all other species of wild-life – HABITAT DESTRUCTION. We have the urban sprawls from virtually all major cities, and towns with their constant demand for land clearance. Along with urbanization, we have harvesting of natural resources, and let’s not forget agriculture and its constant demand for more and more cleared land.

2/ PESTICIDES and INSECTICIDES. These have particular impact on bees, birds and fish. Both bees and birds are constantly mobile, feeding off plants and insects. Fish are more affected by the dumping of chemicals in the water.

3/ BIRD FLU. Avian flu (H5N1) is believed to have originated in a Hong Kong chicken farm, quickly spreading to infect not only poultry but wild birds too. With migration it is impossible to stop the outbreaks from spreading.

While on the subject of human impact on birds, it’s worth also mentioning other species it has done its best to decimate.

1. RABBITS Myxomatosis is a viral disease that was first observed in a laboratory in Uruguay during the late 19thcentury. Humanity then used it as a form of culling rabbits during the 1950’s and 60’s. Anyone interested can easily find out on the internet what a cruel form of germ warfare this was, and it’s also worth noting that its reintroduction has been recently discussed, at least here in Ireland.

2. BADGERS. Culling of badgers seems to go in phases. The main argument for its practice seems to be that they CAN carry bovine tuberculosis. In the UK, just last May, 2018, farmers were being offered £50 for each badger that they slaughtered.

3. HEDGEHOGS There were estimated to be 30 million of these during the 1950’s. In 1995 the population had fallen to 1.5 million. You only have to look outside of a car window to see that humanity is responsible for a large part of this; not only stealing their environment but running them over into the bargain.

4. HARES. Hare coursing is an often illegal but still popular sport amongst certain groups. There are two types – enclosed and open. Enclosed coursing is more regulated but it is debatable whether it is any more humane, as the dogs are muzzled while chasing the hare to an exhausted death. Open coursing is far less easy to regulate, and is totally barbaric. Dogs will chase a hare until they can corner it then they will tear it apart.

5. MINK These are a bit different from the previously mentioned species as they are responsible for a lot of wild life deaths. Not only wild life, too, for they will kill small pets including cats. Bred on farms for the sole reason of their fur, there were always those that escaped. When the fur trade began to lose its popularity, and the farms were no longer a lucrative venture, many were set free when the businesses closed.

 

Anyway, back to the original topic of this essay; cats. Did you know that they will sleep for 16-20 hours a day?

Perhaps it is way past time for humanity to accept the consequences of its own actions and to stop trying to place the blame elsewhere.


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