Our clawed killers

Pet cats are an environmental nightmare for local wildlife

I have similar concerns about free roaming cats, as has letter writer, Dianne Ackerman (The NEWS, March 28).

I recently pointed out in a letter to Qualicum Beach town council and staff that our animal control bylaws pertain to cats, as well as dogs. Letting a cat run loose on town property or outside the owner’s property is in contravention of bylaw 649.  It is also in contravention of the provincial wildlife act to let cats run loose where wildlife is present (79.3).

Which gets me to my main concern:  the predation by domestic cats on birds and other creatures on my and public property.

North American wide it is estimated that tens of millions of birds, reptiles and other creatures are slaughtered by free roaming domestic cats. I have suggested that the town of Qualicum Beach, at the very least, provide some education and promotion around this bylaw and then enforce it with financial penalties.

Residents of Qualicum and Parksville should write their town councils and let them know we are fed up with free roaming cats owned by self-indulgent cat owners who have no regard for the impact their cats have on local wildlife ecology. In the case of Parksville, their outdated bylaws (1992) only mention dogs, as far as I can determine.

There simply is no real animal control bylaws for all domestic animals there, as there is in Qualicum Beach.

Parksville residents need to put pressure on their town council. I regularly see free roaming cats, owned by residents across the street  from the Marshall-Stevens Bird Sanctuary, running home with birds in their mouths.

To those selfish cat owners who let their cats run loose crapping in our gardens and killing everything their cats can get their claws into, where is your sense of personal responsibility?

Gordon Browne

Qualicum Beach




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