Cat issues

2018-06-27 06:00

WITH reference to the article in the Maritzburg Fever on June 20 regarding the rat problem at a local FET campus, I would like to comment as follows.

Sometime last year, I was approached to remove a few feral cats from this particular campus.

Despite attempts to persuade management to adopt the internationally recognised TSR (trap, sterilise, return) programme, and my offer to assist with the implementation, the proposal was rejected on the grounds that the students were afraid of the cats. Subsequent cruelty to the cats, by the students, was not condemned or even discouraged by management.

Due to injuries to some of the cats, it became necessary, as a matter of urgency, to remove them and they were humanely trapped, sterilized, vaccinated against rabies and relocated.

The increase in rats at the college can be attributed to not only the recycling plant next door, but also to this short-sighted decision to remove these cats.

More and more businesses and other institutions are acknowledging the vital role feral cats play in the control of rodents in our filthy city.

A well-managed feral cat colony, where their numbers are controlled through sterilization and health issues such as rabies are addressed through vaccinating, is an asset to any area. Regular feeding will ensure that the cats remain healthy and are effective “ratters”.

Being very territorial, they will not allow other cats into their area.

The void created by the removal of the cats form this particular FET college will eventually be filled by other cats from surrounding areas and one can only hope that, when this happens, a more enlightened and humane decision will be made. In a world where there is so much cruelty and violence, the students should be encouraged to look at these homeless creatures as sentient beings and acknowledge that they deserve not only our respect but also our compassion.
MAUREEN VIDA

Pietermaritzburg

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