There’s no way around it – attempting to reduce the island’s cat population through starvation is inhumane. Help us protect Maui’s cats by testifying in opposition to this bill.
What’s going on:
On May 8, 2020, Maui Councilmember Hokama proposed a bill to prohibit and criminalize the feeding of all feral animals.
The proposed bill is “6.04.041 Feeding of feral animals prohibited. NO person may feed or deliberately introduce any food material, substance or attractant directly to, or in the vicinity of, any feral animal.”
You answered our call to action and overwhelmed the May 8 Council Meeting with testimony opposing the feeding ban. Thank you for this initial round of support!
What’s happening next:
The bill has been referred to the Healthy Families and Communities Committee which Hokama chairs. and is on the agenda to be discussed in Council Chamber on Thursday, May 21 at 1:30pm. The seven Members who make up this committee are tasked with making “well considered recommendations” to the Council. Save the date and find instructions for submitting your testimony
What you can do RIGHT NOW:
Even if you only leave a message, stating that you “do not support bill 6.04.041” will be counted as a public response and is impactful.
You may have already submitted written testimony to the County Council for the May 8, 2020 meeting. Now is the time to reach out to each Council Member individually and provide them with your written opinion.
RALLY THE TROOPS
If you know of businesses or commercial establishments who have been managing TNR colonies with success, encourage them to contact the County and share their experience.
Find out more about this complicated issue, why we believe TNR is the most effective, humane path to less cats and get linked to additional resources on the topic.
This issue has been a longstanding controversy on our island and people feel strongly about it. One thing we can all agree on is that there are too many cats, and reducing their numbers is our common goal! Remember to communicate with Aloha. Be positive, respectful and help maintain the reputation of our awesome animal-loving community!
Suggested Talking Points:
Clearly state your opposition to feeding bans and voice your support for humane efforts like those made by Maui Humane Society to control the cat population.
Feeding bans do not work and are not scientifically supported. Leading animal welfare organizations like the Humane Society of the United States, ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society, and the National Animal Care and Control Association all oppose feeding bans. In fact, there isn’t one example demonstrating the success of feeding bans as a method of population control.
Feeding bans will not make the cats go away. The logic behind feeding bans is that if no one feeds free-roaming cats, the cats will go away. This rarely works because there may be more than one feeder, feeders will resist, enforcement is difficult and unpopular with caring citizens, and there are other sources of food like trash.
Humane efforts to control the cat population are already in progress at Maui Humane Society and are having a measurable impact. Efforts include large scale spay/neuter surgery events and networking with caretakers to manage the ongoing trapping and sterilization of community cats by providing free trap rentals and no cost spay/neuter surgery. As our TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) efforts have increased over the last four years, we’ve experienced measurable results with successes reflected in lower annual shelter intake rates and fewer community cat behavior complaints.
Feeding bans will discourage trap-neuter-return efforts, leading to MORE cats. These bans effectively prevent caregivers from being able to trap and sterilize the cats in their care, which means cats will continue to have new litters of kittens.
Feeding bans are a waste of taxpayer dollars. Feeding bans punish compassionate caregivers, are difficult to enforce and direct resources away from programs that encourage and support spay/neuter efforts.
Feeding Bans are Invasive. A feeding ban criminalizes the behavior of thousands of people who feed animals on their own private property.
A sanctuary is not the answer for Maui’s cats. Lana’i Cat Sanctuary estimates that it costs $1,000 per cat per year to operate its facility. Maui has a minimum estimate of 40,000 free-roaming cats who will live an average lifespan of 8 years.
Need more information?
- Check out this Letter to the Editor “Spay/Neuter Offers the Only Path to Fewer Cats” written to the Maui News by Maui Humane Society CEO Steve MacKinnon.
- Join us for a watch parties on our Facebook page to learn more about this issue with Bryan Kortis, Esq., National Programs Director for Neighborhood Cats and District Leader for Humane Society of the United States.
- Alley CatTrap-Neuter-Return Research Compendium
- Best Friends Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Success Stories
- Email us if you have any questions!