Alley Cat Allies, the national advocate for stray and feral cats, recently renewed calls to oppose legislation that would legalize the shooting of cats in Utah.
Utah House Bill 210 was amended on the floor of the Utah House of Representatives, after the House Judiciary Committee removed earlier language that allowed for the shooting or killing of cats when that version was criticized for endorsing animal cruelty.
The amended version would still permit the shooting of cats in rural areas of the state. Feral cats are currently protected under Utah anti-cruelty law.
“This dangerous legislation imperils the lives of all cats—pet, stray and feral,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies. “It is barbaric and essentially declares ‘open season’ on any outdoor cat.”
According to Alley Cat Allies, feral cats are domestic cats, but unlike pets, they are not socialized to people and are therefore unadoptable. Numerous communities across the United States have adopted Trap-Neuter-Return as official policy for feral cats after decades of the failure of catch and kill.
“Feral cats exist in every landscape—from rural to urban,” said Robinson. “Feral cats are not a threat to people—in fact, they are just as healthy as pet cats. It is irrational, dangerous, and in direct opposition to society’s values to endorse shooting cats.”
Robinson further stated that all cats are protected under anti-cruelty statutes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
“Anti-cruelty laws have existed for over a hundred years to protect animals and our communities from violent people,” she said.
Alley Cat Allies urges supporters to contact their lawmakers to stop House Bill 210 by visiting the Alley Cat Allies website. To learn more about how feral cats are protected under anti-cruelty laws, click here.
To read House Bill 210, click here.